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

Vehicle plunges into water-filled ditch in Pitt Meadows

Accident took place north along Rannie Rd.

On Cooking: Setting the mood, and table at home

Your thoughtfulness is the most meaningful ingredient.

Untrending: More wisdom from the inbox

‘The death of long-form writing.’

Dalton wins federal Conservative nomination for Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge

Former MLA wins nomination vote over Davis Friesen on Saturday

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

B.C. communities push back against climate change damages campaign

Activists copying California case that was tossed out of court

B.C. VIEWS: Power politics wins over rational energy policy

B.C Hydro continues to face interference on rates

PR firm suspends contract with former B.C. premier amid groping accusation

Edelman says in a statement that Campbell has served as a special adviser to the firm since last July

Vancouver crash leaves driver dead, 2 in hospital

Police are investigating what happened in 2-vehicle crash

James says B.C. budget puts priorities on NDP’s poverty, environment plans

She said she expected the government’s poverty reduction and climate change strategies to be priorities in the budget

Most Read