Public holidays in Canada

Public holidays in Canada

In Canada, public holidays are legislated at the national, provincial and territorial levels. Many of these holidays are observed nationwide, but each province and territory does have its own holidays as well.

While major Christian holidays such as Christmas and Good Friday are officially observed, other religious holidays are widely accepted as well (see Multiculturalism). For example, some school children and employees take days off for Jewish holidays, Muslim holidays, or Eastern Orthodox observances according to the Julian calendar. While not normally taken off work, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day and Hallowe'en are traditionally observed by Canadians.

tatutory holidays

A statutory holiday (also known as "general" or "public" holiday) in Canada is legislated either through the federal, or a provincial or territorial government.cite web | title=Work Rights - Statutory Holidays | url= | publisher=Canadian Labour Congress | date=2007-01-17 | accessdate=2008-03-23] Most workers, public and private, are entitled to take the day off with regular pay. However, some employers may require employees to work on such a holiday, but the employee must be paid at a premium rate — usually 1½ (known as "time and a half") or twice (known as "double time") the regular pay for their time worked that day, in addition to the holiday pay (except for high technology workers in British Columbia). [cite web | url= | title=High Technology Professionals and High Technology Companies in British Columbia Fact Sheet | publisher=Government of BC, Labour & Citizens' Services, Employment Standards Branch | date=2007-05-18 | accessdate=2008-03-23] In most provinces, when a statutory holiday falls on a normal day off (generally a weekend), the following work day is considered a statutory holiday.

Nationwide statutory holidays in Canada

Provincial and territorial holidays

Provinces and territories generally adopt the same holidays as the federal government with some variations:


* - 5 nationwide and 4 provincial statutory holidays and 3 "optional holidays" [ [ General Holidays and General Holiday Pay in Alberta] ]
** New Year's Day - January 1
** Alberta Family Day - third Monday in February
** Good Friday - Friday before Easter.
** Easter Monday - an "optional holiday"
** Victoria Day - last Monday before or on May 24
** Canada Day - July 1, except when it falls on a Sunday, then it is July 2.
** Heritage Day - first Monday of August; an "optional holiday"
** Labour Day - First Monday in September
** Thanksgiving - second Monday in October
** Remembrance Day - November 11
** Christmas Day - December 25
** Boxing Day - December 26 (an "optional holiday")

British Columbia

* - 5 nationwide and 4 provincial statutory holidays [ [ Public Holidays in British Columbia] ] Boxing Day is not a statutory holiday.
** Victoria Day - last Monday before or on May 24
** British Columbia Day - first Monday of August
** "'Thanksgiving
** Remembrance Day


* - 5 nationwide and 3 provincial statutory holidays and 2 optional holidays. [ [ Manitoba Retail Businesses Holiday Closing Act] ] Remembrance Day and Boxing Day are not a statutory holiday.
** Louis Riel Day - third Monday in February
** Victoria Day
** Civic Holiday -
** Remembrance Day - an "Official day of Observance", not a statutory holiday [ [ Paid Statutory Holidays in Employment Standards Legislation] ] ;

New Brunswick

* - 5 nationwide and 2 provincial statutory holidays. [ Statutory Holidays - New Brunswick] ] Victoria Day, Thanksgiving, and Boxing Day are not statutory holidays.
** New Brunswick Day - first Monday in August
** Remembrance Day

Newfoundland and Labrador

* - 5 nationwide and 3 provincial statutory holidays [cite web | title=Shops' Closing Regulations, C.N.L.R. 1115/96 | url=] . Thanksgiving is not a statutory holiday. Canada Day is co-celebrated with Memorial Day.
** Victoria Day"'
** Remembrance Day"'
** Boxing Day"'
** St. Patrick's Day (March 17), St. George's Day (April 23), Discovery Day (June 24) and Orangemen's Day (July 12) have not been observed as statutory holidays since 1992. They are, however, observed by the provincial government.

Unlike most other provinces, there is no province-wide holiday on the first Monday in August. It may be seen as redundant due to the Royal St. John's Regatta, which is observed as a civic holiday in St. John's on the first Wednesday in August (or, in case of poor weather, the next suitable day thereafter). Harbour Grace has a similar holiday for its regatta in late July. All other municipalities are entitled to designate one day a year as a civic holiday, however many do not take advantage of this.

Northwest Territories

* - 5 national holidays, 3 territorial holidays
** National Aboriginal Day - June 21
** Civic Holiday - First Monday in August
** Thanksgiving

Nova Scotia

* - 5 holidays. Victoria Day, Thanksgiving, Boxing Day and Remembrance Day are not statutory holidays.
** Remembrance Day - not a statutory holiday, in that employers have the option of giving Remembrance Day or an alternate day off. [cite web | url= | title=Remembrance Day Act | publisher=Office of the Legislative Counsel, Nova Scotia House of Assembly | accessdate=2008-03-23]
** Natal Day - first Monday in August; not a statutory holiday but a common day off.


* - 5 nationwide and 4 territorial statutory holidays. Boxing Day is not a statutory holiday.
** Victoria Day
** Nunavut Day - July 9, originated as a paid holiday for Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated and regional Inuit associations. It became a ½ day holiday for Government employees in 1999 and a full day in 2001. Most employers give the day off with the notable exceptions being the Federal Government and the North West Company. Not a statutory holiday.
** Civic Holiday - first Monday in August.
** Thanksgiving
** Remembrance Day


* - 5 nationwide and 4 provincial statutory holidays plus one common municipal holiday. Remembrance Day is not a statutory holiday in Ontario.
** Family Day - third Monday in February (Effective 2008)
** Victoria Day
** August Civic Public Holiday - first Monday in August. Employees get full pay on this day, as long as they have worked their regular hours before the holiday, and return to their regular hours after the holiday. This is not a statutory holiday, and provincially regulated employers are not required to treat this as a holiday. []
** Thanksgiving
** Boxing Day

Prince Edward Island

* - 5 nationwide and 1 provincial statutory holiday. Thanksgiving, and Boxing Day are not statutory holidays.
** Natal Day - first Monday in August; not a statutory holiday. Some provincial employees get a holiday around the Gold Cup and Saucer harness race instead.
** Remembrance Day


* - 5 nationwide and 3 provincial statutory holidays. Remembrance Day and Boxing Day are not statutory holidays, and there is no Civic Holiday in August. Many of the specific details of employment law are quite different in Quebec.
** Employers must give either Good Friday or Easter Monday as a statutory holiday, though most give both days.
** Victoria Day coincides with National Patriotes Day.
** "Fête Nationale" (St. John the Baptist Day) - June 24
** Thanksgiving
** Construction Holiday takes place during the last two weeks of July — while it applies officially only to the construction industry, many other Quebecers arrange to take their vacations during these two weeks.


* - 5 nationwide and 5 provincial statutory holidays
** Family Day - third Monday in February
** Victoria Day
** Saskatchewan Day - first Monday in August. Celebration of Saskatchewan history and culture similar to Canada Day.
** Thanksgiving
** Remembrance Day


* - 5 nationwide and 4 territorial statutory holidays
** Victoria Day
** Discovery Day - third Monday in August
** Thanksgiving
** Remembrance Day

Many employers give their employees days off that may not be statutory holidays in the particular province, particularly Boxing Day. Similarly, many federally regulated employees may also take Easter Monday and the first Monday in August.

Municipal holidays

Some municipalities also have local statutory holidays. For instance, the morning of the Stampede Parade is often given as a half-day holiday in the city of Calgary. In Ontario, the August Civic Holiday is not defined provincially, but by each municipality.

Civic holidays

In Canada, there are two definitions of the term "civic holiday":

Legal definition

By law, a civic holiday is defined as any holiday which is legally recognized and for which employers are obliged to offer holiday pay.

The August Civic Holiday

In parts of Canada, the term "Civic Holiday" is a generic name referring to the annual holiday on the first Monday of August. However, this definition is far from uniform nationwide as two provinces and one territory do not recognize it at all, and five other provinces do not oblige employers to offer holiday pay on this day, thus making it a civic holiday in the legal sense. No universal name is recognized for this holiday — the official name varies between the provinces and even between municipalities within Ontario.

This holiday is commonly referred to as "August Long Weekend" but this is not a government term.

Proposed holidays

In recent years there has been a call for the Canadian government to recognize St. Patrick's Day as a national holiday. Currently it is a holiday only for provincial government employees in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The other leading candidate for a new holiday is a weekend in February to celebrate the anniversary of the Canadian flag, or more likely a general "Heritage Day". February 15 is already designated as Flag Day, but this is simply a day of commemoration, not a statutory holiday.

The major Canadian breweries have long lobbied for a holiday in June.

Some Canadians believe that the country does not have enough holidays (in comparison to the United States and the United Kingdom. Although these nations have about the same number of nationally recognized holidays, they generally receive more days off workFact|date=May 2008 and school). Proposals for more work holidays are strongly opposed by many employers, however.

In the province of Nova Scotia, due to a relative lack of days off, there has been debate over the introduction of a statutory holiday in the month of February. However, no action has been taken so far.

Holidays occurring on non-work days

If a holiday occurs on a day that is normally not worked, then "... another day off with pay will be provided." There are some exceptions, however. In Alberta, an employee is not entitled to compensation if a holiday falls on a non-work day, which some believe to be in contravention of the Canada Labour Code.Fact|date=March 2008

There are also specific laws pertinent to St-Jean-Baptiste day in Québec.

Other observances

* Commonwealth Day on the second Monday in March. This has been observed as a holiday in some Commonwealth countries.
* Earth Day on April 22
* National Aboriginal Solidarity Day on June 21
* Canadian Multiculturalism Day on June 27
* National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women on December 6
* Mother's Day on 2nd Sunday of May
* Father's Day on 3rd Sunday of June
* National Family Week -- week before Canadian Thanksgiving


External links

* [ Public Holidays]
* [ Holidays in provinces and territories]
* [ Alberta General Holidays and General Holiday Pay]
* [ Statutory Holidays in British Columbia]
* [ Statutory Holidays in Quebec]
* [ Ontario public holidays]

every one likes the i wanna rock holiday

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Public holidays in Mexico — In Mexico, public holidays are legislated at the national, state and municipal levels. These holidays are celebrated nationwide. Additionally, each city, state and/or region may have its own holidays. Contents 1 Holidays 2 Statutory holidays 3… …   Wikipedia

  • Public holidays in Nicaragua — Life in Nicaragua Art Cinema Cuisine Cul …   Wikipedia

  • Canada Day — Children watch the Canada Day parade in Montreal Also called Fête du Canada; previously named Dominion Day Observed by Can …   Wikipedia

  • CANADA — CANADA, country in northern half of North America and a member of the British Commonwealth. At the beginning of the 21st century, its population of approximately 370,000 Jews made it the world s fourth largest Jewish community after the United… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Public broadcasting in New Zealand — has undergone many changes since the first radio broadcast on 17 November 1921.RadioProfessor Robert Jack made the first broadcast from the University of Otago physics department on 17 November 1921. [cite… …   Wikipedia

  • Canada — This article is about the country. For other uses, see Canada (disambiguation). Canada …   Wikipedia

  • Public information film — Public Information Films (known as PIFs) are a series of government commissioned short films, shown during television advertising breaks in the UK. The US equivalent is the Public Service Announcement (PSAs). ubjectsThe films advised the public… …   Wikipedia

  • Canada Labour Code — The Canada Labour Code is an Act of Parliament of the Canadian government to consolidate certain statutes respecting labour. The objective of the code is to facilitate production by controlling strikes lockouts, occupational safety and health,… …   Wikipedia

  • List of holidays by country — Contents 1 Afghanistan 2 Albania 3 Algeria 4 Andorra …   Wikipedia

  • Outline of Canada — The National Flag of Canada …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.