Sunday shopping debate in N.B., P.E.I. back on
Retail Council of Canada says retailers should have more flexibility
The debate over Sunday shopping hours in New Brunswick and P.E.I. is reopening.
The Retail Council of Canada (RCC) wants both New Brunswick and P.E.I. governments to throw out rules restricting retail business hours on Sundays.
On the Island, opening on Sundays is provincially regulated while in New Brunswick, Sunday shopping is controlled by municipalities.
Moncton, Dieppe and Riverview have all tossed their Sunday shopping bylaw.
The RCC appeared before Fredericton's city council Monday night requesting that businesses be allowed to decide for themselves when they want to open.
Jim Cormier, Atlantic director for the RCC, said he plans to meet with officials on P.E.I. to discuss changes to their Sunday shopping regulations.
A compromise a few years ago in New Brunswick led to a regulated 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. opening for most stores but Krista Ross of the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce said many businesses would like to have the option of longer operating hours on Sundays.
"It works well for businesses if they can be nimble. If they can provide products that their clients want, if they can provide services that their clients want and if they can do it in the time frame that their clients want. So it's really about being nimble and being able to adjust to what their customers are looking for," she said.
However, on the other side of the debate, limiting opening hours on Sundays means more valuable time off for retail employees.
In neighbouring Nova Scotia, the province cleared the way for Sunday shopping in 2006, allowing retailers to decide their own Sunday hours.
Michael Goram, from Nova Scotia, said back home the market seems to take care of itself.
"It works good, it seems to. I have no complaints. There's some stores that decided not to open [on Sundays], it's their business, but those that do, seems to be good," he said.