COVID-19 Updates

 

April 24, 2020

Federal and Provincial Websites for Financial Support

With Legion Branches closed across Canada because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many are facing financial challenges and pressures. As a source of information, Legion National Headquarters is highlighting government and organizational websites that provide financial supports that may be applicable to your Legion Branch.

There are a range of financial relief programs to assist businesses and organizations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. These national and provincial initiatives include wage subsidy programs, tax deferral and property tax deferral programs, emergency financial relief programs, rent relief programs, utility payment relief programs, financial support for certain sectors and services, and more.  Read more

 


April 22, 2020

The Four Day Marches organization announced on April 21 that the 104th International Four Days Marches Nijmegen will be cancelled as a result of the extension of the corona measures in the Netherlands. The Royal Canadian Legion’s 2020 Marches Nijmegen Representative, Joan Cook, will continue as our selection for the 2021 Marches and carry on her training for next year.

 


April 16, 2020

Dominion Convention rescheduled to August 2021

In light of the pandemic and related public health concerns, the Dominion Executive Council, with the unanimous support of all Provincial Commands, voted to reschedule the 2020 Dominion Convention planned for August in Saskatoon. Dominion Convention is rescheduled for August 12–19, 2021 in Saskatoon. Further updates on the Convention will be sent to all Branches at a later date.

     


April 6, 2020

    Cancelled: 44th National Youth Track and Field Championships

    The pandemic and related public health concerns have forced the cancellation of the 2020 Legion National Youth Track and Field Championships, originally scheduled to take place from August 7-9 in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

    “This was not an easy decision for all of us to make,” says Brian Weaver, Dominion Command Vice President and Sports Committee Chair. “However, the safety of everyone involved including athletes, volunteers and CBU staff, was our number one priority."

    Next year’s 2021 Legion Nationals will take place in Sherbrooke, Quebec from August 6-8. Read more

     


April 5, 2020

The Dominion Executive Council has amended Article III of the General Bylaws on 4 April 2020 and that article is to be interpreted in light of the following:

The current COVID-19 pandemic has had significant impact on all Canadians and others around the world. To prevent the further spread of this infectious disease we have all had to curtail our normal activities and put life “on hold” until it is safe to return to our regular daily lives.

To respect the directives that governments have asked us all to follow, the governing body of the Legion (Dominion Executive Council) has taken steps to put all matters under the complaints and appeal procedures in Article III of the General By-Laws, on hold. It is not an option to continue with complaints in progress or to accept newly lodged complaints or appeals under current circumstances.

As of 20 March 2020 all timelines under Article III were suspended and will cease to be operative until the Dominion President has determined that the COVID-19 crisis has sufficiently diminished to allow for a return to normal. Read more

 


April 3, 2020

In an unprecedented move, the Legion’s National Headquarters will release a total of 3 million dollars to help struggling Branches in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Dominion Command Executive Council made a landmark decision to release the funds from the Legion’s national reserves, in order to provide Branch Emergency Funds - non-repayable grants - to Branches that are suffering across our country. These are not Poppy Funds, which cannot be used for Branch operations.  Read more

 


March 25, 2020

Branch financial assistance during COVID-19

The COVID-19 outbreak has impacted the operations and programs of the Legion at all levels of the organization. One major impact on the organization is the closure of Branches nationwide. These closures have put a serious strain on the financial resources of Branches everywhere…but help is available!

Learn about national and provincial financial assistance options your Branch can explore. Read more.

 


March 23, 2020

In response to the Ontario Government order to shut down all non-essential services effective midnight March 24, the Legion's National Headquarters office in Ottawa will close. This order is in effect for at least 14 days.

Most services provided through Legion Headquarters will continue remotely, including Veteran Services and membership administration. 

Legion Poppy Store orders will continue to be received through online purchases, however, products and Legion membership cards will not be mailed until the office reopens.

 


March 20, 2020

Sent via email to DEC, Past Dominion Presidents, Provincial Executive Directors and circulated internally at Legion House.

The Dominion Executive Council (DEC) met by emergency teleconference this afternoon to discuss important situations Legion Branches are facing in light of the COVID-19 outbreak and Branch closures. 

Complaint Hearing Timings (Article 308.d.)

Situation: The General By-Laws (GBL) do not specifically address Article III delays (other than GBL 307) or the postponement of complaint hearings.  As Branches are closed and operations cancelled, some in-progress complaint situations are left pending.

Decision:  Effective immediately, all current and new complaints will be held in abeyance and GBL 308.d will be amended to remove the 45-day requirement.

Dominion Convention Resolution Deadline (Article 919)

Situation: The current due date for receipt of Dominion Convention resolutions at Dominion Command is 3 May 2020.  This provides time for review by the respective Dominion Command Committee and for the resolution to be included in the Convention Reports and Resolutions book, which must be printed and mailed to all Branches 6 weeks prior to convention (GBL 919.e).  Resolutions received at Dominion Command after the 3 May deadline are considered as late resolutions (GBL 919.d); those of a routine nature will be returned to Provincial Commands and urgent resolutions will be reviewed and considered.  With Branch closures, this 3 May deadline is now unmanageable for those branches that intended to submit resolutions.

Decision: The deadline date for submission of Dominion Convention resolutions remains unchanged, with all resolutions received after that date considered as late resolutions.  HOWEVER, all late resolutions will receive consideration at the pre-convention DEC meeting and none will be returned in advance of that meeting for being routine.

Branch Elections (Article 6)

Situation: Branch elections are often held in the spring, with the new executive taking office in early summer.  Branch closures have impacted the Branch election process.

Decision:  Branch elections and transitions to a new executive, and Branch by-laws / regulations pertaining to Branch elections, are suspended pending a return to normal branch operations. 

Note: As Districts and Zones are administrative units of a Command, any change to elections at those levels will be the decision of the respective Provincial Command.

Fundraising (Article 129)

Situation: Some Legion Branches have started Go Fund Me pages to raise funds to help pay bills during the period of Branch closure caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. This type of online fundraising is in conflict with section 129 of the General By-Laws (GBL), which places geographical limitations on where Branches can appeal for financial assistance. 

Decision: Section 129 of the GBLs is rescinded in its entirely effective immediately and until further notice. 

With this action, Branch Go Fund Me pages are no longer in conflict with the GBLs and can proceed.

Information for Branches

As information, there are government sources available to Legion Branches for financial assistance:

  • Business Development Corporation: apply online for loans up to $100K
  • All banks can be approached regarding a Branch mortgage; interest-only charges for 6 months are possible, as well as re-negotiating the mortgage in light of lower rates
  • Some provinces have programs in place for Not-for-Profit organizations; applications are online

Additional detail on government support programs is being developed and will be shared early next week.

 


March 17, 2020 (updated March 31)

Provincial/Territorial Command update

The Legion’s National Headquarters is receiving information from our independent Commands from across the country related to COVID-19 actions. Commands are aligning their decisions with direction from their local and regional public health officials as required. We will update this section as information comes in.

Many Branches will continue to support Veterans and widows, and the wider community through this challenging time. For example, some are implementing a buddy system whereby volunteers are ensuring that people in higher risk groups maintain a degree of social contact and receive medical help, or food.

Our Veterans Services department will continue to operate across Canada. Please contact your Provincial/Territorial Command for regional information. Nationally, our Dominion Command Service Officers can be reached via phone or email. We will redirect you to the right region if applicable.

Phone: 613-591-3335 
Toll-free: 1-877-534-4666
veteransservices@legion.ca

Note: For current updates related to National Headquarters, please read the March 13 article in this section, and continue to revisit this page.

Ontario Command

  • As a direct result of the State of Emergency issued in the Province of Ontario on March 17, the Ontario Command of The Royal Canadian Legion has issued a strong recommendation to all its Ontario Branches to close their doors immediately.
  • Ontario Command cannot mandate a branch to close, so in accordance with the State of Emergency, The Provincial President, Garry Pond is encouraging Royal Canadian Legion Branches in Ontario to close effective immediately.” – Letter to Branches from Ontario Command

Quebec Command

  • Recently, the Legion’s Quebec Command issued a directive for its Branches to close as a preventive measure during the COVID-19 situation.

Newfoundland and Labrador Command

  • The annual Beaumont-Hamel Pilgrimage to France scheduled for late-June/early July is cancelled.
  • Provincial Executive Council Meetings scheduled for 27/28 March 2020 have been postponed indefinitely.
  • All Branches are closed, and events and meetings have been canceled.
  • Provincial Command staff are working remotely, however, go to the office as required to assist Veterans and their families.  The situation will be reassessed after the Easter weekend.

Nova Scotia and Nunavut Command

  • Rotating 1 staff at the Command office with restricted entry to Canada Post; other staff are working remotely
  • NS/NU Command President has directed that all Branches follow health authority and all levels of government directives.  

New Brunswick Command

  • The Command has recommended that all of its Branches close their doors.
  • All District/Provincial Sports are postponed until further notice.
  • In person meetings and gatherings are postponed until at least June.
  • The Command office is closed until further notice. The Command telephone and email are being monitored remotely.
  • For immediate local Veteran assistance, contact the Command main phone number at 866-320-8387.
  • For status updates on a Veteran claim, please call Veteran Affairs Canada at 1-866-522-2122 or send a secure e-mail on My VAC Account.

Alberta – Northwest Territories Command

  • All Sports Championships for 2020 are cancelled.
  • The AB-NWT L.A. Command has postponed their June Convention until at least September 2020.
  • The Command Office will remain staffed, but no appointments will be accepted until further notice.  Anyone that can work from home will be encouraged to do so.
  • The Provincial Executive Council meeting scheduled for 3-5 April 2020 is postponed indefinitely.
  • All District Rallies are postponed indefinitely.
  • AB/NWT Branches have ceased all operations until further notice.
  • Section 311(a) and 313(a) of the Alberta-NWT Command By-Laws are temporarily suspended.  Thus, elections for all Deputy District Commanders and the District 4 Commander are suspended until such time that Provincial Executive Council (PEC) authorizes District Rallies to proceed.

Prince Edward Island Command

  • The Command has asked that all of its Branches close their doors.
  • The Command office is closed until further notice. Staff are working remotely.

British Columbia – Yukon Command

  • A state of emergency was declared in BC Tuesday, 17 March, which orders all bars and clubs to close. Branches are being urged to comply with the order. 
  • The Command has advised Branches to follow directives from their local health authorities in terms of closing their doors.
  • The Command office is closed and all staff will work remotely for the next two weeks at a minimum. All Command workshops and visits are cancelled until further notice.
  • All provincial sports events are cancelled.
  • COVID-19 Provincial Support and Information website: gov.bc.ca

Manitoba – Northwest Ontario Command

  • The Command has encouraged all Branches to close.

Saskatchewan Command

  • The Command has recommended that all of its Branches close their doors.
  • The Command office will remain closed until the end of March.
  • People will still be able to call the office since staff will be replying remotely.
  • All Command events will be either cancelled or postponed until at least June.

Legion OSI Special Section

  • All OSI Special Section Buddy Check Coffee and Operation VetBuild gatherings in all regions across the country are postponed until further notice.
  • Retired and serving military and RCMP members can stay connected during this time through our virtual/online Buddy Check Coffee Google Hangouts, taking place every day at 3pm Ottawa (EDT) time. Follow Buddy Check Coffee on Facebook and Buddy Check Coffee on Twitter to get the info you need to join in.

TVS Special Section

  • All TVS Branches are closed and all activities have been cancelled until June, when they will re-evaluate.

Eastern Zone USA

  • The May Executive Meeting has been cancelled.

Western Zone USA

  • All Zone activities have been postponed until the further notice.
  • Pre Memorial Day service is cancelled. 
  • All Branches are being advised to shut down activities.

Europe Zone (Netherlands Branch)

  • Apeldoorn Branch 005 is now closed until further notice.
  • Kings Day celebration on 27 April is cancelled.
  • Vimy Ridge commemoration is cancelled.
  • Events in conjunction with Liberation 75 are under consideration with an announcement expected in the coming week.

 


March 16, 2020

The Royal Canadian Legion is taking the advice of Canada’s medical experts in tackling the threat of COVID-19. Staff at our National Headquarters office in Ottawa will be working remotely in most instances, and our actual building will be closed from Tuesday March 17 to Sunday, April 5. We will reply to your specific inquiry as soon as possible.

Please note: Local questions should be directed to local branches or provincial commands. We thank you for your understanding and ask you to visit Legion.ca for updates related to this situation.

For general inquiries please phone:
1-613-591-3335
Toll-free: 1-888-556-6222

Please direct any public relations or media inquiries to: publicrelations@legion.ca or call 613-591-3335 ext. 241.

 


March 13, 2020

Message from the Dominion President

The Legion’s Dominion Executive Council (DEC) has outlined critical operational decisions related to COVID-19. These decisions considered all obvious risk and logistical factors including the best information available from our national health authorities.

The organization will continue to take a balanced and calm approach and is ready to make changes as this fluid situation develops. We will communicate new or modified decisions as appropriate. 

Legion National Headquarters

All non-essential business travel is cancelled, as are meetings scheduled to be held at Legion Headquarters.

Planned national gatherings

The organization is postponing, cancelling or - at this time - progressing with plans to hold larger events in late summer. In cases where we still plan to proceed, we will revisit decisions in June:

Branch-related operations

Our Branches are directed to seek and take guidance from their local health authorities and provincial/territorial commands in determining whether meetings or events should proceed. Consideration will be given to all possible known risk factors.

  • All OSI Special Section Buddy Check Coffee and Operation VetBuild gatherings in all regions across the country are postponed until further notice.

While the risk to Canadians remains low at this time, the Legion believes it is prudent to take these actions in order to decrease the risk to our members, public and employees.

The Legion will provide ongoing updates online through its membership portal and through a visible link at the top of our Legion.ca homepage. Dominion Convention updates can also be accessed via the homepage link.

Thomas D. Irvine, CD

Dominion President
The Royal Canadian Legion

 


March 11, 2020

As the situation around the Coronavirus evolves, Legion National Headquarters is paying close attention to direction from the Public Health Agency of Canada and developing preparedness plans to address the potential operational impact on national Legion programs. Updates affecting national programs will be shared on Legion.ca.

Legion Members can find additional information by logging in to the Member Services Website