Posted: Wednesday, January 13, 2021. 2:09 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: It’s pretty much a done deal: this coming Friday, January 15, Belize will stop in honour of the Right Honourable George Cadle Price, born 102 years ago.
He literally needs no introduction, as established by the “George Price stories” some Senators told while debating the motion.
But there is still division on this aspect of the Government’s “Designate New Holidays and Special Days Motion.”
Would the great, yet humble man, asked Opposition Senator Aldo Salazar, have wanted the entire country to celebrate him this way? Or perhaps he would have asked that Belizeans spend the day in quiet reflection, public service and planning?
Others pointed to the cost of additional holidays such as this and Emancipation Day coming in August 1; Business Senator Kevin Herrera even went so far as to petition Government to consult with the business community before adding any more designated days.
There was fairly unanimous agreement about observing Emancipation Day and downplaying Columbus/Pan American Day on October 12, and establishing a committee to consider the question of revising the holiday list. As pointed out by NGO Senator Osmany Salas, the same 13 days designated as public holidays are also bank holidays, and employers are obligated to pay their workers additionally to standard payment if they work on those days.
Leader of Government Business Eamon Courtenay in wrapping up distinguished Price’s status as “Father of the Nation” from that of National Hero, which he shares with Philip Goldson and which is honoured on March 9 as National Heroes and Benefactors Day.
And he said that while the soon-to-be-established Holiday Committee will review all holidays, Courtenay made clear that the PUP would advocate for George Price Day and Emancipation Day and for the redesignation of October 12.
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