OUR VIEW: The Grinches who tried to steal Family Day

We say: The B.C. Conservatives claim it will hurt the economy

The B.C. Conservatives can officially change their name to the B.C. Scrooge Party, if they want to.

Yes, these political Grinches don’t want you to have a new statutory holiday in February because it allegedly hurts the economy. Our intrepid independent MLAs stood up proudly in the Legislature and voted boldly against the B.C. Liberals’ plan (supported by the NDP) to implement Family Day on the second Monday of February, beginning next year on Feb. 11.

A gaggle of independent MLAs, led by B.C. Conservative Party member John Van Dongen and party leader John Cummins, said an extra holiday in the long, dark stretch between New Year’s and Easter will cost businesses – more than $1,100 on average to pay employees to stay home or to pay overtime to come into work.

While we’re sympathetic to the challenges of small businesses in this tough economy, sometimes the greater good takes priority. Plus, these kinds of comparisons are often “six of one, half a dozen of another” situations. Some businesses may incur costs but others will surely benefit from consumers being out and about shaking off the winter doldrums. Ski resorts are already anticipating a bonus day of business. In fact, they requested a change to the actual day so they won’t be overloaded because the original proposal coincided with a popular American holiday.

Family Day brings B.C. into line with most other provinces now and it allows Premier Christy Clark to fulfill a promise she made before becoming premier. The Conservative-led independents can grouse all they want about a burdensome new holiday but most British Columbians will be spending the day out and about or with their families come Feb. 11, 2013 and saying thanks.

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