Ottawa students don't care if 'white poppy' offends vets



OTTAWA - A handful of university students have hopped aboard the left-wing Rideau Institute's "white poppy" bandwagon for Remembrance Day, promoting their pacifist ideology by piggybacking on the Royal Canadian Legion's red poppy campaign.

"Young people don't want to celebrate war," Celyn Dufay of the University of Ottawa said. "We want to work for peace."

MORE: White poppies 'disrespectful,' says veterans affairs minister

With the imposing National War Memorial behind him, Dufay unveiled a pin Monday he and a gaggle of activists will distribute this week.

The pin puts the Rideau Institute's "I Remember for Peace" slogan on a white poppy - a controversial symbol that has angered the legion before.

Bill Maxwell, secretary of the legion's poppy remembrance committee, said Dufay and the Rideau Institute don't understand Remembrance Day symbols.

"The red poppy is a symbol of sacrifice," Maxwell said. "It's not a glorification of war."

MORE: Ontario barbers upset at prospect of being forced to learn how to style women's hair

Conservative MP Erin O'Toole, a military helicopter navigator before entering politics, said the red poppy already stands for peace.

"That peace came at the cost of many, many lives," O'Toole said. "So, to run a simultaneous (white poppy) campaign that really detracts from the day I think is not only inappropriate, it actually undermines the message."

Dufay hopes to distribute about 2,500 white poppy pins, including at the national Remembrance Day ceremony next week.

Maxwell said that won't go over well with veterans.

"I think they may even take it personally," he said. "I'm sure they would."

Dufay said he'll distribute the pins anyway.

"We can't account for other people's feelings, however, no one has a monopoly over Remembrance Day," he said.

Sun News Videos

Mink farming

Nova Scotia produces half of Canada's mink fur.

Feminist 'consent underwear' spark debate

Do consent underwear just change the conversation from 'rape culture' to 'slut culture'?

Afghanistan's upcoming election

With an election rapidly approaching, change is on its way to Afghanistan. Good or bad, the world is watching.

Ezra Levant’s The Source is the most provocative and thought-changing multimedia show in Canada.

This show is 100% focused on the political battles taking place across Canada, in the United States...even around the world.

Michael Coren brings you strong, balanced opinions to challenge conventional thinking.

Byline brings you the stories you won’t hear anywhere else while exploring points of view that are all too often ignored.