The letter to the left was published in the Markham Economist on Jan. 22, 2011. It's a response to my original letter (see Jan. 17) about the Retail Holiday Business Act. So I responded. I sent the note below to Bernie O'Neill (editor) at the Economist, and he did NOT publish it. The beauty of having a blog is that you can get the word out one way or another. So here is my response to the objection from Frances Jimenea of Markham.
Re: Holidays are for family, not grocery shopping (Jan. 22)
I offer my humble apologies to Frances Jimenea for having the temerity to suggest that businesses should be allowed to open on statutory holidays like Christmas or New Years.
Of course these are special holidays to Canadian families, and the Ontario government forces us to respect these days, whether we celebrate them or not. How is that fair and just?
Should we in Markham be grateful to the government for allowing the opening of the Pacific Mall to tourists on these special days? Are tourists more important than tax paying citizens? How is that fair and just?
The Retail Holiday Business Act has been applied, and police have charged one of the three offending businesses so far. In their defense I hope Foody Mart will use the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, an imperfect document to be sure, but nevertheless some parts are applicable. Those parts that guarantee freedom of belief and religion and equality before and under the law.
There is nothing more arbitrary than government prohibitions, especially those where there are no victims and no damage. This is such a case.
Take notice, citizens of Markham, your elected officials are, and have been, silent on this issue. Are you surprised?