British Columbia·VOTE

Family Day in B.C. should be moved, says Surrey Board of Trade

B.C.'s Family Day should be moved to conform with other Canadian and U.S. holidays, according to the CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade.

B.C. is the only province to hold Family Day on the second Monday in February

Seven provinces have a holiday in February, including Heritage Day in Nova Scotia, which is being held for the first time in 2015. But B.C.'s Family Day is the only one on the second Monday. (CBC)

If the Surrey Board of Trade had its way, today would be a holiday, according to its CEO Anita Huberman.

That's because the board wants B.C.'s Family Day, moved from the second Monday in February to the third, to match the rest of the country and the U.S. Presidents Day holiday.

Huberman says because B.C's Family Day comes on a day when the rest of North America is at work, a lot of people had to spend last Monday in the office in order to keep pace with their colleagues in other regions.

"I just think that in the spirit of the holiday where we're supposed to spend time with our families, we need to take a look at where this holiday is positioned in the month," said Huberman.

During her run for the B.C. Liberal leadership in January 2011, B.C. Premier Christy Clark first promised to bring in the new holiday on the third Monday in February to create a break between New Year's Day and Easter.

But after polling the public and business leaders, the B.C. government decided to hold Family Day on the second Monday of the month  in order to allow residents to have a holiday when ski resorts and other holiday destinations might be less crowded.

More than 18,000 people voted for the second Monday in an online poll, nearly twice as many as those who voted for the third week of the month used by other provinces. But the date has been troublesome since the holiday began in 2013 because stock markets remain open, and federal employees working in B.C. do not get the day off. 

Family Day was first held in Alberta in 1990 and has caught on in other provinces, but is not a federal holiday. People in Nova Scotia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan all have the third Monday day off. 

The provincial holiday is known as Louis Riel Day in Manitoba, Islander Day on Prince Edward Island, and Heritage Day in Nova Scotia. Yukon has an optional holiday on the third Friday in February also know as Heritage Day.

POLL | When should B.C. hold Family Day?

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