Give'em a Break!
Feb 16, 2007
Manitobans deserve a break. At least, that’s the feeling of the Manitoba Government as it pertains to a new holiday in February. And if talk in the coffee shops and reaction on the supper hour news shows is any barometer, the vast majority of Manitobans agree.
Other provinces do it, and the sky hasn’t fallen in those jurisdictions. But if you listen to organizations like the Canadian Federation of Independent Business or the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, you’d think Armageddon was at hand and that this will sound the death knell for business once and for all. It won’t.
One can understand the dilemma, say, for companies who may have to pay their employees more to work on a holiday. But then again they have a year to figure the holiday into their plans now don’t they? And won’t other businesses find themselves with more business on a day when Manitobans have time on their hands to actually go out and do something? Won’t restaurants benefit? How about movie theatres? One wonders what they’re thinking about Family Day at places like the Manitoba Children’s Museum? How about shops, or grocery and department stores that may choose to stay open? Look at Festival du Voyageur…. Manitobans will brave the cold with friends and family if they’re given a good, fun reason.
Although some may simply view it as a day to stay home and avoid the cold, a great many Manitoba families will spend the day together doing something fun out there in the community – and inject some money into the local economy in the process. We didn’t see any quotes about that in the media.
So, what would it take to appease the business lobby doom and gloomers who are all too willing to dump on a winter holiday? You guessed it: tax cuts. Is there any malady out there today that couldn’t – at least in the eyes of these interest groups – be solved by the Holy Grail of more business tax cuts? Haven’t small business taxes fallen (which represent the vast majority of businesses in Manitoba) from 8% to 3% in the last few years?
Let’s just get on with the business of giving Manitobans a break during the brutal stretch between Christmas and Easter. It’s what the people want, and let’s not forget that they’re the ones who provide the skills and labour that make businesses profitable.
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