In a validating piece of good news for the industry, on May 20, Royal Assent was given to Willowdale MPP Stan Cho’s private member’s Bill in the Ontario legislature that would proclaim the week before Labour Day each year as Ontario Convenience Store Week.
The Convenience Store Week Act, 2021 will recognize and celebrate the hard-working individuals who work in Ontario’s 8,500 convenience stores and the essential service they have provided during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This pandemic has shown us just how critical c-stores are to our communities," MPP Stan Cho said is a statement. “They provided essential goods and services, sold PPE, and for many Ontarians living in rural and remote communities, continued to be the only source of daily necessities.”
There are about 8,500 c-stores in the province, employing about 78,000 people. Many are independent and family businesses.
Convenience Store Week Act, 2021 would proclaim the seven-day period in each year ending the Saturday immediately before Labour Day as Convenience Store Week.
Convenience Store Week will serve as an "opportunity each year to express gratitude for these small business owners and employees who work around the clock, 365 days a year, to keep Ontarians connected to essential goods, to celebrate the support and philanthropic work c-stores do in their communities, as well as mark the significant contribution that the convenience industry makes to Ontario’s economy."
Cho is a strong advocate for the industry and often speaks of the important role of stores played is family’s journey to Canada. “Immigrating to Canada from South Korea in the 1970s, like many New-Canadians, my parents found work in a Convenience Store and eventually saved up enough money to purchase their own store in Rexdale," he recalls. "Growing up in that store taught me the importance of hard work and of serving your community--values that this bill aims to celebrate. I am truly honoured for the opportunity to pass this legislation, and I owe it to convenience stores for giving my family that start.”