To the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba:

The Retail Business Holiday Closing Act was assented in 1987. Since the introduction of this act, our culture and values have changed over time. Laws and regulations, in theory, represent the common beliefs of the population in a democratic society. We believe that these beliefs have changed over time and therefore the laws and regulations must be adapted. Foodfare received a $10,000 fine for opening on a statutory holiday. Yet, on the same day, liquor stores, casinos, cannabis dispensaries, and restaurants, were permitted to open.

On April 19th , 2019 we were informed by the Winnipeg Police Services that we must close our family owned and operated grocery stores, or face a $10,000 penalty. Over the course of a day, we have well over 1,000 customers. We decided to close, until we found out that cannabis dispensaries, liquor stores, pharmacies (that sell groceries) and casinos were permitted to open. To protest against this law, we decided to open our store. There was a clear demand for us to be open, based on the number of customers that visited us that day.

We petition the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba to make changes to the Retail Business Holiday Closing Act as follows:

  1.      Retail business owners be permitted to decide if they will remain open or closed on a statutory holiday.
  2.      This choice should be granted to small-medium sized businesses that are Manitoba owned and operated.
  3.      Employees within these businesses should have the choice to work or observe the holiday. If an employer forces an employee to work against their will on a statutory holiday, penalties should be enforced.
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