Poppy Sales Start – Support our Veterans!

PoppyTHUNDER BAY – Over the next weeks, when you pass by a Royal Canadian Legion Poppy Box in one of our local shops or restaurants, make sure you drop a few coins or bills into that box. The funds raised by the annual Poppy Campaign go to support local veterans and their families in Thunder Bay.

Many in our city fully understand the importance of the sacrifices that our veterans have made. The City of Thunder Bay passed a motion that allows veterans free use of Thunder Bay Transit on Remembrance Day.

As well, on November 11th, all Thunder Bay Transit buses stop for two minutes.

Some in Thunder Bay however seem to have forgotten the importance of Remembrance Day. There are a number of businesses in our city which have refused Poppy Boxes this year.

One of the complaints shared with NetNewsledger.com is some of these businesses are claiming that the Poppy Box takes up valuable counter space. One locally owned business, that once took eleven Poppy Boxes at their locations in the city now have refused those Poppy Boxes. When you are shopping for groceries, it might be worth noting which store that is in our city.

My view is “For shame!” One might assume the people running a business that refuses to give up half a square foot of counter space for two weeks might just be forgetting that thousands of Canadians fought and died defending the freedoms that we now enjoy today.

The price paid by our soldiers, sailors, WACS, and airmen continues on today. Our troops are engaged in Afghanistan defending freedom in that far-off land.

On November 11th we stop to remember and respect our veterans and their sacrifices. Between now and November 11th giving up half a square foot of counter space is the smallest possible price that businesses in our city can pay.

Those who claim that they can’t afford that little sacrifice are, in my opinion forgetting the big picture.  It seems to me that making a little sacrifice for ten days is the smallest possible price to pay.

Greg Rickford Member of Parliament for Kenora shares that the federal government is stepping up their support for our Veterans and local Legion in advance of Remembrance Day by announcing the Conservative Government will provide a 100% rebate of any sales tax the Royal Canadian Legion pays when they buy their poppies and wreaths from private sector suppliers.

“Our Government is pleased to provide this tax relief to support the Remembrance Day Poppy Campaign” said Rickford.  “Our action recognizes the special status of poppies and wreaths as symbols of the contribution, courage and sacrifices of those brave men and women who serve and have served in Canada’s armed forces.”

This change restores the tax relief that essentially existed for poppies and wreaths until 1996. With the proposed rebate, Remembrance Day poppies and wreaths will be fully free of any sales tax.

“The ‘poppy tax’ meant a portion of the donations that Canadians made every year on Remembrance Day did not benefit the Legion and our Veterans” said Rickford.  “That was wrong, and I am glad our Government is restoring this tax relief and helping our Veterans in this small way.”

The proposed rebate would be retroactive to January 1, 2010 to cover any sales tax on the current year’s poppies and wreaths acquired by the Royal Canadian Legion.