Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):
My hon. friend was kind enough to give me an intimation of his intention to ask this question, and I thought it might be of interest to him and to other hon. members of the house if I stated the general position with respect to holidays as provided for in the statutes.
The following are the public statutory holidays in Canada, the dates of which are fixed by statute:
New Year's day Good Friday Easter Monday Victoria day Dominion day Labour day Remembrance day Christmas day.
The following are fixed by proclamation: The sovereign's birthday Thanksgiving day.
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When New Year's day, Christmas day, Victoria day, Dominion day or the sovereign's birthday falls on a Sunday, the following day, in accordance with statutory provision, is observed as the holiday. It will be apparent from this statement that if Victoria day were to be observed on Monday rather than on Tuesday this year, the statute would have to be altered in the meantime. I may say that I have received some communications suggesting that there should be no change, because arrangements have already been made to hold certain celebrations on Tuesday, May 24. I presume once it is understood that the governor in council has no authority in the matter, apart from that given by the statute, it will be apparent that we cannot very well alter the arrangement for Victoria day, at all events for this year.
Subtopic: PROPOSAL THAT LEGAL HOLIDAY BE OBSERVED FOR THE PRESENT YEAR ON MONDAY MAY 23