Canada's last Sunday shopping law voted down
Prince Edward Island MLAs voted late Thursday afternoon to remove restrictions on Sunday shopping, the last province in Canada to do so.
A tie vote on second reading was broken by Speaker Kathleen Casey, who is a Liberal MLA. The bill will have to go through third reading before becoming law.
Sunday shopping had only been allowed on the Island between Victoria Day and Christmas.
Earlier this week, Progressive Conservative Leader Olive Crane introduced a bill that would remove those restrictions.
Premier Robert Ghiz has always said the current regulations are a good compromise. On Wednesday, Ghiz said while year-round Sunday shopping on P.E.I. would make his life easier, he has to look out for the interests of all Islanders.
"Personally, when it comes to Sunday shopping, it would make my life much easier with year-round Sunday shopping," said Ghiz.
"But having said that, I also have a responsibility to look out for everyone in society. I have to look out for businesses that may be hurt because of this. I have to look out for how this will affect workers that now have to go to work, and I take that very seriously."
Officials in the Opposition office say the last time an opposition bill passed was in 1999, when the legislature voted to reduce the time before a byelection had to be called to fill an empty seat.
The last opposition bill passed before that was in 1933. The records don't say what the bill was.