It’s a holiday dedicated to spending time with family, but is B.C.’s Family Day actually keeping people away from their loved ones?

That’s the argument some are making as they call on the government to align the province’s Family Day with Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Prince Edward Island, which celebrate the holiday one week later in February.

Keeping them separate puts people who do business with clients across the country in a tough spot, according to financial advisor Andrew Johns.

“I would love to be with my family – my wife and my kids – right now celebrating this day with them like so many other British Columbians are, but there’s a big cohort of us that aren’t,” Johns said from his office Monday.

Last year, Johns launched an online petition urging the B.C. government to push Family Day from the second Monday in February to the third, and it’s been signed more than 16,500 times since.

The later date also lines up with the Presidents’ Day holiday in the U.S.

B.C. has stood by its earlier date, however, noting that it was chosen by an online vote that favoured the second Monday by a two-to-one margin.

“We went through a very public process when we decided to establish Family Day,” said Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sports and Cultural Development.

Retailers and the tourism industry pushed for the earlier date because it would mean two busy weekends in a row, but Johns argues if the holiday is all about the economy, there’s no point in calling in Family Day.

Fassbender said the government is listening to the concerns, and willing to consider moving the date in the future.

“What you see here today is just families enjoying themselves, having a great day together, and I don’t think it really matters what day it is as long as we provide that opportunity,” he said.

With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Tom Popyk