Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Patriotism is a Crime!



This is absolutely insane.

The Department of National Defence is ordering us (the National Citizens Coalition) to take down a “Support our Troops” billboard we put up in downtown Toronto.

The DND is also telling us to remove any reference to “Support our Troops” from our website and to stop handing out “Support our Troops” car magnets.

Why?

Because of some stupid and vague law.

Section 291 of the National Defence Acts states:

1) Every person who uses

(a) the words "Canadian Forces" or "Canadian Armed Forces" or the name of any component, unit or other element thereof or any abbreviation thereof or any words or letters likely to be mistaken therefore,

(b) any picture or other representation of a member of the Canadian Forces, or

(c) any uniform, mark, badge or insignia in use in the Canadian Forces,

in any advertising or in any trade or service, having been requested in writing by the Minister to cease that usage, is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

In other words, says the DND, it’s a crime for us to express gratitude to the men and women who are risking their lives to defend our freedoms!!

Something is very wrong here.

I can understand a law prohibiting improper use of military symbols for advertising, but citizens should be permitted to make what are essentially patriotic statements.

Could you imagine such a law being enforced in the United States??

What makes all this worse, is that the NCC was using these “Support our Troop” ads to raise awareness about a special trust fund we were setting up to aid the families of soldiers killed in action.

Either the government has got to stop enforcing this law so zealously or they should change the law.

Canadians should have the right to express thanks to our troops!

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

You're right Gerry. These same people who are asking the NCC to remove its signs are the same who whine and cry every Rememberance Day about lack of support for our troops, lack of history learned in schools, yadda, yadda, yadda. Now when a group like NCC is trying to do something about it and actually encourage an ounce of patriotism, something like this happens. Don't tell me there's a Liberal in the background that's going to suggest that the NCC is being too much like the USA. Over to you Miles.

Brendan Brown said...

Where or who can we write to in order to encourage them to change this law? It's absolutely abominable!

BBS said...

'Troops' is the word that supposedly protected by the NDA?

Get stuffed DND.

Anonymous said...

Bravo Bourque for headlining this !!!

Fred :) said...

somebody in the Brick Brain on the Rideau needs a very big dose of Braino . . . get the clogs out.

I would tell DND to get stuffed and put up more billboards.

Road Hammer said...

Surely you didn't get a letter sent on behalf of Gordon O'Connor telling you to take these down, Gerry?

Anonymous said...

How about "Support Our Guys Over There... ya know the ones we're not allowed to talk about!"

Guardsman said...

Can't see someone wearing the uniform coming up with this hairbrained BS. Most likely it came from some spineless dick that never wore a military uniform and comes from a legal background.
His next job will be leading the defence team for the 17 misguided, misunderstood, marginalized,disadvanteaged individuals recently chargedswith plotting to blow up building and murder politicians in the countrty that welcomed their parents with open arms from the very tyrany that they now espouse.

Larry in Kamloops said...

It's enough to drive you to polygamy, not for the endless extra sex, but just to snub your nose at "authority".

Damn.

Guardsman said...

Sorry about the numerous spelling errors but I was so outraged when I came across this post that I was spitting nails and seeing red.
Cheers

rondi said...

Guardsman,
If there is one person you don't need to apologize to for your spelling errors, it's Gerry.

Anonymous said...

Oh for crying out loud. Clearly whoever decided to enforce this are candidates for the Golgafrinchan ship of "useless bloody loonies".

Am I going to have to start looking over my shoulder before I say "thank you" to a veteran now? Wouldn't want the DND to think that I was somehow subverting their control over what is said.

Pathetic. Absolutely pathetic.

Eric from St Catharines, ON said...

Despite the absolute insanity of the edict from DND, I see not reference to Canadian Armed Forces, or Army in that billboard. It seems clear that it is from NCC with a simple yet clear message to Support our troops. I have car magnets on each of our cars, which DND has no issue making a profit off.

Mike said...

Retarded. Simply retarded.

This country has become such a nutcase over the years.

Anonymous said...

http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,44850.0.html

As a "troop" I appreciate your support. Above is a link showing what other soldiers are thinking on the issue.

Dave said...

Tell NDHQ to poke off. There is nothing on that poster that falls within their remit. Some fucktard in Ottawa may be embarrassed that we have soldiers in Canada, but we're not. Put up more !

James Bowie said...

If you make an internet button, I'll put it up.

Anonymous said...

Too bad the NCC lost its credibility long ago, because this might be an issue to rally behind.

Anonymous said...

It is not patriotism when we support our troups to support american imperialism and by our presence in Afghanistan leave the American to continue their genocide and murders in Irak

Anonymous said...

The billboards might offend the Muslim community, already scarred from the arrests of 17 Muslim men?

Joel Johannesen said...

NCC sign proudly erected at ProudToBeCanadian.ca.

Brendan Brown said...

I just got off my email after sending a letter or disgust to this decision to both the DND and my MP... I suggest anyone else who is flabbergasted by this move do the same - it all helps, and maybe we'll quickly get this situation resolved.
Cheers

Anonymous said...

Hang on, now, consider this perspective...

This National Citizens' Coalition is using the good name of our troops - who are undeniably members of The Canadian Armed Forces - to advertise the website of the NCC. They even went so far as to deface the image of the ribbon on the billboard.

The optics are confusing at least, and disrespectful at worst. I have to side with DND on this one, but I can't see any harm done by the billboard.

It looks to me like a sincere plan poorly executed.

Brendan Brown said...

To Anonymous:
Supporting American imperialism? Leave Iraq aside, Canadians are in AFGHANISTAN - a country which admittedly and knowingly harboured Osama and his terrorists. Why do people forget 9/11, the USA had every right to go after the Taliban in Afghanistan, and we should be there too. I don't like rhetoric thrown around when people can't even remember what happened 5 years ago.

Anonymous said...

THEY SHOULD NOT BE THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE, HOW ABOUT PAKISTAN SENDING THEIR TROOPS TO PEACE KEEP THE STREETS OF QUEBEC IN THE EVENT OF .......

What_The_Puck? said...

Anonymous @ 10:33 AM and 10:52 AM

Wow, just wow.

You disgust me. It's people like you, politicians like Jack Layton and organizations like CUPE that truly threaten the lives & security of the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

I agree with DND's stance. The problem isn't the "Support our troops" logo but the fact that a repugnant organization is trying to hitch a free ride by associating it's name with our brave men and women in uniform. If you truly want to support our troops then buy one of the DND sponsored stickers. Shame on this attempt at self-promotion.

Agreeing to Disagree said...

The law is put in place to discourage nationalist violence against Canadians who do not support the war effort. Judging by the extremes of emotion shown in these comments we have moved from a understandable patriotic respect to nationalist fundmentalism which could lead to in-fighting in our own country. Why can't Canadians debate the issue in a public forum without people kicking and screaming about why they are right and others wrong. A more democratic and fair idea here would be to keep the original billboard but erect another for those that would support our government bringing our beloved soldiers home. That would be fair.

Anonymous said...

Good job NCC! Please take a stand and fight this bureaucratic bullshit. If they try to take you to court, please set up a legal defence fund to which I will gladly contribute. I hate shit like this more than anything else. Pencil pushing idiots who would never have the guts to serve their country are trying to take away from the democratic rights of those who choose to shoe our military support. This just makes me sick.

And good on Pierre Bourque (www.bourque.org) from promioting this story. Thanks Pierre! The Canadian media is better because of you.

Anonymous said...

Slap a huge label over it reading
"Censored by the Department of National Defence lawyers" , and rent it for a year.

richfisher

Anonymous said...

Canada doesn't need to advertise it's military excursions around the world.

We can support our troops without pandering like Americans to the baser instincts of our less-worldly population.

Grow up, NCC.

- TBLATCH

Reg said...

The question is why the hell didn't the NCC simply pick up the phone and ask for permission?

The law is obviously there to allow DND to remove any advertising that uses their name or symbols in a less complimentary fashion. Are people honestly calling for the law to be changed because someone in an office didn't have the sense to take the two minutes needed to ask permission?

Common sense folks. DND isn't saying you can't proclaim your support for the troops. They're simply doing what the law requires in this particular situation.

Duke said...

I have a suggestion on how to get around this insanity.

Check it out here.

http://www.dukemcgoo.com/

MSYB said...

First a question. The cited portion of the act contains the following:

"having been requested in writing by the Minister to cease that usage."

Did you receive a letter from the Honourable Gordon O'Connor or was it simply some bureaucrat at DND?

Regardless, the act makes reference to "Canadian Forces," or "Canadian Armed Forces," or variants and abbreviations thereof - I for one cannot see how "Our Troops" fits in any of these categories - given a narrow reading of the law.

For those interested, even if the NCC is forced to stop selling the "Support Our Troops" magnets, they can be found at the RCR Kit Shop:

http://www.thercrkitshop.com/index.php?page=products/index.php&indid=652&PHPSESSID=340c79c5d299c26715e5663cb50d7797

Anonymous said...

The NCC and the rest of you dimwits just don't get it. It is about the NCC using our troops to promote itself. Put up the billboards anonymously and you won't have a problem. It isn't the law that is the problem it is groups like the NCC who try to improve their reputation on the backs of our troops that is the problem.

blanks57 said...

I support Canada's involvement in Afghanistan but am disturbed by citizens coalitions who think we need them to show support.Especially those who use the exact same simpish American symbols.And the DND should get stuffed to.I'd like to stuff them all in a howitzer and fire up Quebecs wazoo.

oswald czolgosz said...

I'm noticing that all the contrarians are "anonymous"! Cowards, one and all! No guts, no glory. Sheeesh!

blanks57 said...

Like oswald is your real name. Don't get me started I'm not going through this again.

Surecure said...

"It is about the NCC using our troops to promote itself. Put up the billboards anonymously and you won't have a problem."

Oh, to have infringed on the sensibilities of the almighty Anon.

Nevermind the fact that countless organizations have held fundraisers for countless causes with the contact info being the organization itself without a peep from the nattering class. Yeah... can't tell what this is all really about.

Carry on blowhards...

Angie in BC said...

Saw your post and thought I should add...

I work for a publication which prints stories related to veterans and active service people. We were recently given a letter telling us we are no longer allowed to use an image of the poppy to thank or remember veterans, as it is the trademark of the Dominion Command, RCL in Canada. They stated in the letter that if we wish to use a poppy in any manner, whether it be an official poppy or not, illustration or otherwise, we have to write first for permission for one time use.

I appreciate that they would rather only see the poppy used in authorized ways and not put any old place as people feel like, but we were using it in a respectful manner.


See more on this as reported by CBC news online:
http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/national/2005/11/08/legion-bourque-poppy051108.html

Anonymous said...

Well, that's Canaduh for you. No freedom for the people up there.

Anonymous said...

After 8 years in the CF - this sorta thing doesn't surprise me.

A soliders wife said...

I agree that we NEED TO SUPPORT OUR TROOPS. However riding on the back of our Armed Forces that put their lifes on the line is not the way to do it. To use this advertising to further your own political agenda is disgusting. The right to the Freedom that you all proclaim has been paid for in the price of Blood by our men and woman. So Support the Troops but stop riding on the back of their courage for your own politcal agenda.

TonyGuitar said...

DND, get your ass over to Caledonia and enforce our laws there, then we can talk about signage. TG

Anonymous said...

Indeed Gerry, throw their own stupid rhetoric right back at them. It clearly states, "(1) Every person who..." there is no exception for the media nor the DNC. Therefor if I am confined by this vague law then so too must they be. Therefore no more news about our troops, no more recruiting drives, no more documentaries and eliminate all the memories of our heroes. I could go on but you get the scenario. Ken Bulbrook, A Canadian WWII Soldiers son!!!