Monday, February 20, 2012

Family Day

Today was Family Day.  Alberta was the first province to have this February holiday, although many have followed the lead (Manitoba actually calls the day Louis Riel Day to honour their Father of Confederation but it still follows the logic of "we need a holiday weekend in February").  In Alberta the third Monday of February has been a "sort-of stat" [in that workplaces had the choice of taking this holiday or the civic holiday at the beginning of August so it was not automatically adding in another day off to the year--largely to appease the business lobby] since 1990.  For example, we had mail delivery today.

Mind you in Alberta all stores are allowed to remain open on a stat holiday, and most choose to do so.  Is that a Family Day activity?  OTOH, I hear about more organized Family Day activities now then I remember when I last lived in the province 13 years ago.  So maybe the idea of a holiday to get families together (unless one or more of them is required to work of course) is catching on.

LAst week I read this article.  It speaks to the mixed message of family day in an economy that so often pushes people into workaholism.  It also questions how family friendly Alberta really is--without even getting into the question of why the richest province in Canada has such an abominably high rate of child poverty.

So is Family Day all hype about the importance of family with little to back that up in the rest of the year?  After 22 years I am still not sure.  ALthough I do remember a degree of suspicion that Don Getty was using the holiday as something of a distraction from other issues when he first announced it.

But I did avoid working today.  And even when I went to the church to do a bit of stuff the girls went with me to "help".

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