Open on holidays

Centre Wellington council had an interesting decision to make at its meeting on Monday. 

The Fergus BIA requested an exemption from the Retail Business Holidays Act so that businesses within its catchment area could have the option of opening on statutory holidays, excluding Christmas Day. 

Not knowing anything about this legislation, I naively thought businesses chose to stay closed on stat holidays because it cost too much to pay employees overtime.  Was I ever wrong. 

In fact, Jackie Fraser of Frabert’s Fresh Foods, which already has this exemption, said the profit made on these holidays makes it beneficial to pay staff the extra money.

Council had little to no discussion about the request – all councillors just voted in favour. 

I can see the economic benefit of being open on holidays and I understand from what Fraser said that employees often want to work on holidays for extra pay, but I don’t understand why there was no discussion. 

It seems like this move is only beneficial if there is an air of exclusivity. Not many retailers are open on statutory holidays, so for those who are, the profit outweighs the cost. 

But what happens when more and more businesses apply for this same exemption?

Is council going to blindly approve all of the requests, having set a precedent? Or could it possibly turn down future requests from businesses in other areas?

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The Creekbank Sewing Machine Shop in Mount Forest has been open for a decade.

Owners Vernon and Minerva Knorr have located their business at 084696 Southgate Road 8 and offer full service and repair on all makes of sewing machines, specializing in Bernina, dress fabrics, workshops, etc. For more information call 519-323-2693.

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Blown Away Glass Studio in Elora is celebrating its 20th anniversary. The studio, located at 6506 Wellington Road 7, showcases blown glass sculptures, chandeliers, awards and decorative pieces for homes, offices and galleries, designed and produced by owners Katherine and Tim McManus.

They also offer private and group instruction on the art of glassblowing. For more information visit or call 519-846-8268.

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New owners have taken over Drayton Pizza at 11 Main St. in Drayton. 

Jongkol Sringern and Saithip Wandee will soon be introducing Thai food to restaurant offerings as well. For more information call 519-638-0808.

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KA$ Inc. is moving to 160 St. David St. N. in Fergus on April 1 (entrance is at the back of the building). Kate Kiss was running the book keeping and accounting business out of her home and is now moving into an office space. For information call 519-843-2933 or email

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