B.C. Premier Christy Clark is defending the government’s decision to spend $1.5 million on parties to celebrate the province’s first Family Day in February.

Clark, who ran on a “Families First” platform, said she’s proud that her government introduced the extra holiday to B.C.

“I do think it’s important that we… help families think about Family Day,” she said Thursday.

But some feel spending $1.5 million on a party, particularly one that plays into the Premier’s “Families First” agenda, goes too far.

“Taxpayers, we’re broke. The provincial government’s borrowing money in order to balance the budget, we shouldn’t be spending it on parties like this,” said Jordan Bateman of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

The parties have yet to be planned, but the province has written a request for proposals from individuals who can organize events in Victoria, Vancouver and in some secondary locations.

The request also indicates the government is looking for someone with good “communications and information management” skills.

B.C.’s Family Day falls on the second Monday of February, setting it one week ahead of Family Days in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario.

The first will take place on Feb. 11, 2013.

With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Ed Watson