Nova Scotia Sunday shopping referendum, 2004

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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.[1]


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.[1]

Referendum question[edit]

The first question was as follows:


The second question was as follows:



First question[edit]

No: 98,726 (54.90%) Yes: 81,110 (45.10%)

Second question[edit]

Every Sunday: 66,011 (44.86%) Only the six Sundays immediately before Christmas: 81,146 (55.14%)

Later developments[edit]

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.[3]


  1. ^ a b Nova Scotians vote against Sunday shopping USA Today
  2. ^ a b Sunday Shopping Rejected In Nova Scotia Halifax Live
  3. ^ "Nova Scotia lifts Sunday shopping ban". CBC. 4 October 2006. Retrieved 25 October 2012.