Preamble: In Manitoba, a retail business that operates with fewer than four employees can be open on Sundays. Municipalities can pass a bylaw to allow Sunday and holiday shopping at larger retail businesses within their communities, but only between 12 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Many communities (Brandon, Portage la Prairie, Thompson and Winnipeg) have bylaws that allow Sunday shopping.
There is no question that since Sunday shopping was introduced in 1993 it has proven to be extremely popular with consumers in Manitoba.
Across Canada, more jurisdictions are moving toward either expanding Sunday shopping or eliminating an existing ban.
Resolution: That the Government of Manitoba amend the current legislation regarding retail hours on Sunday and allow all retail outlets to be open for business, at the discretion of the business owner, without government imposed restrictions.
The Manitoba Chambers of Commerce produces Resolution reports as part of its commitment to be accountable to its members. The reports are updated as matters unfold and have two components:
MCC Advocacy: Specific activities the MCC has done to help make this Resolution a reality.
Developments: All other information (e.g. government action, media coverage, reports) that relates to Resolution.
Advice, comments, and information sharing are welcome; simply enter a reply at the bottom of this post.
May 15, 2011: The 2011-2012 Resolutions were posted on the MCC website, listed as part of a comprehensive Report on AGM 2011 and then notice of this story was circulated through a news release as well as in an MCC E-Update which is sent to all MCC members, Media and Government.
June 22, 2011: Resolution books were sent to every MLA and every Member of Parliament that hails from Manitoba. The following had this Resolution specifically drawn to their attention with a detailed letter setting out the background to this issue, Government initiatives (where applicable), and an argument for the Resolution:
- The Minister of Entrepreneurship, Training and Trade
- The Minister of Labour and Immigration
August 17, 2011: The Honourable Jennifer Howard, Minister of Labour and Immigration, wrote to the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce on this issue.
Here is her response:
With regard to unrestricted Sunday shopping, as you are aware, our Government recently amended The Retail Business Holiday Closing Act to meet public and business demand for unrestricted shopping when Boxing Day falls on a Sunday. However, we also recognize that there is a strong public desire for more balance between work responsibilities and time for family. I do appreciate that pubic opinion on this issue continues to evolve, and we will take your views into account when we review the issue again.