Aside from noticing that the malls were small and there’s nothing much to do and see in them, one of the the things that I complained when I came to Winnipeg in 2009 is the weekend hours of the malls and shopping centres. Back then, there were establishments that are closed on Sundays, Polo Park Shopping Centre and Real Canadian Superstore open at noon and close at 6 p.m. In the Philippines we have giant shopping malls that are open from morning until 10 p.m. even on Sundays and holidays, you could say that we Filipinos are crazy about shopping but these shopping malls are among the top 10 reasons why I will always be proud to say that it is more fun in the Philippines, hence, I was disappointed when I learned that there’s very short shopping hours on weekend here in Winnipeg.
Manitoba, has some of the most restrictive Sunday-shopping rules in Canada, retailers in Ontario and Quebec are able to set their own Sunday-shopping hours, the same goes with Alberta and in provinces west of Manitoba. In fact, Manitoba has actually come a long way since 1992 wherein stores can only be open Sunday if they were staffed by no more than four workers, then in 1993, a law was passed allowing shopping from noon to 6 p.m. In 2012, the government passed another law in 2012, extending stores hours, reason why most Manitoba retailers can open on Sundays between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. at present.
News spreading Manitoba government hinting about the idea of expanded Sunday shopping draw various reactions from people on social media. There are people who are happy and are excited about the news of free enterprise while there were some who are unhappy about it and felt that freedom to shop whenever you want is a very low kind of freedom. The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce who has been pushing for expanded Sunday shopping is optimistic that the Progressive Conservative government will be open to allow Sunday evening shopping. Accordingly, the extended Sunday hours will give storefronts in the province to better compete with online retailers who can operate around the clock. Retail workers on the other hand, seems to oppose the proposed changes as they feel that this will take away their well-deserved evening off to rest and spend the time with their family.
I am not a retailer nor a retail worker, I am not really sure how should I feel about this news. In the beginning of this post, I already mentioned that I was disappointed with the short hours of shopping on Sundays, but, come to think of it, I already survived almost 8 years of doing my grocery shopping on Saturdays or Mondays and my husband and I have somehow set an unspoken rule that Sunday is our “family day.”
What do you think of the extended Sunday shopping hours?
Employment Standards, Sunday and Holiday Shopping Hours, retrieved August 15, 2016.
PCs flexible on changing Sunday shopping rules, retrieved August 15, 2016.
Manitoba government hints at longer Sunday shopping hours, retrieved August 15, 2016.
Sunday shopping hours to be extended in Manitoba, retrieved August 15, 2016.