Shopping Hours

Toronto City Council voted to continue to force stores to close on holidays, thus ensuring that pointless laws continue to be upheld. This sort of law goes back to religious laws which prohibit certain activities (typically working) on certain days. These days, especially in a city like Toronto, not everyone is the same religion (or even religious) and these types of laws are silly and antiquated.

Frankly there's no reason why stores shouldn't be allowed to be opened all day, all night, every day. Shoppers Drug Mart is already open every single day; why are they allowed to keep their doors open when Chapters is not? There is simply no good reason to force stores to close. Workers can be protected by laws allowing them to have a certain number of days OFF WORK (not just "off work or paid extra") and or laws allowing them to have a certain number of religious holidays at specified times. Some people I know didn't work Sundays even though everyone else on their project was working 14h/day every day, because these people asked for a religious exemption. There's no reason the same sorts of things can't be done for everyone. If you want to protect workers, fine, but let the workers take part in their own protection.

Lots of people don't mind working Christmas day (or Easter or any of the other mandatory holidays) because they want the extra money. There's no reason they should be forced to not work, because someone in the government feels everyone should have a "day off".

The other argument against allowing all of Toronto to be open for all days of the year was that other municipalities don't have the legal authority to enact the same law. Guess what? The Ontario government can't fine the whole province, and if every city enacted the same bylaw allowing stores to open whenever they wanted, the provincial government would cave.

(Note: I originally wrote this when the article was fresh then forgot to post it, but was reminded when I remembered that the Eaton Centre was closed Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Those are two of the only three days in the whole year that it closes. However other stores in the city don't get to be open even that long. Not to mention that many places have restrictions on what HOURS a store can be open. This doesn't actually ensure that everyone gets the night off, though, because lots of store have night-staff that work all night getting the store ready for the next day.)

1 comment:

raps_388 said...

Well this new shopping hour law is a lot better than 10 years ago. Back then you couldn't even open on Sundays at all. For most store owners it was deal breaker due to the shorten week. There is one thing that you can say about Bob Rae, he at least abolished the "you must close on Sunday" law.