Quesnel city councillor Ron Paull. File photo

NDP government shifts Family Day to third Monday of February in 2019

City of Quesnel Councillor Ron Paull sought change with B.C. politicians for years

On Feb. 9, Premier John Horgan announced the province will move Family Day to the third week in February next year, so families across the country can celebrate together.

City of Quesnel Councillor Ron Paull is pleased with the move – one he has been encouraging for the past couple of years.

Family Day was established in British Columbia in 2013. The B.C. Liberal government decided on the second Monday, but it was inconsistent with other Canadian provinces and the United States.

In announcing the change for 2019, Horgan said Family Day will now be better aligned for businesses and families.

The resolution that Paull authored was two years in the making.

In 2016, after being endorsed by the local council and the North Central Local Government Association (NCLGA), it went to the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) convention, but it was “referred to the executive for decision” because they ran out of time and it could not be debated.

“Because the Family Day resolution never got dealt with at the 2016 UBCM convention, I went back to square one, and resubmitted the resolution to our Council and then NCLGA, where it was endorsed both times again.”

It went to the UBCM convention in Vancouver last September and received a near unanimous endorsement, Paull says, adding opposition was expressed by delegates from communities with large ski resorts.

“One delegate – speaking in rebuttal this opposition – noted that Quesnel’s Family Day resolution was all about fostering sustainability of families, not the bottom line of ski hills. Not all business and commerce were opposed to the resolution.”

It was noted B.C. manufacturing companies would be shut down for the Family Day holiday when their counterparts in other parts of the country would be open for business, Paull says.

“And, of course, when they’re shut down for their Family Day holiday, their B.C. counterparts would be open, which effectively meant two days of lost productivity.”

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