NATIONAL HONOUR FOR WAR DEAD
By BRETT CLARKSON - TORONTO SUN
A Toronto Liberal MP is calling on his fellow MPs to make Remembrance Day a national holiday. Dan McTeague, the MP for Pickering-Scarborough East, said entrenching Nov. 11 as a national holiday is a "no-brainer" because Canada needs a "firm and concrete testament" to the country's veterans and war dead.
"I think it's an excellent idea, an idea whose time has come," McTeague said. "And I would invite any backbench member of Parliament on the opposition or the government side to move a motion that November 11 be considered a national holiday."
McTeague's membership on the Privy Council prevents him from introducing bills in Parliament, so he's encouraging another MP to bring forward a Remembrance Day private member's bill.
"Here is an opportunity for an enterprising young member of Parliament of any political stripe," McTeague said. "I think there has to be some direction given to a formal, permanent and long-lasting tribute to our fallen comrades, who by land, air and sea, gave us the country we have today."
As it stands now, Remembrance Day is observed differently across the country because holidays have traditionally been a provincial matter. While some provinces have designated the day a statutory holiday, others, like Ontario, haven't.
Bloc Quebecois MP Andre Bellavance's refusal to provide Canadian flags to a Royal Canadian Legion in his riding is reason enough to emphasize Remembrance Day as a national holiday, McTeague said.
"The gesture of that one selfish member, that one twisted member of the Bloc, is probably a good reason we should look at a national holiday."
The Legion has said it doesn't advocate making the day a statutory holiday in the provinces where it isn't, as long as remembering the war dead remains the focus of the day.http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/RemembranceDay/2004/11/08/705839.html