Joshua Freeman, CP24 Web Writer
Premier Doug Ford says Ontario will mark the passing of Queen Elizabeth II as a provincial day of mourning on Monday, September 19, but the day will not be a statutory holiday in the province.
“This will give all Ontarians an opportunity to reflect on the remarkable life of Queen Elizabeth II and her unrelenting commitment to service and duty,” Ford said in a statement. “It also allows students to be in school learning about the many contributions the Queen made to the people of Ontario, Canada, and the entire Commonwealth, as well as the accession of King Charles III.”
Ford said Ontarians are welcome to observe a moment of silence at 1 p.m. on Sept. 19, when the queen’s state funeral will be held in London.
“We encourage all Ontarians to use this day to honour Her Majesty and pay tribute to the extraordinary legacy she leaves behind,” Ford said.
His statement follows an announcement by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier in the day that Sept. 19 will be a holiday for federal government employees to mark the queen’s passing.
“Declaring an opportunity for Canadians to mourn on Monday is going to be important,” Trudeau said.
Federal Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan clarified in a tweet that employers in federally regulated sectors, such as banking and air travel, are not required to observe a holiday but are welcome to do so.
Trudeau said each province will be able to determine how they will observe the day.
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) urged provinces not to declare a statutory holiday, saying that doing so on such short notice would hurt small businesses.
“With a six-day notice, it would be deeply unfair for small businesses and cost the economy billions,” CFIB President Dan Kelly claimed in a statement. “For many small businesses, such as restaurants, hotels and movie theatres, this would mean paying more in order to stay open.”
He said provinces “should follow the suit of the United Kingdom and leave Monday as a commemorative holiday with no requirement for businesses to close or pay in lieu.”
Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick plan to make Sept. 19 a statutory holiday for federal and provincial employees and schools will be closed. Quebec Premier Francois Legault said his province will have a day of commemoration, but not a holiday.
A plane carried Queen Elizabeth II’s body back to London Tuesday and crowds of mourners gathered to watch its procession to Buckingham Palace.
Yesterday Ontario Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell signed a proclamation of accession recognizing the late queen’s son, King Charles III as the new Monarch.
It was the first time that an accession proclamation was signed in Ontario since Queen Elizabeth II was recognized as the new monarch in 1952.
The accession of King Charles III has been proclaimed in Ontario.
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