The government of Saskatchewan has announced its intention to introduce a new piece of legislation aimed at safeguarding the rights of workers to display a poppy on Remembrance Day.
The proposed Saskatchewan Remembrance Day Freedom Act would proscribe employers from enforcing regulations that prohibit their employees from donning the emblem in tribute to Canada’s veterans.
The act was first announced during the throne speech delivered by Lt.-Gov. Russ Mirasty last week before being presented with the inaugural poppy of the year at Government House in Regina.
Premier Scott Moe expressed that the government’s decision to take action stemmed from grievances voiced by certain employees, including those in the public sector, who were not permitted to wear a poppy at their workplaces.
However, specific employers or industries were not disclosed.
“Honouring our veterans and what they have done — in giving us the opportunity to A, have a democracy, B, the opportunity to wear any other pin on at all — that should be recognized and honoured each and every day,” said Moe.
“Wearing a poppy and having the right to wear a poppy at your place of work, or anywhere you choose in this province, most certainly, I would say, is significant.”
The government aims to pass the bill within the current legislative session and obtain royal assent before November 11.
However, Moe acknowledged uncertainty regarding the consequences for employers who violate the law.
Saskatchewan is emulating the example set by Ontario, which modified its Remembrance Week Act in 2021.
The law ensures that every employee can wear a poppy, except when doing so might pose a risk or danger to themselves or others.