Nova Scotia Sunday shopping referendum, 2004
A referendum on Sunday shopping was held on October 16, 2004 (to coincide with municipal elections) in Nova Scotia. The vote was 54.90% for the "no" side, meaning that a Sunday shopping ban remained in place.
The issue pitted the municipality of Halifax against smaller towns and rural municipalities where many older residents favoured the ban.
Opponents of the ban said that Sunday shopping should be allowed in order for consumers to have a choice and to keep up with the times. They also argued it would provide a $19 million annual boost to the economy. Supporters of the ban campaigned under the slogan "Dare to be Different" and stated that the province's laid-back character was at stake. They argued the province should take a stand against the tide of materialism they see as sweeping North America.
The first question was as follows:
|“||Should there be Sunday shopping (in retail businesses not now permitted to be open on Sunday)?||”|
The second question was as follows:
|“||If there is to be Sunday shopping (in retail businesses not now permitted to be open on Sunday), should it be on every Sunday or on only the six Sundays immediately before Christmas?||”|
|No: 98,726 (54.90%)||Yes: 81,110 (45.10%)|
|Every Sunday: 66,011 (44.86%)||Only the six Sundays immediately before Christmas: 81,146 (55.14%)|
Despite the result of the referendum, the Nova Scotia government began allowing year-round Sunday shopping from October 2006 after grocery chains won a court case against the government over the Sunday shopping regulations.