Digital Brain
digital brain
digital brain

Remember…the 11th of November? Remembrance Day Becomes a Legal Holiday

May 2018 Employment and Labour 2 minutes read

On March 1, 2018, An Act to amend the Holidays Act (Remembrance Day) received royal assent and became law. The Act changes the wording and status of Remembrance Day (November 11) in the federal Holidays Act by making it a legal holiday, like Canada Day and Victoria Day. However, for most Canadians and members of Canada’s workforce, this change is no more than a symbolic gesture.

At present, each province and territory determines which days will be recognized as statutory holidays in their respective jurisdiction. Remembrance Day was already recognized as a statutory holiday for federally regulated workers under the Canada Labour Code. All of the other provinces and territories – with the exception of Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia – also already recognized Remembrance Day as a statutory holiday.

Of the four outlier provinces, Ontario and Quebec are the only two that have not enacted some form of observance legislation. Although not a statutory holiday per se, Manitoba and Nova Scotia observe Remembrance Day by requiring holiday pay, the closure of certain businesses on the morning of November 11, and a suspension of operations at open establishments to observe three minutes of silence at the 11 o’clock hour. With Remembrance Day now an official federal legal holiday, where does that leave Ontario and Quebec?

During the legislative debates, Members of Parliament made clear that the federal government could not mandate observance of Remembrance Day across Canada, but that the change to the federal act could function as a symbolic gesture and  a good opportunity for the outlier provinces to revisit how Remembrance Day is observed in their jurisdiction.

Given that significant amendments to Ontario’s labour and employment legislation were also recently enacted, it remains to be seen whether Ontario will revisit its approach to Remembrance Day this year or in the years to come.

By Stefanie Di Francesco and Alexis Lemajic (Articling Student)

A Cautionary Note

The foregoing provides only an overview and does not constitute legal advice. Readers are cautioned against making any decisions based on this material alone. Rather, specific legal advice should be obtained.

© McMillan LLP 2018

Related Publications (5 Posts)

Featured Insight

Supreme Court of Canada Confirms: CCAA Super-Priority Charges Rank Ahead of CRA’s Deemed Trusts

Canada v. Canada North Group Inc. provided much needed clarity regarding the order of priority for unremitted source deductions in restructuring proceedings.

Read More
Sep 17, 2021
Featured Insight

McMillan’s ESG Strategy Sessions

The COVID-19 pandemic and increased concerns over environmental and social issues, such as climate change and systemic racism, have prompted conversations throughout global capital markets.

Details
Wednesday, October 6, 2021
Featured Insight

Divisional Court confirms Environmental Significance of Ministerial Zoning Orders and Importance of Consultation under the Environmental Bill of Rights, 1993

Review of Divisional Court decision: Ontario’s compliance with Environmental Bill of Rights in passing Bill 197, particularly re: Ministerial Zoning Orders

Read More
Sep 13, 2021
Featured Insight

Federal Government Launches Consultations on Remedies Against Low-Priced Imports

A review of the stakeholder engagement process for proposed amendments to the Special Import Measures Act and the Canadian International Trade Tribunal Act

Read More
Sep 13, 2021
Featured Insight

Mandatory Mask Policy Does Not Breach Human Rights Act

Alberta's Human Rights Commission has dismissed a complaint alleging that Costco discriminated against a customer who refused to wear a mask or face shield.

Read More
Sep 9, 2021