Expanded Sunday Shopping Hours in Manitoba

Blog, Regulation, Steve Lafleur

The Manitoba NDP has tabled legislation that would allow stores to stay open three hours longer on Sundays (9am-6pm). While this is welcome news, it begs the question of why we need restrictions on Sunday shopping hours to begin with.

The argument against Sunday shopping is typically that employees will be forced to work on Sundays, and will lose time with their families. This is an odd argument, as employers are unlikely to opt to pay full-time employees overtime. They’d much rather hire additional part-time staff. But as Tom Brodbeck pointed out in his Winnipeg Sun column yesterday, the argument is null and void in Manitoba, since retail employees can opt out of working on Sundays.

Instead of inconveniencing people with truncated shopping hours, we should leave it up to businesses to open when they see fit. They know much better when people want to shop than the provincial government does. One size fits all approaches do not work for retail businesses or consumers.