remembrance day holiday

People in Ontario want Remembrance Day to be a stat holiday

Every time that Remembrance Day rolls around, people in Ontario find themselves having to double check whether the holiday honouring the country's veterans and the end of WWI is, in fact, a statutory one.

Though it never has been a day off in the province, the confusion arises in large part because of the fact that it is elsewhere in Canada.

B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, P.E.I., Newfoundland and Labrador, and the three territories all observe Nov. 11 as a stat holiday, rendering residents in Ontario and Quebec some of the only ones who actually have to go to work today.

Nova Scotia takes things a little further with its unique Remembrance Day Act, which actually forbids most businesses from opening and thus, most people from working. If Nov. 11 falls on a Saturday in any given year, some citizens will even get the following Monday off. But still, for most people, the holiday is unpaid and not statutory.

Manitoba has a similar approach to the day, prohibiting most industries from operating between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

The only holidays equally observed nationwide are New Year's Day, Good Friday, Canada Day, Labour Day and Christmas Day — even Thanksgiving Day and Victoria Day aren't deemed full paid holidays across the board, with the Atlantic provinces still considering them to be optional.

The same can be said for our newest addition to the holiday timetable, Family Day, which isn't celebrated in Newfoundland and Labrador or Quebec.

Interestingly enough, though Ontario does not find Remembrance Day to warrant a day off, it is the only province that marks the capitalist celebration of Boxing Day as an official stat holiday. New Brunswick does consider the day after Christmas to be a "Day of Rest" — though not a paid day off — and certain employers across the country may still choose to let their staff have it off.

Because Remembrance Day is considered a national holiday in Canada's Holiday Act, — just like how south of the border, the U.S.equivalent, Veterans Day, is observed as a federal holiday — it seems that many wonder each year why everyone in the country doesn't get to stay home to observe it.

Regardless of where you are and whether you're working today, you can still definitely support your local branch of the Royal Canadian Legion by buying and wearing a poppy, and mark the two-minute moment of silence at 11 a.m. along with the rest of the nation.

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