Mr. Speaker, I rise to draw attention to a very serious issue.
Under the elections act, we as politicians have the right to campaign in any publicly accessible space, such as malls, stores and banks. Meanwhile, Canadian veterans, proud men and women who have risked their lives and have watched brothers, sisters and friends die for the democratic rights some take for granted, do not have the same access.
Recently, veterans and their poppy boxes have been turned away from community businesses. Sadly, veterans in my riding of Sudbury have received similar treatment.
Derald Balson, the poppy chairman for the last nine years for Branch 76 of the Royal Canadian Legion, was asked to leave a storefront since the manager did not want beggars in the area.
Veterans and their families deserve our deepest gratitude and respect for their contributions to our country and for protecting the freedoms we hold so dear. The least we can do is make sure they receive the support they have earned.
I urge all parliamentarians, all Canadians, to support the poppy campaign so we may honour the living and remember the fallen.