Monday is a federal holiday in Canada to mourn Queen Elizabeth II
Posted September 13, 2022 11:04 am.
Last Updated September 19, 2022 4:44 am.
Monday is the day of the state funeral for Queen Elizabeth II, and it will also mark a federal holiday and a national day of mourning in Canada.
The federal holiday will be for federal employees only, it was left up to provincial and territorial governments to declare the holiday for the remaining workers. Federally regulated private companies, like airlines or telecoms, are encouraged to give employees the day off but it is not mandatory.
What have provinces/territories decided about Sept. 19?
- Ontario: The province will not recognize the day as a holiday, saying people can instead observe a moment of silence at 1 p.m.
- P.E.I.: The province has declared the day a one-time statutory holiday for all provincially regulated workers. Government offices and public schools will be closed.
- Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador: The provinces will close schools and government offices, but the holiday will be optional for private-sector businesses and employers.
- Quebec: The province will not recognize the day as a holiday.
- Manitoba: The province will close all non-essential government services and offices for the day, but schools and child-care facilities will be open.
- Saskatchewan: The province will not recognize the day as a holiday.
- British Columbia: The province will recognize the day as a holiday for provincial public-sector employees. Schools, post-secondary institutions and most Crown corporations will be closed
The Manual of Official Procedure for the Government of Canada says the prime minister should declare a national public holiday on the day of a monarch’s funeral. However, it notes that it is not binding on the prime minister to follow through with this.
Canadians were previously given a day off to mourn King George VI following his sudden death in 1952, the last time a monarch passed away.
The federal government had previously announced its plans for a major memorial next Monday, with a commemorative ceremony, a military parade, and gun salutes in Ottawa.
CFIB president concerned of potential economic impact of holiday
The President of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is urging provinces not to make next Monday a statutory holiday, saying it would cost the economy billions of dollars.
“It would cost the economy billions of dollars if every province were to give every single employee a day off. That in terms of lost productivity or additional pay in lieu of overtime would be significant for small firms that are already dealing with an incredible labor shortage on top of two years of limited income,” CFIB president Dan Kelly told CityNews.
Kelly said Canada should be following the U.K.’s lead in declaring it a holiday but not mandating that employers must close or pay extra if they are required to stay open.
While the federal government picks up the tab for civil servants who have the day off, Kelly said other businesses would have the whole cost borne on them.
“If Ontario decides to make this a statutory holiday, other businesses would be just shut down altogether and they would lose the day of productivity at a critical time.”
The U.K. will have a bank holiday on the day of the state funeral, which means it is up to employers whether or not their workers get the day off.
“There is no statutory entitlement to time off,” reads the U.K. government’s website. “Employers may include bank holidays as part of a worker’s leave entitlement.”
Other Commonwealth nations, including Australia and New Zealand, have announced similar plans for a national holiday in the wake of the Queen’s passing.
Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese says his country’s holiday will coincide with a National Day of Memorial for the monarch on Sep. 22.
New Zealand says it will hold a public holiday on Sep. 26, along with a state memorial service in the capital city of Wellington.
With files from The Canadian Press