Thursday, January 31, 2008

Family Day, Schmamily Day

When Dalton McGuinty was campaigning for a 2nd term as Ontario Premier, one of his campaign promises was to add a new provincial holiday in February, the so-called Family Day. From the outset, the idea irked me, mostly because I just saw it as a cheap bribe on his part to get Ontarians to vote the Liberals in for a 2nd term. Not that I was against having the Liberals in for a 2nd term. I certainly didn't want John Tory's Progressive Conservatives in power. Waaaaaaaaaay too right-wing for my taste. And Howard Hampton's NDPs are just not taken too seriously. But I digress...

Good old Dalton and his Liberals were elected for a 2nd term (what a relief!), and his first duty when he returned to office was to make Family Day an official provincial holiday. Easy enough promise to keep. Unfortunately, Dalton didn't really think of the ramifications of such a decision. Namely: COMPANIES ARE TOO CHEAP TO ADD ON ANOTHER PROVINCIAL HOLIDAY. That's right. And I'm not talking about the small companies either. I'm talking about big players. Here are just two of the ways in which the Little Guy is getting screwed by The Man:

  1. Give Family Day, but at a price
    Family Day comes at a steep price for these companies. If you happen to be "lucky" enough to get Family Day added to your corporate holiday calendar, it means that you're being screwed over elsewhere. From what I've seen, the price being paid is that you get a floater day taken away from you. Personally, that annoys me, because I like to take my floater days at Christmas, since I only get a paltry 3 weeks of vacation per year to begin with. This extra floater days lets me take a full week off at Christmastime. And now, no floater day = shorter Christmas holidays. Not cool.

  2. Don't give Family Day, period
    This kind of sucks too. It's like being dangled the forbidden fruit. It's like being told "Everyone else gets to have it, but you don't. Sorry, buddy." Not cool.

I think it's safe to say that we were better off without Family Day. Neither of the above two scenarios is terribly attractive. The only thing that this holiday is good for is pissing people off. Unless you work for some awesomely-Utopian company, one of the above two will happen to you. If you happen to work for a company that doesn't give Family Day, then that means you're a bit screwed if you're a working parent with small kids. Junior will get the day off from school, but who will take care of junior that day? You're working, remember?

So Dalton, if you're going to add on a new provincial holiday, can you do it properly instead of doing it half-assed? It's just going to annoy the crap out of everyone. Yeah, thanks a lot, Dalton. Thanks for a whole heap of nothing.

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