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Paul Hesse


by Rhonda Spivak

The Manitoba Liberals have proposed more flexible Sunday shopping hours.

"We believe businesses should be able to decide their own hours. Treating Sunday morning as off limits for shopping ' is really a holdover from the days when Sunday was considered a rest day for Christians," Paul Hesse, Liberal Candidate for Fort Rouge told the Winnipeg Jewish Review.

"We are a multi-cultural society and the current law doesn't let small retailers make a choice as to which are the most suitable hours for their businesses," Hesse added.


Currently in Winnipeg, pursuant toThe Retail Businesses Holiday Closing Act) retail businesses may only be open between 12:00 noon and 6:00pm on Sundays.

The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce has said that "Manitoba currently has the most restrictive retail hours in North America. The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce has had long-standing policy that Manitoba retailers should have the same ability to decide when they open based on consumer demand as retailers in other provinces do.”


As Hesse says, "This is simply about giving Manitobans more choice and added convenience. This legislation would not require operators to be open if they don’t wish to be on Sundays.

According to Hesse, the legislation would provide time for employees to attend religious services on Sundays. That right would be protected under human rights legislation.

"Currrently, the retail hours on Sunday are some of the busiest shopping hours of the week. Many Manitobans find it convenient to shop on Sundays. Giving retail operators the choice to set their own business hours is part of the Liberal plan to make life easier for Manitoba families.

"In British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut, there are no restrictions on Sunday shopping and stores can open 24/7 365 days a year. Nova Scotia permits any store to open every day of the year except Remembrance Day.In Quebec, Stores are only permitted to open between 8 a.m. 5 p.m. on weekends. In Prince Edward Island, Sunday shopping at most retail stores is permitted after 12 p.m. (without designated end time).According to polling conducted by the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce in October 2010,
63 percent of Manitobans support legislation allowing retail operators to set their own hours on Sundays."



Neither the Conservative party platform nor the NDP party platform comments on this issue.

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.