Sunday shopping hours in Manitoba are going to be extended.
Finance Minister Stan Struthers announced the extension when he presented his budget on Tuesday afternoon — a budget designed at eliminating the deficit by 2014.
In order to grow the economy, it just makes sense, Struthers told CBC News hours before he handed down the budget.
"One of the ways we are going to get back into balance in 2014 is to have our economy just naturally grow. And to make sure that that happens, we have to set the right business climate," he said.
The exact change to the hours has not yet been set. That decision will be made after consultation with businesses, Struthers said.
The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce has lobbied for the extended shopping hours for years, saying Manitoba retailers should have the same ability to decide when they open as retailers do in other provinces.
Manitoba currently has one of the country's most restrictive retail laws, with most businesses limited to Sunday hours of 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Convenience stores are exempt.
However, the union representing thousands of retail workers across Manitoba is not pleased with the idea of extending the shopping hours.
"We know we are one of the last hold-outs in Canada that has regulated store hours. We see that as a benefit not as a detriment. We value family life," said Blake Crothers, a spokesman with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union local 832.
"You know, when there is already over 100 hours in the week to do your shopping, a few extra hours on Sunday, I don't see it as this big boom that people are talking about.
"And there has to be some sort of value in being home with your family."
The UFCW's 7,500 retail workers are covered by collective agreements that make working on Sundays voluntary. Crothers said the union is disappointed the government gave them no warning of the possible changes.