County supports re-naming Family Day

The new statu­tory Ontario holiday that residents received in February has had its share of controversy – and now its name is also an issue.
Premier Dalton McGuinty named the third Monday of Feb­ruary as Family Day shortly after he was re-elected last fall. The announcement came with little warning and there was much surprise. Since then, the announcement has generated com­plaints about costs from businesses, as well as gripes from several different groups, such as police, who are forced to work that day.
Now, Heritage Guelph-Era­mosa is seeking to change the name of the holiday, and coun­ty council has supported its goal.
The society sent a letter to all the heritage committees in Wellington County, seeking support for renaming Family Day as Heritage Day.
The same letter was sent to  the county. It stated, “Heritage Guelph-Eramosa is appreci­ative of the introduction of Family Day, which is a statu­tory holiday meant for Onta­rians to spend time with their families. However, our com­mit­tee is concerned with the arbi­trary renaming of an estab­lished and significant day.”
The group explained, “Heri­tage Day was established in 1973 by the Heritage Canada Foundation and it has been celebrated the third Monday of February since its introduction to encourage the preservation and promotion of our nation­ally significant historic, archi­tectural, natural and scenic heri­tage. In addition, Ontario Heritage Trust has proclaimed the third week in February as Heritage Week in Ontario, so it would seem appropriate that this particular week should start with Heritage Day.”
The group said it believes Heritage Day, which many tried to make a national holiday but were unable to do so, was established without the holiday status in order to “learn about Canada’s historical, cultural, and natural heritage … We agree that heritage helps building stronger communities and improves our quality of life.
“Therefore, we would not like to see Heritage Day replac­ed by another holiday and lose the significance for Ontarians.”
County councillors agreed with its heritage committee recommendation, and support­ed the group’s letter to Mc­Guinty.