News release

Nova Scotians Reject Sunday Shopping

Nova Scotians have said no to more Sunday shopping.

In a binding, provincewide plebiscite held on Saturday, Oct. 16, with 49 of 55 municipalities reporting, the unofficial total provincial vote opposed to Sunday shopping was 55 per cent.

Unofficial results on the ballot's first question -- should there be Sunday shopping (in retail businesses not now permitted to be open on Sunday) -- are: 98,726 No (55 per cent) 81,110 Yes (45 per cent)

"I want to thank Nova Scotians for voting on this important public policy issue," said Justice Minister Michael Baker. "Our government made the commitment to let Nova Scotians decide the Sunday shopping issue, and today the majority made its collective choice clear. Sunday shopping will remain as it is now -- governed by the Retail Business Uniform Closing Day Act."

Results of the second question are:
If there is to be Sunday shopping (in retail businesses not now permitted to be open on Sunday), should it be: (66,011) on every Sunday ( 45 per cent) (81,146) on only the six Sundays immediately before Christmas? (55 per cent)

"I also want to extend my appreciation to municipalities throughout Nova Scotia," said Mr. Baker. "We appreciate their hard work in helping co-ordinate our plebiscite with local municipal and school board elections."

Official voting results from each municipality will be released next week.

The Retail Business Uniform Closing Day Act is enforced by local law enforcement agencies and the public prosecution service.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Nova Scotians have said no to more Sunday shopping.

In a binding, provincewide plebiscite held on Saturday (October 16th), 55 per cent of Nova Scotians voted not to expand Sunday shopping. The unofficial results, with 49 of 55 municipalities reporting as of early Sunday morning, (October 17th), show that almost 99- thousand voters chose to continue limiting shopping on Sundays.

Justice Minister Michael Baker says the majority's wishes are clear. The Retail Business Uniform Closing Day Act will continue to be enforced by local law enforcement agencies and the public prosecution service.

The official voting results from each of Nova Scotia's 55 municipalities will be released next week.

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Contact:

Richard Perry
Department of Justice Cell: 902-497-1592 E-mail:

cb 2:45 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 17, 2004