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Federal holiday declared to honour Queen’s death on September 19, 2022, but Atlantic provinces divided on whether to declare the holiday for private sector businesses

G. Grant Machum and Ben Currie

On Tuesday, September 13, 2022, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declared a federal holiday on Monday, September 19, 2022 to honour the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Minister of Labour Seamus O’Regan later clarified that the holiday will only be for federal government employees, and federally regulated employers will be “welcomed to follow suit.” Provinces in Atlantic Canada are divided on whether to declare the holiday in the private sector.

The following summarizes the position of each province in Atlantic Canada regarding whether the holiday will apply to private sector employers:

Nova Scotia

September 19, 2022 will not be a statutory holiday; therefore, private sector employers will decide whether to remain open and will not be required to provide additional pay for employees who work on September 19.

Most private employers in Nova Scotia so far are not treating September 19 as a holiday.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Similarly, in Newfoundland and Labrador, September 19, 2022 is not a statutory holiday and private sector employers will be permitted to decide whether to open. As a result, additional pay will not be required for employees who are required to work on September 19.

New Brunswick

New Brunswick will similarly make September 19, 2022 optional as a holiday for private sector employers and additional pay will not be required for those employees who work on September 19.

Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island will declare a one-time statutory holiday for all provincially regulated workers on September 19, 2022. This applies to private sector employers since Prince Edward Island has declared September 19, 2022 as a statutory holiday for the purpose of the Employment Standards Act (“ESA”). Therefore, additional pay will be required for employees who are required to work on September 19, 2022 pursuant to the ESA.


This update is intended for general information only. If you have questions about the above, please contact the authors.

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