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Legion Claims That Saskatchewan Poppy Legislation Originates from Reported Bans at Job Sites



The Saskatchewan government’s upcoming legislation to prohibit poppy-wearing bans on the job stems from complaints by employees who were not permitted to wear poppies in the workplace, the head of the provincial legion says.

Premier Scott Moe announced the Saskatchewan Remembrance Day Observance Act in his

throne speech

on Oct. 25.

While no legislation has been brought forward yet, Saskatchewan Legion Provincial Executive Director Chad Wagner said he had heard of a few complaints last year from individuals who were not allowed to wear poppies at work.

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“I do know there was a national chain that wasn’t allowing their employees to do it,” he told The Epoch Times.

He said the employees, who were from the Estevan area, “felt restricted from wearing a poppy by their employer” and took their concerns to their MLA, Lori Carr.

The Epoch Times reached out to Ms. Carr, but did not hear back by publication time.

“As Remembrance Day approaches, many Saskatchewan residents show their gratitude and honour our veterans by donating to the Royal Canadian Legion Poppy Campaign and by wearing a poppy,” Mr. Moe said in the throne speech.

“While no one is required to wear a poppy, no one should ever be prevented from doing so. That is why my government will introduce The Saskatchewan Remembrance Observance Act to protect individuals’ right to wear a poppy in all Saskatchewan workplaces.”

Mr. Wagner said the Legion would not get involved in the proposed legislation, but appreciated the move.

“We’re encouraged that the government is ensuring that there’s no restrictions in place by anybody,” he said.

Garry Burkart, from the Saskatchewan Joint Board Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union (SJBRWDSU), said he was not aware of any complaints among the workers they represent.

“It’s sad when the government has to intervene, whether it’s public or private sector, to tell employers to back off,” he said.

Mr. Moe also said his government supports veterans in the province.

“My government is grateful for the service and sacrifice of military veterans and their families,” he said in the speech. “We honour that service by providing $1.5 million annually to the Saskatchewan Veterans Support Club Program.”

Ontario Remembrance Week Act

The Ontario government made a similar move in 2021,

amending

the Remembrance Week Act of 2016 to ensure that workers in the province had “the right to wear a poppy in the workplace during Remembrance Week.”

“Our government is grateful to those in uniform, past, and present, who have selflessly dedicated themselves to serving our country and protecting our values,”

said

then-Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism, Parm Gill. “They deserve our unwavering respect, support, and gratitude. We show that by wearing poppies, helping to ensure our children and grandchildren never forget the sacrifices they have made for us.”

The province said putting the right to wear a poppy into legislation reminds employers that “Ontario owes a debt of gratitude to the brave people who serve our country, and that should be reflected in their employment policies and practices.”



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