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

Telkwa council cautiously vigilant on crime stats

Crime severity was up, but reporting changes may be the cause, mayor says

July 2019 for Smithers “almost record breaking” says climatologist

David Phillips could only find one year with both more total precipitation and number of wet days

All Nations Driving Academy gets $360K boost from province

Terrace-based driving school bridges gap in services for remote northwest B.C. communities

VIDEO and PHOTOS: Thursday at the Spirit of the North Classical Music Festival

A brass fanfare, Classics on Main and a family folk dance were among the events on Day 2 of the fest

Skeena Watershed reopened for recreational pink and coho

Four sections and tributaries remain closed

VIDEO: Canadian zoos’ captive breeding programs help preserve endangered species

Programs considered last-ditch effort to prevent local extinctions of turtles, butterflies and more

B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Larger operating areas seen as threat by cab companies

Two hiking families team up to extinguish fire in B.C. backcountry

Children and their parents worked for three hours to ensure safety of the popular hiking region

Vancouver man arrested after pregnant woman’s SUV stolen, then crashed

Police are recommending charges against a 22-year-old Vancouver man

Elections Canada to assess ‘partisan’ climate change rhetoric case by case

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier has said climate change is not an emergency nor caused by human

Unseasonable snow forces campers out of northeastern B.C. provincial park

Storm brought as much as 35 centimetres of snow to the Fort Nelson, Muncho Lake Park-Stone Mountain Park

Telus customers enraged as outrage hits fifth day

Telus.net has been down since Aug. 15

B.C. log export rules killing us, northwest harvester says

NorthPac Forestry says Skeena Sawmills has plenty of timber

Search crews find 4-year-old boy who went missing near Mackenzie

George went missing early Saturday afternoon

Most Read