Calls for February holiday grow louder in N.S.
A family enjoys the February holiday in this undated file photo.
Published Monday, February 18, 2013 6:54PM AST
Last Updated Monday, February 18, 2013 6:56PM AST
Many Canadians enjoyed a day off today, thanks to “Family Day,” but Prince Edward Island is the only Maritime province to recognize the February holiday.
However, the push for change is picking up momentum.
“I think we deserve it,” says a Saint John resident.
“I think we should all get a family day,” says a Halifax resident.
Nova Scotia Liberal MLA Diana Whalen has launched an online petition in favour of Family Day.
“This is a time of year when people are run down and we don't have a lot to look forward to,” says Whalen. “There's no break again until Easter, which is the very end of March.”
Kevin Kelloway, a research chair in occupational health psychology at Mount Saint Vincent University, says research shows three-day weekends pay off.
“When you bring in a three-day weekend - even when there are big family events - it’s the three-day weekend that you're going to get a little more time to relax and actually get some time recovery and I always say, you know, recharge the battery,” says Kelloway.
However, rest and relaxation isn’t the only thing to consider; some people say there is a cost associated to adding another stat holiday, but business professor Ed Ng says he wouldn’t focus too much on costs.
“If you do choose to open on the day itself, of course you have to hire extra help, but when people take time and if it’s a family day, people end up spending money with their family when they go on outings,” says Ng.
Still, the Nova Scotia government says it’s looking for consensus.
“If we can get everyone to agree, then of course we could move forward and we're continuing to look at it, the debate at this point has really focused on whether money really is going to be lost,” says NDP MLA Howard Epstein.
Tim Isaac is a small business owner. He says the holiday could be an economic booster if promoted properly.
“I'm sure there could be some drawbacks with business and government and all that other thing, but you know it’s a long stretch,” says Isaac.
For now, many Maritimers will have to cope without an extra day off.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Jacqueline Foster