Is Islander Day a Public Holiday?
Islander Day is a public holiday in Prince Edward Island, where it is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed.
What Do People Do?
Many workers in the province have the day off work or school on Islander Day. The holiday gives people the time to rest, relax and engage in personal activities. The idea of this holiday also centers on celebrating family and the community.
Islander Day is a statutory holiday for many people in the province of Prince Edward Island. Schools and many businesses are closed and provincial government employees get the day off but federal government employees in the province may have to choose between Islander Day and the one they receive in August, known as Natal Day.
Islander Day was recently created in the province of Prince Edward Island. The province’s premier Robert Ghiz promised in a previous election that he would look at having a new holiday for the province. He reiterated his promise in April in 2008, saying the new holiday would afford everyone an opportunity to celebrate family and community. The province’s legislator approved the new statutory holiday for Prince Edward Island on November 28, 2008.
It was announced that the second Monday of February would be known as “Islander Day”. Its first observance was scheduled for February 9 in 2009. However, this new holiday caused some concern regarding federal government employees. The Public Service Alliance of Canada’s officials said that federal government employees in the province would need to choose between the February holiday and a federal government holiday in August.
Community and Cultural Affairs Minister Carolyn Bertram raised the issue with Federal Minister of Labour Rona Ambrose. Ms. Bertram said that Islander Day was intended to be a paid holiday for all workers in the province. However, a federal collective agreement happens outside of provincial jurisdiction. Nonetheless, Ms. Ambrose confirmed that she would consider this issue. The holiday’s date was later changed in 2009 to be on the third Monday of February. This change was to take effect from 2010 onwards.
Prince Edward Island has various provincial symbols including armorial bearings, a great seal, and an official wordmark. The provincial bird is the blue jay (Cyanocitta cristata) and the flower is the “lady’s slipper”. The provincial tartan features the following colours:
- Reddish-brown, which signifies the soil’s redness.
- Green, which represents the grass and the trees.
- White, which symbolizes the caps on the waves.
- Yellow, which represents the Sun.
The red oak (Quercus rubra) is the province’s tree. Although many consider the red oak to be the tree on the provincial coat of arms (adopted in 1905), this was never formally recognized.