Whole Foods to defy provincial law, open on Good Friday
Published Thursday, April 2, 2015 6:49PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, April 2, 2015 7:11PM EDT
A major retailer in Ottawa is defying a provincial law and will open on Good Friday.
Whole Foods at Lansdowne is going against the provincial law that says businesses, except those that are exempt, must close on a statutory holiday.
Whole Foods did not respond to several requests for comment.
The Rideau Centre and ByWard Market businesses will be open on Good Friday because they are in a designated tourist area.
Thousands of people will also head across the river to shop in Gatineau where stores are open.
Sean McKenny with the Ottawa & District Labour Council says “I think we have a company that had an opportunity to build something here and I don’t think it’s off to a very good start.”
Whole Foods may be pushing to have Lansdowne designated as a tourist area. Some shoppers say they don’t agree with the decision to open but others say they don’t see the issue.
According to the Retail Business Holidays Act, the fine for opening on “prohibited days of retail operation” are $500 for the first offence, $2,000 for the second and $5,000 for the third or subsequent offence.
Just because penalties exist doesn't mean businesses not following the rules will automatically be fined. Ottawa Police say they will investigate if there are complaints.