Remembrance Day: National holiday?/"Veterans' Day"? (merged)

Remembrance Day should be a National Holiday?

  • Yes

    Votes: 72 62.1%
  • No

    Votes: 38 32.8%
  • Undecided

    Votes: 3 2.6%
  • Don't care

    Votes: 3 2.6%

  • Total voters
    116

Brasidas

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jollyjacktar said:
I have just returned from the ceremony at Oyster Pond on the Eastern Shore of NS.  The weather as beautiful and the crowd was the biggest I believe I have ever seen.  What I was dismayed with, however, was the small turn out of those of us in uniform.  Maybe a dozen, if that.  It was the worst yet I have ever experienced in my 20 years here.

With directives like "you must travel in groups of two or more" and having to go directly to and from home, I'm not surprised at all.
 
J

jollyjacktar

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It's a reasonably small community here.  Many of us know each other by sight.  There were a number of faces missing from the crowd today, uniform or not.
 

medicineman

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Just got back from local ceremony in Selkirk - many people not enough parking spots actually.  Many uniforms to be seen too - I didn't travel in a uniformed group though (just slapped my own pinky).  I'm still alive though  ;).

MM
 

kratz

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I'm back from Sackville, NS and the service was twice as full as the past few years. A healthy number of uniforms were present, including more than 20 on duty police officers (and MPs).

Based on the straw poll in passing discussions, most people present were not in favour of making the day a national holiday, expressing many of the concerns discussed here.
 

expwor

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I guess the problem with making anything a National Holiday anymore is it becomes just another reason not to go to work.  Mind you as an retired federal public servant Remembrance Day was always a Stat Holiday.  But if across the board it became a National Holiday just another day to go shopping, kids off from school etc etc etc  And other National Holidays had some underlying reasons for their being, but now are just excuses for days off.  About the only holidays, correct me if I'm wrong, that still carry meaning are Thanksgiving, Christmas and Good Friday/Easter
I find it ironic, having worked in Corrections that the Canadian Police & Peace Officers Memorial isn't just held on a Sunday and not able to be a National Holiday, but commemorated in Ottawa, even though there are Police and Peace Officers across Canada.  Surely Police and Peace Officers deserve to have across Canada celebration of the duties and risks they take
My two cents, probably not worth even that LOL

Tom
 

McG

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Listened to the radio recount the hardships of one young mother.  Now that her kids are older and in school (as opposed to day care), her annual 11 Nov "me day" has been spoiled by the kids not being in class.  ::)

And the retailers are not missing an oportunity to exploit a sales gimmick on the back of this day either.
 

Brasidas

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expwor said:
I guess the problem with making anything a National Holiday anymore is it becomes just another reason not to go to work.  Mind you as an retired federal public servant Remembrance Day was always a Stat Holiday.  But if across the board it became a National Holiday just another day to go shopping, kids off from school etc etc etc  And other National Holidays had some underlying reasons for their being, but now are just excuses for days off.  About the only holidays, correct me if I'm wrong, that still carry meaning are Thanksgiving, Christmas and Good Friday/Easter
I find it ironic, having worked in Corrections that the Canadian Police & Peace Officers Memorial isn't just held on a Sunday and not able to be a National Holiday, but commemorated in Ottawa, even though there are Police and Peace Officers across Canada.  Surely Police and Peace Officers deserve to have across Canada celebration of the duties and risks they take
My two cents, probably not worth even that LOL

Tom

The Alberta Memorial was pretty decent. It was on a Sunday, well-organized, and well-attended. If other provinces are up to organizing something similar, I'm not seeing where the problem is.

Lost post with my comments on Remembrance Day as a stat, so I'll leave it at that.

 

mariomike

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expwor said:
I guess the problem with making anything a National Holiday anymore is it becomes just another reason not to go to work.

Where I worked, everybody reported for their regular 12-hour day or night shifts on Statutory Holidays. Remembrance Day was one of them. Crews were mandated to work stats just like any other day of the week.

The crew count was always highest on stats, because they paid triple time. For that reason, very few called in sick on a stat if they could possibly avoid it.
 

The Bread Guy

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Some of the latest on a proposed private members bill to make Remembrance Day a "legal" holiday:
An NDP private member’s bill meant to formally recognize Remembrance Day as a “legal” holiday appears to be dying a slow, silent death as the sun begins to set on the current session of Parliament.

The Harper government recently asked for more time to study the straightforward, single-clause bill, which comes before a second House of Commons committee Tuesday.

Ontario New Democrat MP Dan Harris, who introduced the proposed legislation, says it’s highly unlikely the bill will make it through the House of Commons and the Senate before summer, when Parliament adjourns prior to a fall election.

“It certainly seems like they’ve hit the brakes hard on this bill,” said Harris, who accused Conservatives of tying it up by asking the veterans affairs committee to study the matter after it had already been reviewed.

“They seem to be doing everything they can to stop it.” ....
 

ModlrMike

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Personally, I'd agree with not making it a stat holiday. I think that the day would rapidly lose significance and become just another "sleep 'til noon, futz around" day. I think Manitoba is on the right track. Not a holiday, but no commerce prior to noon.
 

McG

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A Liberal private member's bill has brought this topic back to life.  Hopefully it gets voted down.
Whatever you may think of the organization, the Legion has it right on this topic:
Just another day off: Why the Canadian Legion opposes making Remembrance Day an official holiday
Tristin Hopper
National Post
08 Nov 16

Spurred by a private member’s bill drafted by Liberal MP Colin Fraser, the House of Commons is convening a committee on whether to update the Holidays Act to make Remembrance Day a “legal” holiday.

It would still be up to the provinces to decide, but Fraser sees his proposed amendment as a good first step.

“Personally, I believe that it would be appropriate for Remembrance Day to be a statutory holiday in every province and territory in Canada,” he told the House.

But the measure faces stiff opposition from an organization that has been campaigning against a Remembrance Day holiday for more than 40 years; the Royal Canadian Legion.

“If it was institutionalized and made a statutory holiday, the impression would be that people in their homes would not make the effort to attend a downtown ceremony,” said Bill Maxwell, secretary of the legion’s poppy and remembrance committee.

Few Canadians, for instance, spend Labour Day reflecting on the 19th-century Toronto labour protest it was meant to commemorate. Ditto Victoria Day, which was originally enacted so Canadians could spend the day cheering the birthday of whoever happened to be the reigning monarch.

“For most, (Victoria Day) just provides for a long weekend in May,” legion representative Brad White told a Veterans Affairs committee in 2015. “We must not let Remembrance Day suffer this same fate.”

This is not the first attempt to add Remembrance Day to the holiday calendar.

In 1996, the House of Commons defeated a private member’s bill looking to enshrine Remembrance Day as a holiday in public service collective agreements. An New Democratic Party bill nearly identical to Fraser’s died last year on the order paper — and a statutory Remembrance Day was even an NDP election promise.

As far back as the late 1970s, the Royal Canadian Legion was advocating against government proposals to turn Remembrance Day into a “floating holiday” for federal employees.

In fact, in the late 1920s Remembrance Day (then known as Armistice Day) was celebrated on the Monday closest to Nov. 11. It was legion advocacy that helped to fix the commemoration on Nov. 11 proper.

Remembrance Day is already a paid holiday for most of Canada’s 35 million people. Only residents of Ontario, Quebec have to go to school that day. although various civil servants have the day off. Various other jurisdictions, such as Nova Scotia or Ottawa, will see public sector workers kept at home while many private businesses remain open. 

In B.C., for instance, there is no school on Nov. 11, but Remembrance Day assemblies are typically held on the closest school day.

The legion is not the only veterans group to bemoan the holidaying of Remembrance Day.

“Our stance is that it should never be a holiday; you take away the uniqueness of being able to educate the younger generation of the horrors of war,” said Rob Larman, a director with the War Amps of Canada.

But Mike Blais, founder of Canadian Veterans Advocacy, is in favour of a nationwide statutory holiday.

“When we have a national holiday where respect is paid on a national level, the spirit of the nation is satisfied,” he told Postmedia in 2014.

The legion itself is split on the question.

Thirteen times since 1970, legion conventions have featured a resolution to recognize Remembrance Day as a holiday. But each time, most recently in 2012, the “no holiday” camp won the day.

The current issue of Legion Magazine has a pro and con article debating the merits of a statutory Remembrance Day.

Former Veterans Affairs Minister Erin O’Toole, a veteran, has observed Remembrance Day in a province where it’s a holiday (Nova Scotia) and one where it isn’t (Ontario).

O’Toole said that the cenotaph ceremonies in Nova Scotia were “much more crowded … than ones I attended in Ontario,” but they clearly only included a fraction of the schoolchildren who had the day off.

“My personal view is that if kids are not in school … there is a likelihood that a majority of children would not get the same level of education and appreciation for the service and sacrifice the day represents,” he wrote in an email to the National Post.

When Remembrance Day was recognized as Armistice Day in 1921, it was notable for the considerable thoroughness with which life came to a stop for the two minutes’ silence at 11 a.m. All across the then-British Empire, courts paused proceedings, traffic halted, and factories and construction sites fell silent.

Nov. 11 isn’t nearly as dramatic anymore. But the legion’s general opinion is that another day off doesn’t quite have the resonance of a nation full of schoolchildren bowing their heads, labourers laying down their tools and office workers standing up at their cubicles.

“Rather than having a day off, commemoration or remembrance should be emphasized at the workplace or in the schools,” said Maxwell. 
 
http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/just-another-day-off-why-the-canadian-legion-opposes-making-remembrance-day-an-official-holiday

If the government wants to increase the observance of Remembrance Day, then legislate that public servants and federally regulated employees are authorized to leave work in the two hours preceding lunch for the purpose of attending a local ceremony (except where a ceremony is the place of work).  And, establish a federal grant that provincially regulated schools can access to fund remembrance programs on 11 Nov or the closest working day.  This grant could cover participation in the No Stone Left Alone program for those provinces that have it.

 

Fishbone Jones

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There was a time here, that the schools emptied and assembled at the Cenotaph, for the service. And yes, we walked there. :)
 

mariomike

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MCG said:
If the government wants to increase the observance of Remembrance Day, then legislate that public servants and federally regulated employees are authorized to leave work in the two hours preceding lunch for the purpose of attending a local ceremony (except where a ceremony is the place of work). 

How would that apply to front-line Police Officers, Firefighters and Paramedics?

We report for duty on Remembrance Day, Christmas Day and all other Stat. Holidays same as any other day or night shift.

We don't go off duty for lunch or leave work to attend ceremonies.




 

McG

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mariomike said:
How would that apply to front-line Police Officers, Firefighters and Paramedics?
How do stat holiday's apply to front-line Police Officers, Firefighters and Paramedics?
Your answer to this question can be applied to your question.
 

mariomike

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MCG said:
How do stat holiday's apply to front-line Police Officers, Firefighters and Paramedics?
Your answer to this question can be applied to your question.

If taking away Remembrance Day from the Stat. Holiday list is an economic consideration,

If Remembrance Day, or any other Stat. Holiday, falls on your regular days or nights off,

"The employee shall be paid for the full day or night at his regular rate of pay." That means an extra 12 hours pay at regular time.

"If the employee works on the actual holiday the employee will be paid two (2) times his regular rate of pay for the time so worked and in addition shall be paid for the full day or night at his regular rate of pay."

That means triple time for the entire 12 hours.

( For pay calculations,  all shifts - day or night - are always worked and paid 12 hours, not 8. )

Called in on  OT on Remembrance Day,  or any Stat.?  That's Golden Time. 

Remembrance Day has been a Stat. Holiday long before I hired on.



 

The Bread Guy

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Bumping this in hopes of hearing how Remembrance Day'll be observed in other parts of Canada in these COVID-19 days.

Here, in Thunder Bay ....
... Organizers of the area’s big three ceremonies have said they have significantly scaled back plans for Nov. 11 because of pandemic gathering restrictions imposed by the province that limit outdoor crowds to 25 or fewer people and indoor crowds to no more than 10.

The annual indoor ceremony at Fort William Gardens has been cancelled, with a much smaller outdoor event slated for the cenotaph at city hall.

A smaller version of the event at Waverley Park will still be held in its usual spot, but only three wreaths will be laid during the ceremony, which normally involves members of the local military and police and hundreds of onlookers.

Instead the Silver Cross mother will lay the first wreath, along with two others.

The service on Mount McKay will also be a scaled back version, with those wishing to lay a wreath being asked to come on their own once the annual ceremony concludes.

Les Newman, president of Port Arthur Branch No. 5 Royal Canadian Legion, said the limitations left them with little or no choice if a ceremony was still to be held.

“By the time we get the people who are required to deal with the wreaths and deal with the ceremony, there’s no room left for the colour party, the wreath layers and such,” Newman said on Thursday, standing in front of the cenotaph at Waverley Park.

“We’re not having any sort of a parade. The military units, unfortunately, have been cut out all together. They will be conducting their own services within their own buildings.”

The public is being discouraged from attending all three ceremonies ...
 

Colin Parkinson

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Very likley that tomorrows announcement in BC will squash even the limited event planned in North Vancouver.
 

ModlrMike

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We produced a 45 minute video edition of our Remembrance ceremony. It's been released to DGPA, and 17 Wing will be linking to it. In addition, we've released a copy to the local media with the provision that it can't go live until the appropriate time should they choose to air it. We expect national media involvement as well.

On the day, we will have a guard of 5, a bugler, the CO and Cox'n in attendance at the unit for 8 slow bells at 11 AM.
 

Fishbone Jones

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Like a Phoenix, once a year, this thread rises from it ashes. If it really was a cause for concern, this thread would be active 12 months of the year with a call for political action. Just like people only Remember, once a year.
 
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