FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government has announced the introduction of a statutory holiday beginning in February 2018 to recognize New Brunswick families.

“We are focused on growing the economy and providing good quality of life for New Brunswickers,” said Premier Brian Gallant. “This holiday will help families and communities come together and strike a good work-life balance during our often too long winter season. Having a good work-life balance helps increase productivity for our businesses and economy.”

The holiday will be called Family Day and will be observed on the third Monday in February. This will be a paid public holiday and will be a prescribed day of rest.

“The New Brunswick Federation of Snowmobile Clubs is pleased, excited and supportive of the government’s decision to create a New Brunswick Family Day in the best season of the year, winter,” said Ross Antworth, general manager of the federation. “This new holiday will allow families to further enjoy the beauty of a New Brunswick winter day and enhance the experience of those who see our province while riding in all its pristine splendor; White Gold.”

“Family Day will present an opportunity for New Brunswickers to get outside and enjoy even more winter activities our beautiful province has to offer," said Christine Frenette, general manager of Atlantic Host Hotel in Bathurst. "We are confident that this new holiday will drive significant benefits for the tourism and hospitality industry, the provincial economy and New Brunswickers."

The provincial government announced in February 2016 it would consider introducing a statutory holiday in February.

This holiday will put New Brunswick in line with eight other Canadian jurisdictions that observe a paid holiday in February, and will bring the province up to the national average of eight paid public holidays per year.

The provincial government also understands the importance of supporting small businesses and their impact on the New Brunswick economy and communities.