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Premier considers changing Family Day, Daylight Saving Time in BC

Last Updated Oct 20, 2017 at 10:02 pm PST

NDP Leader John Horgan. (Lasia Kretzel, NEWS 1130 Photo)
Summary

Family Day was introduced several years ago but it's not in line with other provinces

One BC community wants to eliminate DST completely

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – In an exclusive one-on-one interview with NEWS 1130, BC’s premier admits he is considering changing the date of Family Day in BC, so it is in line with other provinces across the country.

“We’ve been hearing from British Columbians, particularly business people, that don’t want to see them being out of sync with the rest of the country when it comes to celebrating a holiday in February. I think everyone supports the idea of a day off in February, I certainly do, but why wouldn’t be in line with other provinces so that we can have commerce continue so that you can have a family holiday and not miss out because you have to work on the day that everyone else is off,” says John Horgan.

Horgan adds the changes won’t likely take effect for 2018. “For me, I’m leaning towards lining up with other provinces across the country.”

He points out it’s a priority, but it’s not at the top of the list. “We’ve got a whole bunch of very big issues to deal with. The fentanyl crisis continues, we’re working as hard as we can to get our heads around that. The softwood lumber deal is in a tough spot, I think we’re going to be hearing some negative in the days ahead — NAFTA re-negotiations. And on a rainy day we forget the [wild] fires we’ve just come through, we now have to work on recovery.”

Family Day was brought in under the former BC Liberal government and takes place on the second Monday in February, while the rest of the country celebrates it on the third Monday.

Horgan says he’s also thinking about eliminating Daylight Saving Time in this province altogether. Earlier this year, the issue came up at the annual Union of BC Municipalities where the community of Grand Forks proposed scrapping it completely.

In September, Horgan said if people wanted to get rid of DST that they should email him directly — and they did. “I have received a lot of emails… and we have been inundated. Overwhelmingly, I have to say, [people] are opposed to Daylight Saving Time, so, we’re going to have to do a little bit more work on this than I had anticipated.”

Horgan says he’s no longer soliciting emails.

Warning for skiers

If Horgan goes through with changing Family Day, it could make a big difference for skiers.

Before BC’s Family Day was first adopted in 2013, the BC ski industry lobbied to have the holiday land on the second Monday of February, so it wouldn’t clash with President’s Day in the US and February long weekends in other provinces.

Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Mayor Al Raine predicts higher prices for spots at resorts if the crowds are coming on one long weekend. “If it’s just going to be one weekend and everybody is trying to get in,  I don’t think there are going to be bargain basement prices like there have been in the last couple of years.”

He points out BC resorts are already full for the President’s Day weekend, and he fears lots of local skiers will have a tougher time finding spots if they share the same holiday.

But Raine understands that ever since the long weekend was adopted, there has been pressure to change it.