The Retail Businesses Holiday Closing Act has a few exceptions

Munther Zeid, who owns the Foodfare grocery store chain in Winnipeg has asked the Government of Manitoba to throw out a provincial law which prohibits businesses to be open on Good Friday . Zeid, who has a total of five stores, is an independent business owner, was handed a $10,000 fine for his stores being open on Good Friday. He described himself as shocked when he received the penalty from the police. His West Portage shop was open during the Christian day.

Zeid admitted to knowingly breaking the Manitoba law when he decided to keep the store open. This decision is goes against the Retail Businesses Holiday Closing Act that stops stores from doing business on holidays mentioned in the act. The law has some exceptions; pharmacies, gas stations, and cannabis stores for some quirk of the law are also permitted to do business on holidays. The lack of logic over cannabis stores to be open made Zeid remain open on April 19, the Good Friday day. He said it was his resolve to keep the shop doors open, even after the police visited his store on the Christian holiday to warn him that he is breaking the law by keeping the shop open.

Zeid was struck by the absurdity of the law. He pointed out he has been in business for 20 years and have been open during holidays before and never received fine. The businessman said that Good Friday is a family day and it is not possible to enjoy that day if the family is unable to purchase a steak to cook on their barbecue. According to Zeid, it is not fair that the government can mint money by allowing casinos to open on holidays, but it was against the law for any shopkeeper to sell bread and milk.

Customers are in full agreement with the grocery store owner. One of them said if one can buy cannabis, then others can buy snacks like munchies. Another customer opined that $10,000 fine is excessive and feels stores should be permitted to be open but sell a smaller range of foods. Blaine Pedersen, press secretary for Minister of Growth, Enterprise and Trade declined to say whether the current administration has any plans to edit the law.

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