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Open letter to the Nova Scotia legislature: Close stores at 4 PM on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve

Note: An earlier version of this article included a photo that suggested stores are open on Boxing Day. This is not the case in Nova Scotia.

To Premier Stephen McNeil, Gary Burrill ,Tim Houston and all the MLAs in the legislature

A lot of debate is happening with the mainstream media and our government about the climate emergency that we are in. 

As many of you know, I’m still requesting that the Nova Scotia government pass legislation closing stores down at 4 pm on both Christmas Eve and New Years Eve.  Click on this link to the petition  .

This makes sense more than ever now since we are in a climate crisis. Stores have their lights on seven days and seven nights a week, that burns fossil fuels. It’s no different than plastic being an issue. By scaling back store hours on both Christmas Eve and New Years Eve at 4 pm, we can reduce the lights and give employees some much needed and deserved time home with their families. 

Stores also have freezer and dairy lights that go off as well. All levels of government are off between Christmas and New Years. Before the last election over at the Best Western I had the opportunity to ask Minister Mark Furey a question about legislation closing stores down on both Christmas Eve and New Years Eve at 4 pm. The response I got was amazing. He came back to me with this nonsense about it being a corporate world. Hello? Seriously? A corporate world, this is the reason to keep these places open? To deny workers time off over the holidays, this reasoning is preposterous. All levels of government are off, you cannot get a mechanic or go to a lawyer, dentist, etc. 

This is all so unfair. Last night on the news there were more calls for a Four day work week. I don’t see any of the media or government promoting Christmas Eve or New Years Eve as time for families to be together, but they are promoting a four day work week.  

There is something that I honestly don’t get. Who advertises with the mainstream media? Little Joe on the street giving an opinion or Wally world with amazing amounts of cash? 

I can promise you opinions of little people are not heard when it goes against corporate controlled interests. So I get it, little Joe doesn’t have the money, so he doesn’t get heard. This would be the situation that I face and a good amount of people who speak out about issues in this country. 

The horrible part about this corporate control that they have over the mainstream media is that the general public can not decide whether or not they agree with Joe or not. This is just as unhealthy to have a government that continues to be spoon fed by corporate welfare, who’s bottom line it is to take advantage of low income people in retail stores. 

I can see through the cloud of smoke. Seriously, I’m asking all MLA’s and our premier Stephen McNeil to not only respond to me, but to improve our quality of life in this province. We are Nova Scotians just like you people are. When I hear this nonsense about voting and how important it is, I ask each and everyone of you today if it’s a corporate world, why would we want to vote?  

Another slap in the face is the people who have fallen for this country so little people like Joe can have a voice, but get ignored as the mainstream media doesn’t want to lose out on sales. So his voice doesn’t get heard. 

Is this the kind of Canada you want to support and continue supporting? We need a green new deal that gives us equal responsibility with our wages and time off. Our mental and physical well being is extremely important. I’m asking again and again…to the Nova Scotia government. Please take a stand and legislate store closures on both Christmas Eve and New Years Eve at 4 pm and update labor standards with protections giving the workers the right to refuse to work these shifts. 

If this is passed, workers must have protections in place to protect them even when stores are closed. If we can’t care for one another, how are we ever going to care about saving this planet?

Yours truly,

Tony Lohnes 

See also: I’ll be home (late) for Christmas: Working retail on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve

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  1. All businesses other than essential services should close at 4 p.m. on Christmas eve and New Years Eve. If people cannot get what they have to get done before that time too bad….W.McInnis

    1. Agree with Boll McInnis! And to go one step further, pay them til 5 and close down at 4!
      Employees will be happy and businesses will save on utilities!!!

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