Bill 139 2004
An Act respecting the
observance of Remembrance Day
Remembrance Day commemorates the armistice signed to end the First World War at 11:00 a.m. on November 11, 1918, being the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of that year.
In Canada, Remembrance Day honours the memory of those soldiers, including more than 116,000 Canadians, who bravely and unselfishly gave their lives in the First and Second World Wars, in the Korean War and in peacekeeping efforts in the struggle for peace and freedom.
The people of Ontario must never forget their extraordinary courage and profound sacrifice. In particular, it is important to remind pupils in Ontario schools of the meaning of Remembrance Day and the nobility and the unselfishness of the great sacrifice that the fallen made to assure the freedom of the people of Ontario.
As a gesture of respect for the fallen, it is appropriate to unite in honouring their memories by observing two minutes of silence each Remembrance Day.
Therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:
1. In this Act,
"board", "school" and "school day" have the same meaning as in subsection 1 (1) of the Education Act.
Two minutes of silence
2. (1) Subject to subsection (2), at 11:00 a.m. on each Remembrance Day, the people of Ontario shall pause and observe two minutes of silence in honour of those who died serving their country in wars and in peacekeeping efforts.
(2) The silence can only be achieved through voluntary observance and through our collective desire to remember.
Suggestions for observing the silence
(3) The following are suggested as ways to promote the observance of the silence:
1. We can participate in a traditional Remembrance Day service at a war memorial or cenotaph.
2. If driving, we can pull our vehicles to the side of the road and sit quietly.
3. We can announce the silence on the public address systems of our places of business and of our institutions.
4. We can gather in common areas of our places of business and of our institutions.
5. We can briefly shut down our assembly lines.
6. We can hold Remembrance Day assemblies in our schools, colleges and universities.
7. We can hold Remembrance Day services in our places of worship.
Observance in schools
3. (1) Every school board shall require schools within the board's jurisdiction to observe the protocols described in subsection (2) at 11:00 a.m. on,
(a) Remembrance Day, if that day falls on a school day; or
(b) the school day closest to Remembrance Day, if that day does not fall on a school day.
(2) The protocols mentioned in subsection (1) are,
(a) the playing of the Last Post as a tribute to Canada's deceased soldiers, symbolizing that their duty is over and that they may rest in peace; and
(b) the complete suspension of school activities and the observance of silence for a period of two minutes after the playing of the Last Post so that all persons in the school can concentrate on the reverent remembrance of the glorious dead of a century of warfare.
4. The Remembrance Day Observance Act, 1997 is repealed.
5. This Act comes into force on the day it receives Royal Assent.
6. The short title of this Act is the Remembrance Day Observance Act, 2004.
The Bill extends the scope of the Remembrance Day Observance Act, 1997 to require schools in Ontario to commemorate Remembrance Day by playing the Last Post, followed by two minutes of silence and no school activities.