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Give It a Rest...

Given the fact Sobey's has decided to join Superstores and Pete's Frootique in opening for business Sundays, the time has come for Nova Scotians to ask what purpose the Sunday shopping laws are serving besides making work for various legal departments finding loopholes around the law, and making the provincial government look ineffectual for having the laws in the first place. The one guarantee the present laws have is that there's so many exemptions in them, that it's impossible not to find a way around it.

Now, there are a variety of solutions the Provincial Government can use here:

a. do nothing - let's call this 'Sunday shopping by slow degrees' because more and more stores'll go in for this. Of course, the major chain's will be the ones that can afford to go through the legal process of incorporating different parts of their stores, so this'll be pretty hard on the smaller businesspeople, but that's okay - God forbid the government should actually have to look decisive.

b. Follow the Newfoundland example and just declare Sunday shopping an individual storeowner's decision. That won't please the anti-shopping crowd, because they don't want people to make individual decisions, they want everyone to live by their rules, because they're the only ones whose opinions matter.

c. Follow the New Brunswick example and make it an municipal decision. This'll please the Haligonians, who voted overwhelmingly for Sunday shopping in the last plebescite. As for the rural municipalities - surely if Rural Nova Scotians don't want Sunday shopping, they're not going to drive into Halifax to shop, so it's not like the businesses there are going to lose any profits, so this might not be a bad idea.

d. Adopt PEI's laws and make Sunday shopping limited to stores with a maximum number of employees rather than maximum space. This probably won't work, because the chains'll just adapt their tactics, so that each little department will have the required number.

e. Or, and this is my choice - have an honest vote - ask Nova Scotians what they'd prefer:

(1) Sunday shopping, or

(2) Everything non-emergency closed - no supermarkets, no bars, no convenience stores, no drugstores, no tourist shops, no restaurants, no Tim Hortons -because if it's wrong to make a Sobey's employee work on a Sunday, it's just as wrong to make a waitress or Tim Hortons employee work.

As for my personal preference? Well, I have to admit that quite a few times in the Reserves, I've been out in the field from Friday afternoon to Sunday morning, so Sunday afternoon was the only time I could shop for groceries. As for the rest of you, here's a nifty little suggestion - if you don't like Sunday Shopping - DON'T GO SHOPPING ON A SUNDAY!!! If the stores don't get customers in, they're not going to stay open, are they?

I think Sobeys workers in Regina would appreciate a boycott of all Sobeys stores everywhere. They've been on the line since September. More info at the SFL.

It seems to me that the Government strategy is (a), doing nothing but talk about it as the situation moves toward Sunday shopping being a reality. That way, the issue is resolved while the government shrugs its shoulders.
The idea of not allowing people to shop on Sunday is a religious issue anyway - Atheists (and all other religions for whom Christianity is not their opiate of choice) should get a special card that allows them to shop whenever they want. You are absolutely right about certain groups preferring not to be questioned, but if they are, they just stick something in about the workers needing to see their families. This isn't Victorian or Dickensian England - employers are not twirling their mustaches, greedily cackling about making their employees work 7 days a week. If Sunday shopping happens, some will work - and will be off another day of the week to compensate. Those that don't want to cannot be forced, even under the labour laws we have today.
Don't give me crap about a 'break from consumerism' either. It's still there, whether or not you acknowledge it as you go to church to pray for more material goods.
I think there are several more benefits to opening than not opening. What we need is a true separation of church and state in Nova Scotia.


It's not even about respect for religion - if I was a Jewish or Seventh Day Adventist and I wanted to close my store on Saturday and open Sunday, they'd be the first ones to complain, because to them 'those aren't really religions' - only their particular brand of Christianity qualifies.

This is not a religious issue - any Christian that doesn't want to shop on Sunday doesn't have to. And no one is going to get forced to work on Sunday.

If anything, this is going to make businesses less profitable, as six days of shopping money gets spread over seven days of overhead. It will be more money to NSP and more to the wage slaves that work retail.

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