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Delta throwback: Sunday store openings

The provincial government’s new legislation drew mixed reviews in Delta
tsawwassen shopping mall 1980
A 1980 photo of Sue-Ellen McDonald assisting Lisa Sochasky, who was looking for a new school outfit at JR Jeans at Tsawwassen's Town Centre Mall.

A provincial government bill that would leave Sunday and public holiday store opening hours in the hands of individual municipalities drew protest at the Delta Chamber of Commerce in June 1980.

The Optimist at the time reported the Holiday Shopping Act drew mixed reviews with some business owners claiming it would lead to higher prices for consumers.

One business owner complained that if a neighbouring municipality opened its stores on Sundays, Delta merchants would have no choice but to do likewise.

At that time, Delta Mayor Ernie Burnett said the question of Sunday opening should be left up to the province to decide.

“I don’t think we can control our own destiny because it will be controlled by our neighbours. If our bylaws are different from our neighbours, local businesses are going to suffer from it,” he said.

Burnett said he was not opposed to the idea of Sunday openings, but everyone should be under the same rules. If a person found a store open on Sunday, they would likely return again on a Wednesday or Thursday, he said.

He also referred to Scott Road in North Delta where the businesses on each side of the road are in different municipalities.

Potential Sunday openings had been a hot topic lingering issues for years prior.