The Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce, on behalf of its’ retail members, contacted the provincial government enquiring about a special allowance for Christmas Eve shopping hours on Sunday, December 24, 2017. This request would see shopping hours extended to the morning to accommodate this busy shopping day and therefore the needs business owners and customers. Currently, the legislated operating hours for many retailers on Sunday, December 24, 2017 is from 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
In their response, provincial government representatives indicated they are not able to grant this allowance, citing a legislative amendment would be required to do so. Please see the complete explanation provided to the Chamber below.
“Sunday shopping hours are governed by the Retail Business Holidays Act.
The Act defines ‘holiday’ as including every Sunday during the time period between 12:00 a.m. and 11:59 a.m. Pursuant to section 2 of the Act, ‘no person shall on a holiday, sell, offer for sale or purchase any goods or services by retail, or admit members of the public to any premises where a retail business if carried on.’ the legislation does, however, carve out numerous exemptions to the application of section 2. These exemptions are outlined in detail under section 3 Act.
Given that Sunday shopping hours are enshrined in legislation, a legislative amendment would be required to change the regime as it exists today. There would also be a duty for government to consult on any proposed amendment. There is no administrative discretion provided under the Act for any type of dispensation to be granted from its application for 2017.”