Long-awaited modernization of this province’s Liquor Control Act means that thirsty Manitobans will be able to buy alcohol at bars on Good Friday, tomorrow.
While the Thursday before Good Friday has long been a popular night at local pubs and clubs, this will mean an extra day of revenue for watering holes that choose to take advantage of the loosened laws.
Good Friday is, of course, a religious holiday that doubles as a public holiday. Given Manitoba’s increasingly multicultural and secular population, it’s good that those who don’t subscribe to Christian beliefs have a few more opportunities on what — to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and atheists — may be just another Friday.
But no matter your personal beliefs or unbeliefs, full public holidays that are shared by all in society are becoming fewer and fewer. And that’s too bad. They serve an important community-building purpose in allowing us all to take a collective pause from modern hectic, always-on lifestyles.
It’s tough to justify basing public holidays on a particular interpretation of one religious text. But it’s equally worrisome when these public holidays continue to get sacrificed, a little at a time, on the twin altars of convenience and commerce.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition April 17, 2014