News / Halifax

Online petition latest tool for N.S. MLA pushing for February holiday

As Haligonians head to work Monday morning, millions of other Canadians are relaxing with family enjoying the day off.

The third Monday in February is a statutory holiday for Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Prince Edward Island, and a Liberal MLA has created a petition for Nova Scotia to join their ranks. British Columbia also has a February holiday, but has it on the second Monday of the month.

“We only have so many tools that you can use to influence government or to call on them, and having a petition is one of (those),” said Diana Whalen, who represents the riding for Halifax-Clayton Park.

Whalen first introduced legislation for a February holiday to match Family Day in 2005, but the last three premiers have not supported it.

“You run out of things to do,” Whalen said Sunday. “I’ve written letters, I’ve called on various people to support it, and … we’re really hitting a brick wall.”

Although Whalen’s online petition won’t be formally introduced to the legislature, she said she can reference it as a measure of public opinion and call attention to it.

She said the petition was posted the middle of last week and has 452 signatures as of Sunday evening.

“It becomes a health and wellness issue. Winter is long, and people get run down at this time of year,” Whalen said about the need for a holiday.

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