HALIFAX, October 19, 2004 ( – In a rare victory for conservative Canadians, in a province-wide plebiscite held Saturday, the residents of the province of Nova Scotia have voted No to a proposal to allow Sunday shopping. Whereas Prince Edward Island allows Sunday shopping only during the Christmas season, Nova Scotia is the only Canadian province to ban Sunday shopping year round.

Dare to be Different was the slogan used by the No side to oppose the materialist status quo, while promoting the idea that Sunday shopping meant a strain on family life and a slackening of general quality of life.  The plebiscite, which coincided with school board and municipal elections, maintains the province’s Retail Uniform Business Closing Day Act, allowing drug stores and small convenience stores to remain open. Liquor stores, grocery, and other stores must remain closed or break the law.  Premier John Hamm’s minority Conservative government has been clear in its opposition to Sunday shopping. He announced the decision to hold the plebiscite during his 2004 election campaign, when his rivals announced a plan to relax the law if elected.  Read Globe and Mail coverage:  tv