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Petition to change date of B.C. Family Day continues to add signatures

Unite B.C. Family Day aims to move the holiday in B.C. from Feb. 13 to Feb. 20 when the rest of Canada celebrates the day off.

Unite B.C. Family Day petition started 2 years ago now has close to 20,000 people behind it

Andrew Johns, who has three children, lives in Vancouver and works in the financial sector, launched his petition to change the date of B.C.'s Family Day in 2015. (Andrew Johns)

A petition launched in 2015 to change the date of B.C.'s February statutory holiday doesn't appear to be going away.

The online petition now has close to 20,000 signatures and the support of MLAs David Eby and Andrew Weaver.

"Let's work together to unite Family Day across Canada," said Eby, NDP MLA for Vancouver-Point Grey as part of a promotional video for the movement.

In 2012, the Christy Clark government passed into law the province's Family Day to take place on the second Monday of the month each year.

Those in other provinces have their day off a week later, along with Americans who celebrate George Washington's birthday.

'Didn't want to stand in line-ups'

Clark says when the province was deciding on a day it launched rounds of public consultations asking residents which date they preferred. 

"The main feedback that we got from people that wanted Family Day on this date was that they didn't want to stand in the line-ups because everybody else in the country had the same day off," she said.

But Andrew Johns, a Vancouver father of three who works in the financial sector, says the problem with that is he, along with federal employees and some businesses in the province, have to be at their desks.

"The whole spirit of Family Day is to bring as many family members together as possible, and we know that's not being done under this [unsynchronized] holiday where it occurs in B.C. one week before the rest of North America," he said.

Johns's goal is to get a total of 25,000 signatures, but also to have more residents contact the government to ask for the date change.

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