Tourism Minister Lisa Beare didn’t say what consultation with business was done before moving the date of Family Day to the third Monday in February. (Hansard TV)

B.C. tourism companies wait for effect of later Family Day weekend

NDP moved holiday to third Monday in February to match other provinces

B.C. residents will have to wait an extra week for their next Family Day long weekend, as the NDP government’s shift to the third Monday in February takes effect for the first time.

It wouldn’t have been on many people’s list of pressing problems, but moving the date to match the holiday in other provinces was a high priority for Premier John Horgan, with the amendment debated last February in the B.C. legislature. Introducing Family Day had been a signature move for former premier Christy Clark in 2013, but the NDP decided her decision to make it earlier than other provinces was business-friendly but not family-friendly.

B.C. ski resorts in particular pressed for the earlier date, to avoid room shortages and long lift lines as out-of-province tourists travelled on the common Family Day long weekend. When B.C. Liberal critic Michelle Stilwell asked Tourism Minister Lisa Beare what consultation was done with thousands of tourism businesses, Beare repeatedly ducked the question, calling the previous government “out of touch with the people.”

“I have answered questions about Family Day a number of times in this house, and my answer remains the same,” Beare said Feb. 20, 2018. “Moving Family Day was the right thing for families in British Columbia.”

Beare then described government consultations on raising the minimum wage and dealing with the opioid overdose crisis, before the Speaker cut her off.

An executive at Big White Ski Resort predicted the move would be “a disaster,” with B.C.’s popular resorts having room capacity problems.

“All we’re doing is cramming everyone into one weekend,” Michael Ballingall told the Kelowna Capital News. “So you’re just displacing people from B.C. with people who have already booked from America and Ontario.”

RELATED: Family Day move ‘disastrous,’ says Big White official

RELATED: ‘Say what?’ Readers weigh in on Family Day move

The NDP move was applauded by some. “I understand the business perspective, but this isn’t Business Day. It’s Family Day,” a reader of the Nelson Star commented on the news. But a reader poll in the Revelstoke Review found two thirds opposed to moving the date to match the rest of the country.

Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Doug Clovechok said his region’s ski areas and tourist-dependent businesses will feel the effects of the change.

“Everyone knows prices fluctuate on the busier holidays,” Clovechok said. “Now it’s more expensive for B.C. residents to go skiing, go out to dinner, whatever.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Langford liquor store targeted by thieves twice in one night

West Shore RCMP seek to identify break and enter suspect

Victoria city councillors advocate for better measures to reduce sexual violence in downtown bars

A motion coming to council this week asks for more action from liquor establishments

Slow down for maintenance on the Malahat this week

Minor touch-ups and repairs scheduled Monday through Thursday

Tips from BC Ferries for travelling this Canada Day long weekend

Tips from BC Ferries for smooth sailing this Canada Day long weekend

Video shows fireworks shot at swan in Alberta

Alberta Fish and Wildlife is investigating the incident in Grande Prairie

WITH VIDEO: Two endangered marmots released on Vancouver Island

With three new pups born in May, two more Vancouver Island Marmots… Continue reading

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

Should B.C. get rid of Daylight Saving Time?

The province wants to know, as state governments down south make the move

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Canadians crash out of Women’s World Cup in 0-1 loss to Sweden

Canada missed a chance to tie the game on a penalty shot

Four-year-old boy assaulted at B.C. soccer game

It happened at a weekend tournament in Ashcroft

Two bear cubs saved near Revelstoke after mother hit by car

Conservation officers trapped the cubs and transported them to a wildlife sanctuary

Heroism medal for B.C. woman who tried to save wheelchair-bound man stuck on rail tracks

Julie Callaghan awarded Carnegie Medal from U.S.-based foundation for ‘extraordinary heroism’

Most Read