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Les Leyne: Why Family Day is on second Monday of February, instead of third

What would Family Day be without a big family fight? But there’s no need to endure one this inaugural February holiday. We’ve already had it — online. Premier Christy Clark promised the third Monday in February as a holiday while running for the B.C.
Family Day not on calendar
B.C.'s Family Day doesn't appear yet on many calendars. Other provinces have a statutory holiday on the third Monday of February, instead of the second that B.C. has chosen.

What would Family Day be without a big family fight? But there’s no need to endure one this inaugural February holiday. We’ve already had it — online.

Premier Christy Clark promised the third Monday in February as a holiday while running for the B.C. Liberal leadership.

Then there was pressure to change the date. It’s already a holiday in the U.S. and several provinces. There were concerns ski-lift lines would just be longer and hotel rooms more scarce if B.C. synched its holiday with those.

After she won the contest, the date was reconsidered. They decided to put the idea out for consultation.

Government estimates the holiday will cut economic output by 0.1 per cent — $198 million. And it will cost government $28 million in payroll benefits.

The ski industry lobbied hard for the second Monday, since it would provide the industry a second long weekend in the month and maximize revenue.

The second Monday beat the third Monday by a two-to-one margin in an online poll. It was the comments section where the full flavour of B.C.’s attitude toward politics and holidays bloomed. As did thoughts on romance, Nazis, rock-paper-scissors and assorted other issues.

They were released under a freedom-of-information request. It’s fitting we wound up with a unique holiday because we’re, well, unique.

What follows is a sampling of more than 3,000 comments:

• Please explain who is going to pay for this new holiday? Will productivity go up to compensate for the added expense of statutory holiday pay? This is another step down the European path. Greece anyone?

• My wife’s birthday is third week of February! Please!

• I like the third weekend for Family Day for the following reason: It will never fall on a Valentine’s Day. I could not bear the thought of spending all through the holiday smooching my wife (if you ask her, she would probably say the same thing!)

• I dread the idea of having Valentine’s Day be a day off once every seven years. Imagine having to spend the whole day doing couple stuff. No thanks! What a waste of an otherwise perfect day off! (Umm ... just kidding, honey.)

• You are scared!!!! Consult us on something important, not this drivel!!

• I just want a holiday. Don’t care when it is.

• Keep it the same as Alberta. Nice to get families together. If the NDP get in next election, my whole family will be in Alberta. Our province will be in ruins.

• I will not vote for you right-wing-nut Liberals — no matter what name you and your cronies decide to call yourselves. Absolutely pathetic, and for shame on you once again.

• I decided to go rock, paper, scissors, to get my answer. I played against myself and won. It eventually was rock, so the day chosen was the third week. Thanks for the memories. Cheers for now. P.S. — do I win some sort of prize?

• Should have happened years ago … Europe has 24 days of public holidays … This is all North America is about, money for the elite, one crappy extra day … rejoice … Canadians will have way too much free time on their hands now … what a joke of a nation.

• I really think it should be Feb. 28. Then on Leap Year we could have the 29th, too. We could call it “Double Double Day.”

• That’s easy, it should be on the day the B.C. Liberals are defeated from government.

• I would call it Pets Day or Best Friends Day, in honour of the sled dogs killed in Whistler.

• GET BACK TO WORK. This country has the highest holiday count on the planet. Hey Liberanos, giving the left another day off is not going to save you from being popped like the zits you appear to be. Try removing your immoral carbon tax, instead of the bribe of another day off.

• Why call it Family Day? Sounds like something the Nazis would have liked. Surely there is something significant related to our beloved province that we could celebrate. As a singleton [it] just seems like I am being deliberately excluded. No doubt I will be the office worker left to work while all the people with families go off to play next February.

• Cause Stone Cold said so!!