Saint John — While some lazy do-nothings are marking the last long weekend of summer vacation with rest and relaxation, many New Brunswickers are honouring Labour Day with – what else – their labour.
“The Days of Rest Act clearly stipulates that ‘it is necessary to provide for days of rest from work,’ and it is prohibited to ‘do any work, business or labour for gain or employ or engage any other person to do so’ on a statutory holiday,” summarized Postsecondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Francine Landry. “The provincial government believes that every hardworking New Brunswicker deserves to take a break on Labour Day.”
“Of course,” she continued, “not everyone gets a break; there are exceptions. For example, anyone who works at movie theatres, museums or any sporting, recreational, or entertainment establishment. Or, anyone who operates ferries. Or people working at restaurants, canteens, hotels, motels, convenience stores, drug stores and gas stations.
“Or people who work in fishing or farming, or processing farm produce or seafood. Or working at a greenhouse or garden supply store, or any place that sells farm produce, dairy products, seafood or horticultural products.
“Or a person who works at a hospital as a doctor, nurse or support staff. Or someone working as a police officer, firefighter, 911 operator or paramedic. Or people who work at a newspaper, radio station, television station or online media outlet. Or a person who needs to support telecommunications.
“Or anyone who works for a provincial or national park. Or miners, and those who work in oil or sugar refining. Or people who work at a laundromat. Or anyone else who is involved in, and I’m quoting the Act here, ‘the operation of a business or industry that is, by necessity, engaged in a continuous operation.’
“Everyone else should be able to get a break,” Landry continued. “Unless you have end-of-summer yard work to do outside at home. Or you’re closing up your camp, cottage or trailer for the season. It’s supposed to be really hot and humid too, that’s going to be a gross day to be working outside.
“Or, if you work in an office, and you log into your computer or work phone to clear out email before Tuesday morning so you can get a jump on the week. Even though you’re going to get about a hundred more emails in the morning because everyone is back from vacation. Then, you will have the added pleasure of coping with everyone trying to do 5 days of work in 4 days.”
“Or if you’re a teacher making sure everything is ready for the first day of school. That goes for parents too, figuring out what everyone is going to wear, labelling school supplies, filling up bookbags and packing lunches. And, then getting everyone bathed and to bed early so they aren’t hostile monsters in the morning when they have to get up early again for the first time in 9 weeks.
“Everyone else though, enjoy your well-deserved day off! You earned it!” Landry concluded.