Saturday, May 08, 2010


According to the Toronto Star and Toronto Life, the economic committee of the city of Toronto voted five to one in favour of allowing retailers to open on Christmas Day. Councillor Kyle Rae says that, “On Christmas Day, I spend my time in a movie theatre. It’s a great time… Family isn’t always a good thing.” (By the way, the councillor for Ward 27, Toronto Centre-Rosedale isn’t running again. Funny, that.)
This idea is wrong on so many levels, but I’ll attempt to list them.
  • It businesses cost money to stay open and pay their staff stat holiday pay, which is taxable.

  • Businesses are unlikely to hire new staff to work stat holidays, which would incur more employment taxes.

  • Current staff would be “strongly encouraged” to work Christmas.

  • If they protest, then they “aren’t a team player,” “person X has kids,” “you’re single, so you don’t what else are you going to do,” “you’re not religious, are you?”

  • Sunday shopping was supposed to take up the slack and offer jobs to the unemployed. Didn’t work out that way.

  • People for whom part-time retail is one of a number of jobs they have to make ends meet deserve at least one day off a year to rest. It has nothing to do with religion.

  • Having one day off a year that doesn’t entail shopping does in fact make us civilized. Consumption and gluttony are not hallmarks of sophistication.

  • In Ontario, the Liberals enacted “Family Day” as a day in bleak February for people to be with their kin. (I think it was more a cynical election ploy, but I digress.) Great! Wonderful! So now we’re being greedy in wanting to keep Christmas Day(or to be secular about it, December 25) a day off to be with our families?

  • If we’re like Rae and dislike our families, we can take the day off and be with friends, or volunteer at shelter, or simply rest. Not work. Not produce. Not consume.

    • Remember that this does not apply to banks, government, offices, and other white-collar middle-class employers. This is largely non-unionized service: restaurants, cafes, shops, bars, and so on.

    I’m sure there are many more arguments to be made.
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