Royal Canadian Legion Hypocrisy

legionThe simple definition of the word “Hypocrisy”

: the behavoir of people who do things that they tell other people not to do. : behavoir that does not agree with what someone claims to believe or feel.

This is not a bad definition of the policies presently in place within both Dominion and Provincial Commands of the Royal Canadian Legions. In my recent attempts to have a resolution brought forward to amend section 419 of the criminal code, it was flatly refused at Provincial Command. When I attempted to have it forwarded to the Dominion Command Convention it was again denied at the Provincial Level.

If you look closely at the two photos attached you will see the National President wearing the legion uniform with an array of legion service medals on the right and three medals on the left breast. could he perhaps be mistaken as a veteran?

In the other photo you will see Claus Broderson Provincial Command Chairman (centre) also in Legion uniform, he too sports several Legion service medals on his right breast. He wears two medals on his left breast, he could be mistaken as a veteran?

Yet a few years ago a Charlottetown Lady (Mrs Madrien Ferris) asked if she could wear her late husbands medals on her right breast to a Remembrance Day Ceremony she was promptly told no by the legion, it is against the law!

TomEagles23Lt Gov PEI receives 1st Poppy 2015While these two associate members have every right to wear their medals, I have a huge problem with them telling a veterans widow she can’t wear her late husband medals. No doubt these two associates will mingle with veterans and be assumed to be veterans by the general public. Mrs Ferris on the other hand will clearly be recognized as a Veterans widow. It begs the question, if an associate can wear medals on such occasions what gives them the right to deny a veterans widow????just a little bit of hypocrisy here don’t you think???????

If the Royal Canadian Legion is to survive into the 21st century we need to make some drastic changes. We must return to being a veterans organization, associate members should not be our elected representatives beyond the branch level. They should not wear the same legion uniform as actual veterans. They should certainly not have the authority to tell veterans what they can and cannot do within the Legion organization.! Is it any wonder so few of today’s veterans are joining the legion.

Receiving a military medal for services preformed is an honour and a moment of personal pride that is difficult to describe. It cannot be experienced in the same way by a politician receiving a medal merely because he is an MP. It cannot be described the same way by a civilian receiving the Diamond Jubilee  for volunteer work. Only the medals awarded for Military service to ones Nation can be regarded as medals earned,deserved and rightly worn by veterans. Therefore, when a veteran passes on, that same right should fall to his family members, they should be allowed, nay, encouraged to wear their late love ones medals. They should be welcomed and honoured at all Remembrance Day Services.

Time to do a clean sweep and rid this once excellent veterans organization of the hypocrisy that rules it today. As a foot note :- please do not misunderstand my motives, I’m certainly not against associate members, many do great work. The legions would be hard pressed without them. Nevertheless, we must not lose sight that this is a veterans organization and it is veterans who should be directing our future


Article 419 of the Criminal Code of Canada prohibits the wearing of orders, decorations and medals by anyone other than the individual who was awarded the honour. The maximum penalty for breaking the law is $5000 fine or six months in jail.

God Bless and keep reading.

About irishroverpei

Author of "Lily & Me", "The Royal Navy & Me" and Chapter XXl Armageddon. Writer, blogger and RN Submariner, antique automobile enthusiast.
This entry was posted in Belfast Blitz, HM Submarines, HMS Cockade, hms ganges, military, The Royal Navy & Me, veterans and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Royal Canadian Legion Hypocrisy

  1. Neville Pearson says:

    HI BEN,
    Being politically correct is not always the right way. The Bill of rights crosses some boundaries which in the opinion of many are not acceptable. Anyone who becomes a Canadian Citizen must swear allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen and the Country of Canada and leave all their own countries traditions behind. How is it possible to do the basics required and still want to carry on the traditions of dress and culture in this country. One glaring example is the wearing of Turbans in a legion hall or as an RCMP officer. You are either Canadian and adhere to the dress code of the organization to which you are trying to join as as CANADIAN first and foremost. I understand that this is old hat and stirring up the pot but it is how I have felt ever since becoming a CANADIAN myself. Lets get with it and take a leaf out of the Australian Prime Ministers Book and tell everyone who come to their country, abide by our traditions of God and Queen and Country or go back where you came from. You came to us for your benefit, we already have the benefits you seek, if you like it stay if not GO HOME.

  2. irishroverpei says:

    You bring up some difficult issues Neville. I have not problem with the turban but have many issues with Muslim covering women’s faces.i have a bigger problem with sharia law,it has no place in this country. However, I’m not sure if you are referring to today,s blog, or early?

  3. Neville Pearson says:

    I am referring to all aspects of the rights of Canadians being usurped by different organizations and taking away from the Laws of the Country. Become a Canadian and you can have your culture but none should put their culture above the Canadian Law which all immigrants, including yourself and myself pledged to do on becoming Canadian. Politically correctness does not answer the problems faced.

  4. irishroverpei says:

    When I applied to immigrate to Canada I was told in Belfast at Canada House that I had better be prepared to work, there were no hand outs in Canada. Just one of society’s many changes in our lifetimes, Very sad. Can’t say God Bless and a person sneezes, no prayers in schools, we are going the wrong direction.I want the Canada back that I originally came too.

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