Condescending Legion Response from Bruce Poulin

This is the response I received from Bruce Poulin, Communications Officer, Dominion bruceCommand. I love the last paragraph of his email, It once again rolls out that old legion Chestnut. The Legion does not say blood relatives can’t wear medals, we are just informing them of the law, maybe not in those words but same meaning.. His letter although carefully worded has a very condescending tone about it. For example “While our policy has been explained to you in the past by other Legion commands” I will join the ranks of those who have tried to explain our policy”. It is as he is talking down to a child who has trouble grasping the obvious. There folks lies the problem! Dominion knows best, and we less intelligent members should try to listen and learn from our elders.  I suppose to be fair, they are at least responding to members concerns if not addressing them, maybe this is a change in policy by the new President. On the other hand, perhaps our message is getting through and they are getting worried. After reading this blog I seriously urge those who agree with my blog to email Bruce Poulin with your comments, I would like to see his computer flooded with veterans comments.  His email address——


Thank you again for taking the time to write to the Legion’s Dominion Command with your questions regarding Legion medals worn exclusively on the right sight of their Legion uniform.  While our policy has been explained to you in the past by other Legion commands, I will join the ranks of those who have tried to explain our policy once more and hopefully address your concerns.

 First and foremost, I am sure you will agree, that the service and sacrifice of Canada’s Veterans is recognized, in part, through the medals they receive.  When someone dons a medal or other decoration that was never awarded to them, they degrade the honour and sacrifice of those rightly wearing the medals they received, and they are breaking the law. The Legion admonishes any act that disrespects Canada’s Veterans or ignores Canada’s current laws.

 As stated in the Legion Ritual, Awards and Protocol Manual, “it is an offence under Sections 419 A and B of the Criminal Code of Canada for anyone, other than the recipient, to wear a uniform of the Canadian Armed Forces or Service Insignia, such as medals, ribbons, badges, chevrons or other decoration. It is also an offence for anyone to wear any imitation of the above if it is likely to be mistaken for the said uniform, or service insignia, etc.”

 I am also at a loss to understand why you have singled out the Legion for its policies regarding the wearing of Legion medals when, in fact, other Veterans organizations including ANAVETS, AVA, Veterans UN NATO Canada, and Cadet organizations or civilian organizations such as the Order of St. George and the Order of St. Lazarus, to name only a few, all have medals that are not awarded by the government and, in many cases, may be purchased.

 Allow me to conclude by stating that Legion members take seriously the wearing of government sanctioned medals and abiding by Canadian laws.  If you seek to change the criminal code of Canada, may I suggest you direct your focus and energies towards the government of Canada and not the Legion.

Sincerely Bruce Poulin

First allow me to explain, real medals earned in the service of ones country are worn on the LEFT, over the heart I …

I think it would be great for my daughters to wear their great grandfather’s and grandfather’s medals on the right side during remembrance day ceremonies. What better way to be remembered! I would love to know that my granddaughter would someday be able to wear mine when I’m gone.medal girl

God Bless and keeping



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 family, HM Submarines, HMS Cockade, hms ganges, military, veterans. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Condescending Legion Response from Bruce Poulin

  1. It is my impression that this law was formed so as not to let just anyone wear medals. For example, we went through the hippie stage when people would wear just about anything. To have ignored that veterans medals were being used in this way would have been letting disrespect get away to the maximum. Rightly so, the law stepped in. But to carry words to the point that no one, under any circumstances, can wear a medal except a veteran was getting beyond reason when you disallow people who wanted to do it out of remembrance and respect. The key phrase here is “under any circumstances”. No law should be written in stone because there are always circumstances that a law might not apply one hundred per cent. If a person “steals” a loaf of bread from me out of desperation I would not set the law on him. He is not a thief.

    • irishroverpei says:

      Hi Francis i’m not sure how this law came about, but doubt it was due to hippies. More likely at the end of a war, claiming you were a veteran probably gave you a better chance of getting a job. Many phony veterans were around in 1945.

  2. Cathy hollis says:

    Perhaps a compromise could be considered….if you are not the recipient of the medals, why not carry the medals in an open flat display case ( much like a picture frame) and hold them in love and respect over your heart at remembrance ceremonies.

    • irishroverpei says:

      Hi Cathy the compromise you suggest has always been available as a choice, however in more than 30 years of attending Remembrance Day parades in many parts of the country, I have never seen a family member carrying a framed set of medals. How about you?

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