No Sunday Shopping

Department of Justice

March 20, 2001 1:40 PM

Nova Scotia will continue to prohibit shopping on Sundays and
designated holidays. Justice Minister Michael Baker today advised
that retailers will be required to adhere to the conditions in
the Retail Business Uniform Closing Day Act.

"After much debate and discussion, we feel this is the right
decision for Nova Scotia," said Mr. Baker. "While there are some
individuals across the province who may not agree, in our view
there is no clear consensus on year-round Sunday openings."

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business recently
encouraged members to make their views known on the issue. The
vast majority of their members -- which includes the majority of
small and medium business operators -- indicated their desire to
maintain the status quo. Many workers in the retail sector have
also expressed their opposition to Sunday shopping, and their
concerns that there would be inadequate protection for those who
choose not to work.

Among those who expressed support for some form of deregulation,
opinions differ as to whether stores should remain open
year-round, from August to December, or just Sundays prior to
Christmas.

The Red Tape Reduction Task Force recommended that municipalities
be given the responsibility to regulate Sunday shopping. That
recommendation was rejected on several fronts. Many
municipalities expressed concerns that an uneven playing field
would be created, and there would be a negative impact on rural
communities should urban centres remain open. As well,
municipalities felt the issue should remain a provincial
responsibility. The province has agreed.

"We have made a decision," said Mr. Baker. “We intend to stick by
it. That is why we will not consider any legislative changes
until 2005. “It’s time the debate was brought to a conclusion."


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     Nova Scotia will continue to prohibit shopping on Sundays

and holidays. Justice Minister Michael Baker made the

announcement today.

     Mr. Baker advised that retailers will be required to adhere

to the conditions in the Retail Business Uniform Closing Day Act.

He also said the government will not consider any legislative

changes until 2005, and it is time the debate was brought to

an end.

- 30-

Contact: Michele McKinnon
         Department of Justice
         902-424-6811
         E-mail: mckinngm@gov.ns.ca

                                 nwc         March 20, 2001      1:31 P.M.