Starting with the 2010 Olympics and the second Monday of February in future years
Vancouver (18 Nov. 2008) - The B.C. Federation of Labour is calling for a paid holiday on the first Monday of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics to honour Terry Fox. Thereafter, the day should become a permanent holiday on the second Monday of February, the federation says.
The idea has been put forward by federation president Jim Sinclair following suggestions by Olympic organizers that employers offer vacations to workers during the Olympics to reduce traffic congestion on streets and roads leading to Olympic venues.
|Terry Fox Statue, Parliament Hill, Ottawa|
Sinclair said B.C. lacks a winter holiday - unlike a growing number of other provinces - and the Olympics provide an opening to launch a new holiday to give citizens a break during the long winter period between New Year's Day and Easter.
"This would be an Olympic legacy, so everyone in B.C. will have a lasting benefit," Sinclair told the Vancouver Province.
He also said Terry Fox would be a good choice as a name for the holiday because of his inspiring cross-Canada run to raise awareness of cancer and because the late runner epitomized the Olympic spirit.
Since his death in 1980, Terry Fox runs have been held annually in Canada and around the world, raising hundreds of millions of dollars for cancer research.
Several provinces now recognize a holiday in February. Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario and observe Family Day on the third Monday in February. Manitoba honours Louis Riel - also in February.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE