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Legion National Headquarters updates on COVID-19

April 1, 2021

The 48th Dominion Convention will be delivered online

Due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, the Legion Dominion Executive Council met on March 30, 2021 and voted to convene the 48th Dominion Convention via a virtual/online format.

The 2021 Dominion Convention, originally scheduled for August 12-19 in Saskatoon, will now be held online from August 13 to 15, 2021. Full details explaining how the Convention will operate will be sent out in the Convention Call at the end of April. 

Please note, resolutions to be considered in the 2021 Dominion Convention must still be submitted to Dominion Command by 24 April 2021.

For questions on the Dominion Convention, please contact your Provincial Command.

March 2, 2021

Cancelled: 45th National Youth Track and Field Championships 

The Legion National Youth Track and Field Championships have been cancelled for the second year in a row, due to the pandemic. The 2021 event was originally scheduled to take place in Sherbrooke, Quebec from August 6-8.

Next year’s 2022 Legion Nationals will take place in Sherbrooke, Quebec from August 3-9. Read more

    November 17, 2020

    Federal Funding Available for Legion Branches

    A new $20 million Veterans Organizations Emergency Support Fund (VOESF) financial aid package was recently announced by Veterans Affairs Canada. Of that funding, $14 million has been allocated to Legion Branches struggling with operational costs as a direct result of the COVID-19.

    Information on how to apply for funding was emailed to Legion Branches on November 17. Branches must submit their funding application through their Provincial Command by December 7, 2020. Read more

    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: 

    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 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