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Sask. will require employers to let staff wear poppies

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The Government of Saskatchewan is taking steps to ensure the right to wear a poppy – after it received reports that workers within provincial government organizations were denied the opportunity.

“We have had reports … where folks would like to wear a poppy in their place of work and were denied,” Premier Scott Moe said to reporters prior to Wednesday's throne speech.

“In fairness, even folks within provincial government organizations where that was not provided. So now that will be written into legislation.”

The Saskatchewan Remembrance Observation Act was highlighted in the government’s speech from the throne delivered by Lieutenant Governor Russ Mirasty.

“As Remembrance Day approaches, many Saskatchewan residents show their gratitude and honour our veterans by donating to the Royal Canadian Legion Poppy Campaign and by wearing a poppy,” the speech said.

“While no one is required to wear a poppy, no one should ever be prevented from doing so.”

Moe did not provide any details on the incidents that apparently led to the government’s decision to pursue a legislative solution.

“My understanding is that we had a report of one maybe two situations there [at government organizations] and some reports from other areas as well,” he said.

“I won’t go into the details on when and where but once the legislation is in and passed, they’ll all abide by it.”

The government intends to introduce the act during the upcoming fall session of the Saskatchewan Legislature.

The poppy has acted as a national symbol of remembrance in Canada for more than a century. During the First World War – the flower was immortalized in John McCrae’s poem In Flanders Fields.

The flower – often found overgrowing the mass graves of the Western Front – was adopted as a symbol by the Great War Veteran’s Association in 1921.

The tradition was continued by The Canadian Legion in 1925.

The poppy remains a symbol for those who served and died while in service in Canada, Great Britain, the nations of the Commonwealth and in the United States.

“They seem maybe like maybe small and at times insignificant things – but they are significant,” Moe added.

“Wearing a poppy and having a right to wear a poppy in your place of work or anywhere where you choose in this province. Most certainly I would say it’s significant.”

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