Ontario won't declare a public holiday for Queen Elizabeth's death

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Lt.-Gov. Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Premier Doug Ford and cabinet ministers take part in an accession ceremony for King Charles III at Queen's Park in Toronto on Monday. (Evan Mitsui/CBC - image credit)
Lt.-Gov. Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Premier Doug Ford and cabinet ministers take part in an accession ceremony for King Charles III at Queen's Park in Toronto on Monday. (Evan Mitsui/CBC - image credit)

Ontario will not declare Monday a public holiday for Queen Elizabeth II's funeral next week, Premier Doug Ford's office confirmed Tuesday.

Instead, the province will mark Sept. 19 as as provincial "Day of Mourning" for Ontarians. People can observe a moment of silence at 1:00 p.m. ET that day, Ford said in a statement.

"This will give all Ontarians an opportunity to reflect on the remarkable life of Queen Elizabeth II and her unrelenting commitment to service and duty," reads the statement.

Ford's decision notes opting against a holiday will allows students to stay in school and learn about the contributions the Queen made to the people of Ontario and the entire Commonwealth, as well as the accession of King Charles III.

"We encourage all Ontarians to use this day to honour Her Majesty and pay tribute to the extraordinary legacy she leaves behind," the statement said.

  • Will the holiday marking the death of Queen Elizabeth impact your Monday plans? Tell us in an email to ask@cbc.ca

The news comes a few hours after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced next Monday, Sept. 19., would be a federal holiday.

Trudeau said while it would be a federal holiday for government employees, it's up to provincial and territorial governments to declare the holiday for other workers.

Ahead of the flurry of provincial decisions, Trudeau had said he would be working with provinces and territories to ensure they're "aligned."

Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador also said they would observe the national day of mourning by closing schools and government offices, but all three provinces said the holiday was optional for private-sector employers.

Quebec Premier François Legault has said while the day will be commemorated, it will not be a statutory holiday in the province.

A few hours before the decision, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) urged all provinces not to declare next Monday a statutory paid holiday following the federal government's announcement.

The CFIB urged provinces to emulate the United Kingdom, which announced Saturday that it would mark Sept. 19 as a national bank holiday — meaning there is no statutory entitlement to time off.

"With a six-day notice, it would be deeply unfair for small businesses and cost the economy billions," said Dan Kelly, the president of the CFIB.