Wilma McNeil is presented with the Lieutenant Governor's Community Volunteer Pin at Sarnia’s 100th Birthday Celebration May 7, 2014 BlackburnNews.com (Photo by Melanie Irwin)

Senate Passes Remembrance Day Bill

Sarnia’s Wilma McNeill is thrilled a private member’s bill making Remembrance Day a legal holiday has been passed by the Senate.

With Royal Assent, Bill C-311 gives November 11 legal status in the Holidays Act.

“It makes it a legal holiday, up with Canada Day and Victoria Day,” says McNeill. “That’s the biggest thing about this bill, it can never be taken away. If you remember, it was taken away by Premier Bill Davis and Education Minister Dr. Bette Stephenson in the early 1980s.”

McNeill’s campaign to have Remembrance Day designated as a legal holiday dates back to 1989.

She says she was overjoyed when told Nova Scotia MP Colin Fraser’s bill had passed overwhelmingly in the Senate late Tuesday afternoon.

The provincial government, however, has the final say as to whether Remembrance Day will be a statutory holiday in Ontario.

“We’ll probably have to write some letters but I think because it’s been approved by the Senate, I’m sure the provinces will move very quickly and bring all of Canada into it,” says McNeill.

Six provinces and three territories make November 11 a statutory holiday. Ontario and Quebec are among the provinces who do not.