Thanksgiving is a public (statutory) holiday in all provinces and territories, except for the Atlantic provinces. Employees get a day off with regular pay or public holiday pay (depending on the province or territory of employment). If an employee is required to work on the holiday, the employee must be paid regular wages and get a substituted day off with pay at a later date (depending on the province or territory of employment). For federally regulated companies, Thanksgiving is a recognized holiday. In the Atlantic provinces, retail business holidays legislation requires certain retail businesses to close on Thanksgiving Day. For specific requirements for your jurisdiction, consult the Library section of HRinfodesk.
The first Thanksgiving Day in Canada after Confederation was observed on April 15, 1872, to celebrate the recovery of The Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) from a serious illness. Eventually, on Thursday, January 31, 1957, the government proclaimed the holiday for general thanksgiving to Almighty God for the blessings with which the people of Canada have been favoured.
Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving with a large family meal consisting mainly of turkey and pumkin pie over the three-day weekend. It is also often a time for weekend getaways.
Happy Thanksgiving everybody, and have a great long weekend!
Yosie Saint-Cyr First Reference Inc. Human Resources and Compliance Managing Editor
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