LANSDOWNE – Leeds and Thousand Islands township council has given final approval to allowing businesses to be open during statutory holidays except for Christmas Day.
Council approved two bylaws Monday night (June 14) to close all businesses on Christmas Day and recognize that the Retail Business Holiday Act does not apply to the township.
The Christmas Day closure allows the municipality to override the Ontario Retail Business Holiday Act but it still doesn’t apply to any stores or services allowed to be open on a public holiday due to an exemption under the act.
The move follows a public meeting earlier this month after a request by the Rockport Lighthouse Country Store and RV Park to allow holiday openings.
The law doesn’t take effect for another 30 days until the appeal period is exhausted, meaning the first holiday that businesses could be open is Civic Day (Monday, Aug. 2).
The likelihood now of someone appealing to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) is almost none.
Nobody spoke and the township says it received no comments during the public meeting or inquiry period. Members of the public had to participate in the public comment period in order to appeal to LPAT, which would only be allowed now under exceptional circumstances.