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Split Decision

by Olivia Rutt and Jaime Myslik

Remembrance Day

We will remember them

Shortly before the country paused to celebrate our biggest holiday yet, our MPs passed legislation that gives Remembrance Day the same legal status as Canada Day.

It was a symbolic move because it is up to the provinces to determine if the day becomes a statutory holiday or not. Remembrance Day is not a holiday in Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador.

However, many provincial government workers have the day off. Federal employees do too.

Some may say a day off from work would allow them to better commemorate the day, but would it really? The importance of this day cannot be lost.

Our veterans are aging, so it is imperative, now more than ever, that we keep our Remembrance Day observances strong.

Even without a day off, those who are driving pull over and those who are walking stand still. It is a time to remember and reflect.

Think of Memorial Day in the U.S. For many years the holiday was a day to remember the men and women who died while serving. Now, the day is criticized for being an unofficial start of summer and a three-day party, much like our Victoria Day.

The scores of soldiers who died or were injured in battle since the First World War may have given you the freedom to enjoy another day off from work or school, but that is no way to honour their sacrifice.

– Olivia


VS.


Time for a new holiday

Last month the House of Commons passed a symbolic bill giving Remembrance Day the same legal status as Canada Day and Victoria Day. However, it’s up to the provinces to name it a statutory holiday.

The question often raised is whether people will still choose to attend ceremonies if they have the day off from work and school.

But wait, provincial and federal employees already get the time off. How is it right for the government to be concerned about the rest of the province when its employees already have free rein?   

Let’s put that aside for a moment.

If the worry is that people won’t attend local ceremonies the argument is likely moot before it even begins. Those who are working probably aren’t running out of their offices at 10:50 to get to their local cenotaph to observe a Remembrance Day ceremony. They would probably lose pay for however long the ceremony takes. That’s if they could even get the time off.  

By declaring Remembrance Day a statutory holiday the provincial government would actually be allowing non-governmental workers the opportunity to attend a ceremony without jeopardizing their income. That seems like a good deal, am I wrong?

Besides, every province and territory but Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland already have a holiday on Remembrance Day.

 It’s time for uniformity across the nation.    

– Jaime

Vol 50 Issue 27

 
 

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