The CBC report continues: “Three months after instituting a policy barring its chapters from affiliating with groups known to promote hate, the Royal Canadian Legion says it is investigating why one of its Toronto chapters hosted a Rebel News book event, saying “it never should have happened.”t. “This goes against our anti-hate policy and the Provincial Commands have been notified,” the legion tweeted. The event went ahead anyway — despite a new policy instituted after one of its Alberta chapters was found to have counted members of the far-right group Soldiers of Odin among its ranks. …The national legion instituted the new policy, stating in part ‘no branch or command within the legion may affiliate itself in any manner whatsoever with a group or organization that promotes or is known to promote hatred or violence due to ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or any other social determinant. This also applies to legion support of groups affiliated with organizations that espouse hostility.'” The policy goes on to say that it is up to branch and provincial executives to ‘use their best judgment to ensure policy compliance.’ The national headquarters makes the final determination as to what constitutes a prohibited group, it says.”
This pathetic policy is so loose that it could be used to ban almost anyone. Of course, there’s no hearing or chance for the maligned group to defend itself. What, for instance, would promoting hatred … due to any other social determinant” be? Whatever became of freedom of speech and due process? Weren’t these the reasons men and women risked and even sacrificed their lives in two World Wars? The Legion seems to have become just a cozy watering hole for politically correct types. What a fall?
Both my parents fought in World War II, my mother, 1939-1945, as a nurse in the Canadian Army; my father, 1943-1945, in the Royal Canadian Navy. People enlisted for many reasons, some after 10 years of the Depression, just to be assured of shelter, clothes and three meals a day. Many enlisted for idealistic reasons. Having spoken to many old vets, I learned that they felt they were fighting for a better world, a “free world”, summarized in the famous WW II song by Vera Lynn “We’ll Meet Again” One line promises, “we’ll meet again, tomorrow, when the world is free.”
How could those bureaucrats who run the Legion so betray the ideals of freedom? This isn’t the first time. In May of 2018, “A political party with controversial views on immigration and multiculturalism have been left scrambling after the Royal Canadian Legion cancelled a town hall it planned to hold at a legion building in Halifax on Friday. The National Citizens Alliance (NCA) … was set to host its meeting at the legion branch at 6158 Almon St. at 5:30 p.m. … ‘ When RCL Branch 27 learned that the booking was intended as a town hall meeting for the National Citizens Alliance, the booking was cancelled,’ she wrote. (Global News, May 31, 2019)
So, criticizing immigration and multiculturalism gets you banned from the Legion. Just what were these men fighting for?
The current Legion leadership has betrayed the ideal of freedom of speech. People should reconsider support for the November 11 Poppy Campaign. Why support an institution that no longer supports free speech? You’ll see donation boxes with poppies in many stores. The box has the phone number of the local legion. Write it down, phone them and let them know you are reconsidering your donation this year because the Legion seems to have abandoned support for freedom of speech, a goal for which the veterans fought. — Paul Fromm