Canadian Statutory Holidays

A statutory holiday (also known as “general” or “public” holiday) in Canada is legislated either through the federal, provincial, or territorial governments. Most workers, public or private, are entitled to take the day off with regular pay. However, for businesses that are normally open employers may require employees to work on such a holiday, but in this case, must be paid at a premium rate — usually 1½ (known as “time and a half”) or 2 times (known as “double time”) the regular pay. In most provinces, when a statutory holiday falls on a normal day off (generally a weekend), the following workday is considered a statutory holiday.

Federal Holidays

The ten statutory holidays listed here are mandated by federal legislation for federally regulated employees, as is Easter Monday. All banks apply these holidays to their schedule.

Provincial and Territorial Holidays

Provinces and territories generally adopt the same holidays as the federal government with some variations:

Many employers give their employees days off that may not be statutory holidays in the particular province, particularly Boxing Day. Similarly, many federally regulated employees have negotiated additional holidays, which are common in the provinces such that many also take Easter Monday and the first Monday in August.

Civic holidays

In Canada, there are two definitions to the term civic holiday:

Legal definition:- By law, a civic holiday is defined as any holiday which is legally recognized but where the employer is not obliged to offer holiday pay.

The August holiday:- Another common definition of the civic holiday refers to a particular annual holiday, celebrated on the first Monday of August in most Canadian provinces. However, this definition is far from uniform nationwide. Two provinces and one territory do not recognize it at all, and five other provinces do not oblige employers to offer holiday pay on this day, thus making it a civic holiday in the legal sense. No universal name is recognized for this holiday, either — the official name may vary from municipality to municipality (e.g. Colonel By Day in Ottawa, Simcoe Day in Toronto, etc.), and in common usage, the holiday is simply known as Civic Holiday.

City holidays

Some cities also have statutory holidays that are celebrated only within the city limits. For instance, the morning of the Stampede Parade is a legal half-day holiday in the city of Calgary.

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