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Trudeau/Singh New “Holiday” Will Cost Many Workers Part of Their Next Pay Raise

August 20th, 2018 · 11 Comments

I loved statutory Holidays when I was still working: an extra PAID day off; FREE time to sleep in, lunch with friends, enjoy the sights; or, if I still had to work,  DOUBLE time pay … and sometimes even DOUBLE TIME AND A HALF. Wonderful!

But, of course, not so great from every employers’ point of view: paying people NOT to work on statutory holidays adds to production costs … affects the company’s bottom line and increases the cost of keeping each worker.

Raw materials costs, labour, energy costs, taxes … even tariffs, both incoming and outgoing have all been rising steadily in recent years, also affecting bottom lines. On top of any health, retirement, vacation benefits companies absorb … in addition to those paid statutory holidays as well.

And, in BC for example, there are already TEN such FULLY PAID statutory holidays each year: New Year; Family Day; Good Friday; Victoria Day; Canada Day; BC Day; Labour Day; Thanksgiving; Remembrance Day; and, Christmas Day.

That’s a LOT of EXTRA paid … or DOUBLE PAID days for each worker. Multiply that by the number of employees … and the number of paid statutory holidays … and for small or medium-sized firms, the burden can become hard to absorb.

Easy for government, of course  … with its almost bottomless pit of public funding to draw on, but for a businesses with, say TEN workers, that equals a HUNDRED days of  extra FULLY-PAID  but non-productive time that small employer has to pay out each year.

Those of us on the receiving end of paid benefits seldom think about how much they all add up to for employers.

Hard to imagine what those costs work out to very large corporations, with hundreds or thousands of employees!  But at least their production (and hopefully profit levels)  levels are so high, including costs of keeping their plants going on statutory holidays, their ability to absorb the EXTRA per-worker costs is easier to handle than businesses with only 10 or 20 workers that actually have to close down on each and every statutory holiday, lose production but still pay full salaries to every worker for the day.

So with Canada’s employed labour force now totalling more than 18.6 Million, you can see how adding a NEW statutory holiday costs the country’s economy well into hundreds of millions of dollars each year!

But Liberal leader Justin Trudeau and NDP leader Jagmeet Singh … facing a federal election next year … apparently think a new holiday will be a great way to soften up the electorate … and buy votes … with other people’s money!!!

So the federal Liberals and NDP have announced a new national statutory “holiday” they plan to pass into law. All, it seems to me, reflecting a “To hell with the cost” attitude … since it’s not the Liberals or NDP parties that will pay for it.

Why should you care? After all, it’s another FREE paid day off!

Because let’s keep it real: No, it won’t be.

Put yourself in the place of any employer … especially those not encumbered or regulated by union or labour contracts.

Add ANOTHER paid holiday (doesn’t matter what the politicians say it commemorates) and what would you do if you were an employer?

For most, it’s impossible to simply make employees work faster or harder on other days to make up for lost production time; and raising prices in such a highly competitive marketplace could do more harm than good.

But anyone who believes companies will simply pay out for their entire staff …  without ANY work being done …. another day’s full pay or time and a half or double time (on top of the 10 statutory holidays they already finance) , is dreaming.

I have no doubt companies forced to pay out for yet an ELEVENTH statutory holiday of work not done will try to reduce any planned wage increases to compensate for THEIR added costs.

In other words, once again workers will pay the cost for politicians’ folly and attempt to buy votes.

Too bad the media haven’t canvassed economists on the financial implications for businesses … especially small and medium-sized ones …  and on the economy in general … plus the impact that Trudeau and Singh’s’ plan to buy votes with another PAID holiday could ultimately have on wage increases.

And someone (I’m retired!)  should go after the Liberal and NDP leaders, the finance minister, the minister of labour … and every MP on the REAL cost of another “FREE” day off.

Letting them get away … unchallenged … with this latest costly vote-buying scheme is a shame that Canada’s workers will pay for in the end.

Harv Oberfeld

(Reminder: you can get free First Alerts to new postings on this Blog by following @harveyoberfeld on Twitter. No spam …just alerts to new postings.)

Tags: British Columbia · National

11 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Gary T // Aug 20, 2018 at 9:41 am

    It’s a shame all around. Residential school history does not need to be commemorated in any way. This is just an incredibly cheap attempt at vote gathering. Pandering at it’s best. As disappointed as I am with Trudeau, I will still vote Liberal as i can not stomach the thought of Scheer, Bernier, or Singh, and their religious nut bar politics.

    (Response: Of course, the cash cost of another stat holiday to the economy and to employees AND employees has nothing to do with whatever the politicians want to call it or commemorate in their vote-buying gambit. As for Scheer, sure doesn’t impress me either …so far … and it will be interesting to see what he says/does on the new “holiday”. h.o)

  • 2 Diverdarren // Aug 20, 2018 at 10:05 am

    Harvey, without going into the arguments surrounding the meaninglessness of a stat holiday to create reconciliation, or the economic impact on the producers, which you correctly lay out, I’d like to rally others to seek one change to the Justin “tears” Trudeau plant to make it all better.

    Making the stat on June 21 or September 30 is a useless waste. Make it a third Monday of whatever month you want will help white society really understand the significance of the holiday.

    If it’s on a day that bounces around the week then it will only give whitey a mere 24hrs to reflect on his sins. Were if the day was a set Monday in a month then we could self-flagellate for a full 72 hours.

    Reconciliation needs the solemnness of 3days. In fact perhaps a corporate partnerships were important people and events from the reconciliation process are commemorated on cans of Blue.

    But, it looks like Justin beat me to the idea for Canada Day.

    https://www.brandchannel.com/2017/06/15/labatt-150-061517/

    (Response: From my point of view, it’s the unfair economic cost and burden that should negate another free paid day off at this time in our economy. But I will say that, whatever Trudeau and Singh want to commemorate, MOST Canadians will just use the extra day to sleep in (or cash in if they still must work), go shopping, lunch with friends or family, go to the beach or hike somewhere or, horrors, head to the US to shop … and commemorate NOTHING. h.o)

  • 3 D. M. Johnston // Aug 20, 2018 at 10:26 am

    Nothing more than a bribe of another stat holiday to attract voters – NOT!

    We all like holidays, but the proposed “First nations Day” (??) is beyond silly, it is both appeasement and a bribe.

    I am tired, in fact sick to death of Trudeau the Younger’s continuing apologies and appeasement of everyone and everything.

    I am tired of the Liberals and I am very tired of the NDP and their carpet bagging leader.

    Fact is, I am tired of all the politcal parties and now suspect they are all fronts, being operated from Moscow, by Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale, under the direction of Fearless Leader.

    I don’t think Moose and Squirrel can save us this time, but how can the Canadian voter send a message like; “A pox on all your houses.”

    Trudeau, Scheer, and Singh all make me upchuck with their lies, deceit and phony election gimmicks.

    I’ll vote Bullwinkle any day over our current lot of distasteful, irritating and……………………..

    (Response: You’re right …but unfortunately, bribery of voters … with their own money … is a tried and true Canadian political tradition. And voters fall for it quite often! h.o.)

  • 4 Eldon // Aug 20, 2018 at 11:12 am

    I think this is a worthy Memorial Day. Is there not a different Stat Holiday we could simply rename? Family Day strikes me as a meaningless invented holiday. As a teacher, I could work through a Residential School unit in February.

    (Response: That’s quite sensible. BUT there are two problems: Family Day here was created by the BC government as their own vote-buying scheme, and they wouldn’t like or allow the feds to take away/change that; plus, Trudeau and Singh want to ADD another stat to buy votes, so just changing the name of another wouldn’t work as the bribe it’s intended to be. h.o.)

  • 5 Gene The Bean // Aug 20, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    Hi Harvey – Agree with you on this one.

    Picking ‘a day’ to recognize aboriginal achievements, culture, art and history seems like a much better idea to me than a ‘stat’ holiday.

    After 150 years of trying to change, white-wash and essentially erase a culture, a day honouring the original Canadians is long overdue. You can choose to celebrate with First Nations on ‘their’ day, or not.

    I believe our education system is doing a much better job these days on sharing the truth and realities of aboriginal culture and it is long overdue. It is rich, vibrant and very interesting. The diversity is what stands out for me. The Inuit, the Haida or the Iroquois were so different yet so similar in other areas. It is a history to be celebrated. How European migrants to North America treated them – not so much.

    (Response: No problem with a day to recognize First Nations … not just the residential schools … as long as it is like so many other named, but non-statutory, “Special” recognition days … NOT a paid statutory holiday. h.o.)

  • 6 harry lawson // Aug 20, 2018 at 3:01 pm

    Harvey

    why don’t we just have a national reconciliation day . we could acknowledge all of the wrongs in Canadian history. have a honest discussion about the history and the context of the times.

    who will ultimately pay for a extra stat is the Canadian consumer. when we add up all the cost to all the employers in Canada it will be not only the workers pay but the Canadian consumer

    (Response: As long as it’s not another PAID day off (at this stage of all the challenges facing our economy) I’d go for that … a name day … National Reconciliation Day … like Mothers Day or Fathers Day etc. In fact, it could be a day to commemorate not only the terrible residential schools, but also what we did to the Acadians, to our first Chinese immigrants, to our ethnic Japanese citizens, to Jewish refugees who were turned away fleeing the Nazis, and several other groups mistreated way back when. Quite sensible, but the problem is that wouldn’t buy votes … so Trudeau and Singh won’t like it. h.o.)

  • 7 ISLAND LOOKOUT // Aug 20, 2018 at 6:45 pm

    TURN BACK THE HANDS OF TIME!”

    Remember that song from so many decades ago? Nice one, actually.

    Now’s the time for all good Social Justice Warriors to rally to the cause, the cause of creating more months of the year!

    That will be for “special” Canadians only, those who belong to the truly OPPRESSED masses.

    This a potenially wrenching national crisis that will occur once the 12th stat holiday has been ordered! OMG!

    So, get down to it!

    But how?

    Easy, after the next federal election, which the Libs will win by default, the PM should do the following:

    Announce creation of a Royal Commission, oops, a “People’s Commission. It would be a job gold mine for the following obvious candidates:

    –Social Justice Warrior regiments;

    –low -energy university snowflakes, taking time away from their thumb-sucking collective politbureau sessions;

    –a whole array of off-centre wretches to figure out…

    “HOW TO SOLVE THIS PROBLEM!”

    After months of frustrating nation-wide meetings and street protests, the PM would be THEN wise to announce formation of a “Science Commission”.

    That would be tasked to figure out how to slow down the Earth’s rotation for the “oppresssed” Canadians while leaving it to rotate at its present rate for the “undeserving”, those with jobs who pay taxes and pay attention to clocks.

    Don’t laugh. With PC at an all-time high of insanity, people with too much time on their hands, have well, too much time on their hands!

    Meanwhile stand by for a Trumpian NAFTA trade deal that will be one for the books. It’ll knock our socks off.

    (Response: I used to wish our system would allow voters a direct say in the choice of Prime Minister …but looking at the choices we’ll have next year, I’m now happy we won’t. h.o)

  • 8 NVG // Aug 20, 2018 at 9:42 pm

    With such a diversity of religions in Canada now why is that the Christian religion gets two STAT days when the Residential schools were operated by Christians? Surely, logic dictates that to truly embrace the reconciliation process openly, there shouldn’t be any Stat holiday linked to any religious group because it excludes all others especially with the titles of ‘Good Friday’ and ‘Easter’.

    Reconciliation? Friday or Monday

    (Response: I believe in TOTAL separation of Church and State. I am happy to say Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it, and I understand the country was quite different when they were created as national holidays, but I would agree in today’s diverse Canada there should be NO religious statutory holidays at all . No need to take them away … just refer to them … from a “national” legal point of view as Winterfest or Equinox Day … so EVERYONE can say they are celebrating. But I don’t believe the electorate …or our politicians are ready for that.h.o.)

  • 9 Cora // Aug 22, 2018 at 8:56 pm

    When I was young and living on PEI Remembrance Day was not a stat. It was a day we went to school and learned about how wrong war is but how brave our men were. At 11:00am we had two minutes of silence. It was an opportunity for us to learn something. I don’t see a lot of young people at the different celebrations unless they are in Cadets or Girl Guides.

    Perhaps this could be the same type of “day”. One where we could learn something.

    (Response: When I grew up in Quebec, Remembrance Day was not a stat (still isn’t), apparently because the province had St Jean Baptiste Day instead. Even today … the only two national stats that really mean something to me personally and emotionally are Remembrance Day and Canada Day: the rest are just relaxing, socializing or Super Sale days. h.o.)

  • 10 Jay // Aug 22, 2018 at 9:04 pm

    I’m surprised there hasn’t been any fuss about a single specific historical event getting a holiday vs acknowledgement of racism in general. What about just general historic and current racism against natives? Or holidays to remember the discrimination against other groups such as the Chinese, Japanese, Indians, Jews, non-Christians, women, and most importantly the French.

    Such stat holidays would surely be “easy wins” to buy votes.

    (Response: As you can tell, my primary concern is why do we need/deserve ANY other national paid day off at this current time, with all our economic challenges. But if the Liberal government and the NDP are determined to buy votes by creating a new one, I agree it should connote more of a truly national message … commemorating the many peoples who have faced discrimination and suffering or recognize the accomplishments and contributions of them all. And since we already have Victoria Day, a new national holiday recognizing the historical importance of our French origins/contributions would fit nicely too. h.o.)

  • 11 max avelli // Aug 23, 2018 at 7:48 pm

    Ummm….

    How do you drag Singh into the headline?

    Trudeau doesn’t need him. Singh doesn’t eve have a seat in Parliament and he has killed what is left of the NDP.

    Never seen Singh say a word on the matter.

    Mind you, Singh is the most useless leader ever seen.

    What was the point of dragging him into this very silly decision?

    (Response: He’s in the headline because, although Trudeau is taking “credit” for the idea, the idea actually originated as a private member’s bill by NDP Saskatchewan MP Georgina Jolibois, supported by other NDP MPs and Singh. So BOTH the Lib AND NDP leaders are seemingly happy to rush forward with a new stat that will add millions each year in paid wage costs o the economy … at a time many small, medium and even large companies are already facing tugh times. h.o.)