Family Day stirs emotions

Due to the choice of the word family, the emotions around the day may vary depending on the individual’s situation.

Family Day means sleeping in, an extra day with the family and taking in special festivities. But while many will be enjoying the new holiday, others may be faced with some painful emotions.

Robert Gifford, professor of psychology and environmental studies at the University of Victoria, recently “ranted” to his class about some of his Family Day concerns from a psychological perspective.

“I think a lot of people are going to be happy to break the long time between Christmas and Easter,” he said.

But due to the choice of the word family, the emotions around the day may vary depending on the individual’s situation.

“If you happen to live in a classic nuclear family, or close to your parents or grandchildren, it seems great to spend the day together. It’s a postcard holiday,” said Gifford.

The word family may be uncomfortable for those who live far away from their families, have a broken family or are estranged from their loved ones.

According to Gifford, the vision of happy families celebrating and enjoying the new holiday may leave those without, cringing slightly at the false or inappropriate promise inadvertently created.

Although Gifford is concerned with the literal meaning of the word, Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA Ida Chong said the term is intended to be more inclusive.

“When you talk about family, I think you refer to all your loved ones,” said Chong. “I don’t know if we could have called it a loved one holiday, that would have been pretty difficult.”

The new holiday is intended not only to provide a break for businesses and employees, but also to reinforce the importance of family.

“By calling it Family Day we will treasure and value the family. Whatever that is in everyone’s structure, people will spend time together with their loved ones,” Chong said.

The provincial government is also hoping the new holiday will provide an economic boost at a slow time of the year.

“I talked to people who said they were looking forward to it and planning to do a staycation,” Chong said. “Instead of going away, they are going to stay in town with their family and visit local tourist attractions, recreational activities or the special events planned. There will be money put back into the economy.”

Some B.C. workers who won’t be enjoying the day off are federal public sector employees.

According to the Public Service Alliance of Canada, their collective agreements provide for 11 designated paid holidays, including a day in the opinion of the employer to be a provincial or civic holiday.

Even though the Canadian Taxpayers Federation doesn’t have a formal position on Family Day, B.C. director Jordan Bateman said they oppose the $1.5 million being spent to promote the holiday.

“That takes it from being a holiday and puts it back in the realm of being a political issue and a vehicle paid for by the taxpayer to promote the premier and her agenda,” he said.

Bateman isn’t convinced there is a need for the new holiday, but he understands it was part of the premier’s campaign platform.

“If you have a holiday, let the private sector and other organizations do their thing.

“You don’t see us plowing grants into Easter Sunday or Christmas Day,” he said. “I think we all know how to enjoy a holiday. I don’t think that’s a problem. I also don’t think we need the government telling us how to enjoy time with our families.”

 

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich Police respond to petition for new police agency on Lindsay Buziak murder case

Petition asks Public Safety Minister to to help find justice for slain realtor

North Saanich man fears tougher moorage policies could cost him his home

Stewart Jackson has been living on a boat off Lillian Hoffar Park for about four years

Grave site at Ross Bay Cemetery vandalized overnight

Graffiti found on grave of Sir James Douglas

Thief robs Saanich liquor store at gunpoint, takes cash register

Police ask for public’s help with ongoing investigation

RCMP seek man who allegedly robbed Langford liquor store with a gun

Man described as six to six foot four tall, with slim build and light-coloured skin

POLL: Do you support the proposed changes for ICBC?

Tuesday’s provincial budget predicted a shift from shortfall to surplus in wake… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Health officials confirm sixth COVID-19 case in B.C.

Woman remains in isolation as Fraser Health officials investigate

Study says flu vaccine protected most people during unusual influenza season

Test-negative method was pioneered by the BC Centre for Disease Control in 2004

Saskatchewan and B.C. reach championship round at Scotties

British Columbia’s Corryn Brown locked up the last berth in Pool B

Resident discovers five discarded hog heads in Vancouver Island ditch

WARNING: Graphic image may be upsetting to some readers

Canadian Premier League announces 2020 home dates for eight-team circuit

Pacific FC hosts FC Edmonton on April 11 in Langford

B.C. lawyer, professor look to piloting a mental-health court

In November, Nova Scotia’s mental-health court program marked 10 years of existence

Most Read