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Legion National Headquarters updates on COVID-19

June 10, 2020

The Dominion Executive Council approved the following amendment to the Poppy Manual to allow for a one-time special use expenditure of Poppy Funds for branch Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the amount of $500 necessary for the protection of veterans.  See below: 

POPPY MANUAL – MODIFICATION JUNE 2020 
Authorized Special Use Expenditures

403.ii.e:  Relief of Disasters: (prior Provincial Command approval is required) 50 percent of the current balance, for donations for relief of disasters declared by the federal or provincial governments.  Funds raised for this use must be allocated as per the direction for use of Poppy Funds outlined in this manual.  Additionally this provision can include a one-time expenditure per event of up to $500 for branch public safety items necessary for the protection of our veterans (i.e. touchless hand sanitizing stations).


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.  Read more

However, more support is needed to assist Branches struggling with operational expenses as a result of the pandemic. The Dominion President continues to engage government for emergency financial support for Branch operations.

 


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.

    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 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 Hearings

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

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

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.

Go Fund Me Pages

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

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


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 Monday, August 3. 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.