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April 25, 2007
For immediate release
Attorney General Explains Sunday Shopping Laws
Office of the Attorney General
In December 2006, Government amended the Retail Business Holidays Act to allow Sunday shopping on Prince Edward Island and this past week an amendment further clarified the laws.
Beginning on the Victoria Day weekend in May of each year and continuing until December 24th of each year, retail businesses, which were formerly prohibited from opening on Sundays, may open at noon on Sundays. There is no prescribed closing time. The legislation does not compel businesses to open on Sunday, or any day; it merely allows them to open if they wish.
If a retail business is exempt from the application of the Act then nothing changes for those businesses. For example greenhouses, convenience stores, craft fairs and so on may continue to open on Sunday as they always have.
Labor Day and Thanksgiving are always on a Monday, so they are not affected in the recent amendments, and holidays like Boxing Day and New Year’s Day do not fall within the time frame that allows for Sunday shopping. Retail establishments will remain closed on these days, as they have in the past.
In the event that Remembrance Day or Christmas Day falls on a Sunday, the day continues to be a holiday and retail businesses may not open on that day. In 2007, Remembrance Day does fall on a Sunday, so retail businesses will not be permitted to open on that day.
“Our government introduced these legislative changes for a one-year trial at the request of the business community and many consumers,” said Minister Dover. “We hope this move will increase the competitiveness of Island merchants and tourism operators and encourage more Islanders to shop on this side of the bridge.”