Toronto – Following a sustained two-year-long campaign by big retailers, Jewish businessmen, and the Toronto media, the NDP Premier of Ontario, Bob Rae, announced Sunday shopping on June 3, 1992.

The campaign in favor of shopping on Sundays was marked by law breaking, phony arguments, and slanted polls.  (See Interim editorial, June, 1992)  Several retailers such as storeowners Herzog and Magder owed tens of thousands of dollars in fines for being open illegally on Sundays.

The fear of further lawbreaking was an important element in the change of policy.

Premier Rae admitted that enforcement of the Retail Business Holidays Act had become difficult, with people “increasingly impatient of rules and regulations that prevent them from doing so.”

Sunday rest was the only pro-family plank in the NDP’s election program eighteen months ago.  Its disappearance removes the last veil from the NDP’s anti-life, anti-family stand.

Ontario Liberals and Conservatives had joined the Sunday-shopping bandwagon earlier.  Liberal leader Lyn McLeod, elected leader in February 1992, as one of the five pro-abortion candidates, had taunted the Premier frequently to “get with it” and join the “majority.”  On June 3, he did.

This leaves the Family Coalition Party (FCP) as the only party which remains opposed to Sunday shopping.  It denounced the new policy “as another attack on family life and workers’ rights” and an act of “political expediency.”

Premier Rae, having given in to the large retailers on June 3 and thereby annoyed unions, introduced new labor legislation on June 4, pleasing labor and annoying business.  Obviously, he hoped this balancing act would pay off.

Sunday rest now joins the list of commonsense, much-needed values which over the last 30 years have been overthrown through lawbreaking.  This list includes the distribution of contraceptives, widening the grounds for divorce, the legalization of homosexual acts in private, the acceptance of abortion, the tolerance of pornography, the approval of common-law marriage, and genetic experimentation.  Currently, medical lawbreakers are preparing the way for euthanasia.

These issues have a remarkable similarity.  First the law is broken, then it is declared unenforceable; then the propaganda machine convinces the public and the authorities that, in the name of respect for law, the law must be replaced by its opposite.

As a June 4 editorial in the Toronto Sun stated, “The existing (shopping) law is an archaic, arbitrary and unenforceable mess with discouraging respect for the law.”

In reality, the law was up-to-date, just and enforceable.  Proceeding by decree, the Premier even refused to permit the promised free vote; apparently for fear that his decree might be overthrown.

Among retailers who refused to open was Knob Hill Farms, whose Greek-Orthodox owner announced that for his company Sunday was a family day.