The province of Saskatchewan passed legislation Wednesday to protect workers who wear a poppy in honour of our military and fallen soldiers.
On November 1, the Saskatchewan Party introduced and unanimously passed Bill 139, the Saskatchewan Remembrance Observance Act, with support of all MLAs.
"I don’t remember many times — and I’ve been around here a long time — that a bill would go through so quickly, unanimously with support from opposition and, of course, government," Labour Minister Don McMorris told reporters.
The legislation says provincially regulated employees, excluding banks, telecommunications, and interprovincial transportation services, cannot be asked to remove their poppies in the workplace unless it poses a danger to the health, safety, or welfare of the worker or others.
It counters those employers who incorrectly perceive the poppy as a political symbol.
McMorris cited an incident where an Estevan courthouse employee had to remove their poppy over it being considered as not "neutral."
"We don’t feel it’s a political statement at all. I think it’s a statement of respect for those that came before us," he said.
Saskatchewan, which joins Ontario and Manitoba in legislating the right to wear a poppy in the workplace, said the swift passing of Bill 139 highlights their collective commitment to honouring veterans.
"Our veterans, current and past, have fought for our freedom and peace in Canada," added McMorris. "Providing the right for workers to wear a poppy while in the workplace is a way to honour the sacrifice veterans and their families have made."