North York Mirror
Imagine that. All these years I thought Canada Day was July 1.
You too, I'm guessing. After all, that's what we learned in school. But apparently, we were misinformed.
What we should have been taught is that Canada Day is July 1, MOST of the time. However, every once in awhile Canada Day is July 2.
Like this year, for example. You can look it up. It's in the federal Holidays Act.
For those of you who don't keep a copy handy on the bookshelf, according to said Act, in years when July 1 falls on a Sunday, July 1 is not Canada Day. On those occasions, Canada Day is legally Monday, July 2.
It seems I have been in violation of this act several times during the course of my life because I've always made a point of doing all my Canada Day observing on July 1. My bad. Shame on me.
Apparently I'm not alone when it comes to Canada Day observing violations.
I just googled "Things to do on Canada Day 2012 in Toronto" and all I saw listed were events for Sunday. I didn't see any for Monday. Tsk, tsk.
What's thrown us all for a loop is we've been taught Canada Day, once known as Dominion Day, was a national holiday to commemorate July 1, 1867, the day on which Canada became a new federation with its own constitution.
But it's not just the anniversary of confederation that has to be taken into account after all. There is something else that must be considered when deciding what day Canada Day falls upon, something which none of us learned about in school: holiday stat pay.
And you can look up that little tidbit in your provincial Employment Standards Act and Regulations.
For those of you who don't keep a copy of it on the bookshelf either, according to said Act, holiday stat pay is awarded by businesses to compensate employees for wages lost for having to be off work on statutory holidays.
But the thing is, the government doesn't like businesses to give holiday stat pay to their employees for Sundays, a day which most, but not all, already have off. It likes them to give stat pay for week days only.
So, any time July 1 falls on a Sunday, Canada Day stat pay is deferred to the next day, Monday, which also becomes a day off. In short, that means both federal and provincial bodies agree that Canada Day is July 2 in years such as this one.
So it has to be true, right? I mean, when was the last time they ever agreed on anything?
Anyhow, I just thought I'd give you a heads up. I know with Canada Day around the proverbial corner that you're no doubt already getting into serious observing mode and I wanted you to have all your observing ducks in a row.
So happy Canada Day, everyone. And happy observing. Observe away to your little heart's content. Just make darn sure that none of it takes place until July 2.
Because if I catch any of you observing on July 1, well, I'm afraid I'll have no choice but to make a citizen's arrest.
Jamie Wayne is a lifelong columnist, who takes writing very seriously. The topics? Not so much. His column appears every Thursday. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org