Saturday, March 15, 2008

Local Bookstores Fined for Opening on Holiday

The downtown core of the small city where I live (Kitchener, Ontario) has seen many businesses fold in recent years. The city has attempted to revitalize the core in various ways, with mixed success.

Now Waterloo regional police have fined two mainstays of the core, Casablanca Books and the K-W Book Store, both on King Street. These are excellent used bookstores just 5 minutes away from where I live. And their "crime"? Opening for business on Monday, February 18, the new provincial holiday called "Family Day". Luckily, the police later dropped the charges, because the law has an exception for small bookstores.

If store owners want to open on a holiday, that's their business, and the government shouldn't meddle with it. This kind of nonsense is going to further drive businesses out of the core.


Anonymous said...

In Canada, is "family" a euphemism for "conservatice Christian theocrat" the way it is in the USA?

Jeffrey Shallit said...

"Family Day" was a creation of the provincial Liberal party.

"Family" is definitely part of the rhetoric of the Canadian Christian right, however.

justin said...

"If store owners want to open on a holiday, that's their business..."

Not to quibble, but what's the point of having a holiday if businesses can all choose to be open in spite of it? Given the opportunity, Wal Mart and other chain stores would open up without hesitation.

The problem is that, if allowed to open, it's the disadvantaged employees (i.e., the poor, students) who have to come in to work, not the owners.

I definitely agree about the "family day" moniker though. It's a silly concession to right-wing rhetoric.

Jeffrey Shallit said...


I'm talking about small businesses, where the owner can decide whether to be open, and is not forcing employees to come in. I don't think the law should force such a business to close, but I also think employers should not be able to force employees to work on statutory holidays.

justin said...

My apologies, in that case we're in complete agreement!