Anybody remember The Lord’s Day Act? It has a fascinating history in Canada, and was ultimately thrown down in 1985 by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms – believe it or not, by a drugstore in Calgary.
It was one thing to be struck down, but another for retailers to start keeping their shops open. When I arrived in Vancouver in 1989, Sundays were still muted yet most def Open For Biz on Sundays. At the time, I thought that was just great.
In recent years, I’ve questioned the wisdom of taking the brakes off of the economic engine. Granted, basing a Day of Rest on a particular religion’s belief was outdated, but did we lose more than we gained by eliminating Sunday as a widespread day off? Is Canadian culture (whatever that is, case in point) the better for it?
What would happen if stores and even entertainment venues were not available to any of us, across Canada, one day every week? What would we do with our time? Might we:
- Enjoy more relaxed and fun times with our friends and family?
- Connect with our local community?
- Rediscover quietness? Become OK with solitude?
- Potter around our homes and get things done that we otherwise never get around to completing?
- Find we are more grounded and thoughtful in our lives because we had space, regularly, to take a deep breath?
I may find out up here in Yellowknife: Most of the city still shuts down on Sunday. It’s weird going by malls, on a Sunday, that are darkened and the doors locked. Yellowknife’s no more religious than anywhere else, that’s for sure, so I can only guess that the local merchants have collectively opted out of opening on Sundays.
It irritates me from time to time, and I wonder about the economics of it – I mean, all that business NOT being done, staff NOT being hired, sales NOT being made 52 days of the year (that’s the equivalent of nearly 2 months! Think of it!) – yet even today I noticed myself turning to gardening and reading a book, since there weren’t many commercial options open to me. If my blog posts increasingly have a sense of zen to them over the coming year(s), you’ll know why!