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Manitoba declares day of mourning for Queen, stops short of holiday

Manitoba has declared a day of mourning and will close provincial government offices after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declared Monday a federal holiday to mark the death of Queen Elizabeth.

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Manitoba has declared a day of mourning and will close provincial government offices after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declared Monday a federal holiday to mark the death of Queen Elizabeth.

All non-essential government services and offices will be shut down Monday, the provincial government announced in a news release late Tuesday.

Schools and child-care facilities will remain open.

“The health-care system will continue to operate as usual,” the news release said.

It did not say if Monday’s day of mourning will impact services offered by Manitoba Crown corporations, such as liquor marts and Manitoba Public Insurance.

The holiday

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has declared Sept. 19 a federal holiday to mourn Queen Elizabeth on the day of her state funeral in London.

Some provinces have announced their own plans, while others were taking their time. But with less than a week to prepare, businesses and employees are trying to make sense of what it means for them.

Here’s what we know so far:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has declared Sept. 19 a federal holiday to mourn Queen Elizabeth on the day of her state funeral in London.

Some provinces have announced their own plans, while others were taking their time. But with less than a week to prepare, businesses and employees are trying to make sense of what it means for them.

Here’s what we know so far:

What did the federal government announce?

The prime minister announced on Tuesday that Sept. 19 will be a federal holiday.

All federal government employees will have the day off, but the same does not automatically apply to workers in federally regulated industries such as banks and airlines.

The federal government left the decision to follow suit to individual provinces and territories.

What are the different types of holidays in Canada?

Canada has nine designated paid statutory holidays at the federal level. In addition, the federal government also recognizes Remembrance Day and the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, which are not paid days off across Canada. Provinces also have their own local provincial or civic holidays, such as Family Day.

What have provinces/territories decided about Sept. 19?

P.E.I.: The province has declared the day a one-time statutory holiday for all provincially regulated workers. Government offices and public schools will be closed.

Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador: The provinces will close schools and government offices, but the holiday will be optional for private-sector businesses and employers.

Ontario: The province will not recognize the day as a holiday, saying people can instead observe a moment of silence at 1 p.m.

Quebec: The province will not recognize the day as a holiday.

Manitoba: The province will close all non-essential government services and offices for the day, but schools and child-care facilities will be open.

Saskatchewan: The province will not recognize the day as a holiday.

The Canadian Press

Monday will be a holiday for federal employees and those in federally regulated industries, including banks, airlines and federal Crown corporations. It was up to provincial and territorial governments to determine whether they declared the holiday for other workplaces and schools.

Premier Heather Stefanson encouraged schools to observe a moment of silence on Monday when the Queen’s state funeral takes place in London. She also suggested Manitobans take time to reflect on the Queen’s special relationship with Manitoba.

“Queen Elizabeth II had a remarkable reign and an unwavering commitment to service and duty,” Stefanson said in the news release.

The day of mourning for the Queen, who died Thursday at 96, won’t be a quiet one, however.

A 21-gun salute will take place on the south grounds of the Manitoba Legislative Building, to coincide with the federal memorial service in Ottawa. It will be followed by a royal gun salute of 96 rounds to honour each year of the Queen’s life.

Church bells will toll 96 times prior to the provincial memorial service. The invitation-only service takes place at 7 p.m. at St. John’s Anglican Cathedral in Winnipeg.

The public, meanwhile, can sign books of condolence during the period of mourning at the legislature and at city halls in Winnipeg, Steinbach and Thompson.

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

The flags fly at half mast outside of the Manitoba Legislative Building in Winnipeg.

Manitoba’s decision not to declare Monday a provincial holiday echoed plans unveiled earlier in the day by Ontario and Quebec.

Ontario announced Tuesday it will hold a day of mourning with schools and businesses remaining open. A statement from Premier Doug Ford’s office invited Ontarians to observe a moment of silence at 1 p.m. Monday.

Quebec Premier François Legault told reporters that Monday would be a day of commemoration in Quebec, but not a public holiday.

The Maritime provinces plan to be more observant.

Prince Edward Island announced one-time statutory holiday for all provincially regulated workers, with schools and government offices closed.

Nova Scotia and New Brunswick say they will observe the national day of mourning by closing schools and government offices, but the holiday will be optional for private-sector businesses and employers.

In the U.K., Monday is a national bank holiday, meaning workers are not entitled to time off. “Employers may include bank holidays as part of a worker’s leave entitlement,” according to the U.K. government’s website.

MARCO BERTORELLO / POOL VIA ASSOCIATED PRESS

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II in the royal hearse travels to Buckingham Palace in London on Tuesday.

In Canada, there are 12 designated paid holidays at the federal level. Federal holidays that are not a paid day off in all provinces include Remembrance Day and the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, which is Sept. 30.

Manitoba has eight statutory holidays that employees either have off with pay, or are paid differently if they work: New Year’s Day, Louis Riel Day, Good Friday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, Labour Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

Manitoba Chambers of Commerce president Chuck Davidson said there are different ways to recognize the Queen’s death, as there are with Sept. 30, which has not yet been declared a Manitoba holiday.

Holding staff training and information sessions are the kinds of things that can be done “rather than just saying, ‘Well, everybody’s got the day off’ and it doesn’t really have that kind of significance that you’re hoping it’s going to have,” Davidson said Tuesday.

— with files from The Canadian Press

carol.sanders@freepress.mb.ca

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

The flags fly at half mast outside of the Manitoba Legislative Building in Winnipeg.

Carol Sanders

Carol Sanders
Legislature reporter

After 20 years of reporting on the growing diversity of people calling Manitoba home, Carol moved to the legislature bureau in early 2020.

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