Monday, November 22, 2010

Hooray there Olive...

Finally someone is cluing into the fact that most Islanders are in favour of Sunday Shopping and I've never really understood why our Government hasn't bought into this concept. I'm pleased to see Olive thinking about something other than PNP's as I thought she was going to ride that ghost into oblivion.... bottom line here is the Standing Committee heard lots of evidence in favour of Sunday Shopping and not allowing it is in keeping with a parochial way of thinking... allowing the stores to open Sunday doesn't force businesses to open as they can decide for themselves... and it doesn't force people to shop on Sunday if they don't want to as it's their choice to shop on Sunday or not... on a positive note if the stores were allowed to open it would provide some extra jobs into our economy and it will more than likely help lure some more National retailers to our Province... it will be interesting to see who votes in favour of staying open as my guess is it will be the more positive members...
Crane plans last-ditch bill on Sunday shopping

Published on November 22nd, 2010
The Guardian
Wayne Thibodeau

Opposition Leader Olive Crane is about to make one last-ditch attempt at stopping Premier Robert Ghiz from forcing the doors of private retailers to close on Sundays.

Crane will push ahead with a private member's bill on Tuesday that, if passed, will amend the Retail Business Holidays Act to allow for year-round Sunday shopping.

The current law allows Sunday shopping from Victoria Day in May to Christmas Day in December but prohibits larger retailers from opening in the months of January, February, March, April and most of May.

Similar laws in other provinces have been struck down as unconstitutional.

"We constantly hear from people across the province that governments shouldn't be telling the businesses when they can open and when they cannot open," Crane told The Guardian.

"(The private member's bill) will allow if businesses choose not to open, that's fine, and people will respect that but it just gives that freedom."

Earlier this month, the Island premier said he was not prepared to change the law, which means Sunday shopping will come to an end this year on Dec. 19, 2010.

Crane said an all-party committee of the P.E.I. legislature travelled the province to seek opinions on Sunday shopping. That committee recommended the province get out of the business of telling private business when they can open their doors.

"Let's not forget that this winter we have the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, we have the Jack Frost Festival, we have the ECMAs, not to mention that this is something that Islanders want," Crane said.

P.E.I. remains the last province not to allow Sunday shopping.

Ghiz said in a year-end interview last year that they were going to look at the revenue received from taxes to see whether the province is losing revenue when the stores remain shuttered in January, February, March, April and part of May.

That review has never been made public.

"If we discover that there are people that when it's not available are travelling to Moncton and we're losing out on dollars leaving our province we'll re-look at it," Ghiz said last December. "But for now, this seems to be a good compromise."

The Opposition leader she she'll be allowing a free vote on the Opposition side of the house and she is calling on the P.E.I. premier to allow his MLAs to vote how they want on the government-side of the house.

First reading of the private member's bill will be held on Tuesday.

Crane said the premier is calling for true debate on the floor of the P.E.I. legislature so this is his chance. She wants to hear why the premier has gone completely against his own standing committee's recommendations.

"All we're saying is the government shouldn't tell business when they can open and when they can't," said Crane.

"Before the house closes, we could have lot of people really happy about this act."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think we are going to see a lot of positive moves from Crane now that she is the permanent Leader. This one certianly makes me want to vote for her.