Alberta to mark a day of mourning, but no holiday, for the Queen’s funeral

The Queen’s funeral is scheduled for 4 am, mountain daylight time, Monday

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Alberta will mark the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II with a provincial day of mourning on Monday, but the day will not be a statutory holiday for most workers.

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A ceremony is scheduled in the Queen’s honor at the legislature grounds at 10 am, on Sept. 19, with the province also encouraging workplaces and schools to observe a moment of silence.

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“I sincerely hope that Albertans find some time on this day to honor the remarkable life of Queen Elizabeth II and I strongly encourage employers and schools to appropriately mark this sombre and historic occasion,” Premier Jason Kenney said in a Wednesday news release.

Kenney also asked employers to give their workers time to attend the ceremony or otherwise honor the occasion.

A book of condolences will be made available at Edmonton City Hall for visitors to sign through 6 pm on Thursday.

The decision not to make Monday a statutory holiday came as a relief to many parents and small businesses who would have had to make arrangements on five days’ notice.

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“There’s a lot of folks from restaurant owners to just parents of small children who are breathing a sigh of relief,” said Scott Crockatt with the Business Council of Alberta.

“It’s a very appropriate approach.”

Alberta was the last province to declare how it would handle the day of the Queen’s funeral.

The Atlantic provinces have all declared provincial holidays with government offices and schools to be closed.

In BC, public workers, most Crown corporations and schools will all be closed.

Non-essential government offices will be closed in Manitoba, although schools will remain open.

Similar to Alberta, the provinces of Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec will all observe days of mourning or commemoration, but most institutions will remain open.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced earlier Tuesday that Sept. 19 will be a holiday for federal employees.

“Declaring an opportunity for Canadians to mourn on Monday is going to be important,” Trudeau said. “We will be letting federal employees know that Monday will be a day of mourning where they will not work.”

The Queen’s funeral is scheduled for 4 am MDT, Monday.

The province will mark the accession of King Charles III in a lunchtime ceremony on Thursday, with Premier Jason Kenney and Lt.-Gov. Salma Lakhani.

Following that, the legislature will reconvene to debate a motion celebrating the Queen’s life and public service and offering condolences to the Royal Family.

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Members were not scheduled to be back in the legislature until Oct. 31.

King Charles III was officially proclaimed Canada’s monarch on Saturday at a ceremony in Ottawa.

The 96-year-old Queen Elizabeth II died peacefully on Sept. 8 at Balmoral Castle, a royal residence in northern Scotland.

The Queen’s name is prominent on many locations throughout Edmonton, including the planetarium in Coronation Park, Queen Elizabeth High School in north Edmonton, as well as the Queen Elizabeth II Highway between the Alberta capital and Calgary, and Princess Elizabeth Avenue in north central Edmonton.

She visited Edmonton on four occasions, the first in 1951 as Princess Elizabeth when she hosted a state dinner at the Hotel Macdonald.

In 1959, she returned as Queen Elizabeth II as part of a cross-Canada tour where she attended the opening of Coronation Park in west Edmonton.

She visited the city again in August of 1978 to open the Commonwealth Games.

Her most recent visit was in 2005, where she marked 100 years since Alberta joined Confederation in August of 1905.

mblack@postmedia.com

Twitter @ByMatthewBlack

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