Ontario school boards were “urged” yesterday to start classes after Labour Day this fall, but the Liberal government said it won’t force any boards to scrap plans to bring back students the week before the traditional end-of-summer holiday.
Some boards will wait until after Labour Day, which falls on Sept. 7 this year, to begin classes, but others want to start Sept. 1, in part to make up class time lost by the Liberal government’s creation of a new Family Day holiday in February.
The Opposition said tourism-related businesses already suffering from the economic downturn, including the Canadian National Exhibition, could be hard-pressed to find workers if students are back in school before Labour Day.
Students and their families are also counting on the extra income from those summer jobs, said deputy Progressive Conservative Leader Elizabeth Witmer.
“It has a huge impact, and this year when we’re already suffering a downturn in the economy, and families are getting pretty desperate — maybe the mother or father has lost their job, and the child now won’t have that extra week of work,” she said.