Archbishop Tomas Collins Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins has published an open letter to Toronto city council to “strongly oppose” a proposal to permit shopping on holidays, including Christmas and Good Friday.

Collins fights city hall on Christmas shopping

By 
  • May 12, 2010

Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins has published an open letter to Toronto city council to “strongly oppose” a proposal to permit shopping on holidays, including Christmas and Good Friday.

“Our whole community is made poorer when times sacred to the human spirit are sacrificed so that the last drop of profit may be extracted,” wrote Collins.

“It is important that people of all faiths be able to celebrate their holy days without pressure being put upon employees and their families. It is surely not unreasonable to expect that the city should show respect for the most holy days of the nearly two-thirds of the population who are Christians.”

A council vote is expected Thursday or Friday on a recommendation from the city's economic development committee to permit retailers the right to open on holidays. It is currently illegal for most stores to open on New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, Labour Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, Easter Sunday and Family Day.

“I strongly oppose this proposal,” Collins wrote, adding that he completely supported a statement

made by the Catholic Civil Rights League.

The CCRL noted that while it is impossible to predict how many retailers would remain open on holy days, “we have already seen how Sunday shopping moved from a limited option to an almost universal practice, disrupting religious and family time.”

Collins said it is foolish to pursue profit at the “expense of human and spiritual values” and “the sanctity of the family.”

“It erodes the quality of life in our city,” Collins wrote

“Not only do I urge the council to reject this proposal, but I suggest that it might more profitably serve our whole community by examining how we might become a healthier city, with stronger families and with a more humane and civilized way of life, by increasing the freedom of employees to have more time to be with their families and to develop their human and spiritual potential.”

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