Volume 94, Issue 48

Thursday, November 23, 2000


NEWS

Operation Massive loses over $30,000

Student gets promoted As PM

Affiliates looking for piece of pie

Layman House closes

Remembrance Day bill introduced in Ontario

Fantino asks for less cell phone use

London North Centre candidates get candid - contenders answer light-hearted questions

Remembrance Day bill introduced in Ontario

By Wes Brown
Gazette Staff

Ontarians could be spending more time remembering on Remembrance Day if a recently introduced private member's bill passes through the Ontario legislature.

"Comment has been favourable from the legislature side and we haven't heard any arguments against it. The next step will be to demonstrate public support in order to get it turned into law," said Bob Wood, a London West Member of Provincial Parliament, who introduced the private members bill last Thursday.

Wood said if passed, the Remembrance Day Observance Amendment 2000 would allow employees to take up to three unpaid hours of leave between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. each Rememberance Day.

"Those who do not understand the past are condemned to repeat it. This [bill] can only build on the lessons of the past as well as recognize the heroes this country has produced from the past," he said.

Wood said public support in the form of letter writing campaigns, petition signing and calling into local MPPs will help push this amendment forward.

Dave Gordon, assistant provincial secretary for the Ontario chapter of the Royal Canadian Legion, said it would be great to see a bill like this implemented.

He said the Legion would support the bill, adding their promotion as well as community promotion has seen attendance at Remembrance Day ceremonies increase substantially over the past few years.

"I think the 'Unknown Soldier' national memorial ceremony that occurred in Ottawa [last spring] revitalized the awareness involved with Remembrance Day and has seen it attracting more observers because of it," he said.

Suzanne Medeiros, executive assistant to the director of employment at the Ontario Ministry of Labour, said because it was introduced as a private member's bill and because it is still early, the Ministry is still unsure of the result.

"I haven't really heard too much about it," she said. "However, if it were to be passed it would depend on how they would qualify it – it's not a public holiday and it's not a vacation."

Medeiros also said she wondered whether businesses currently in collective agreements would have to modify their labour terms. "There will also be people who will not be able to afford to take three unpaid hours off."

Whatever the case, Gordon said it is important that Canadians still remember on the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month. "As long as Canadians are still pausing for two minutes at 11 o'clock, that's what is important."


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