Remembrance Day: Remembering the Rights We Enjoy as Canadians.

Remembrance Day is almost upon us. The “We Remember” ads are on the radio and tv. It occurred to me that in a small way, my work as a lawyer continues to carry on the work of our veterans by standing up for and enforcing Canadian’s rights that they sacrificed so much to protect.

Recently, I participated in The Future of Food Law & Policy in Canada Conference – the first of its kind in Canada. It was a timely event as our government is in the midst of developing our first national food policy. The common themes were a desire for environmentally sustainable, secure food sources that are marketed in a transparent way. For example, my presentation focused on the health & economic risks of decreased breastfeeding rates in the face of a formula feeding culture that was created by a the lack of enforcement of its overwhelmingly misleading marketing.

In light of Remembrance Day approaching, it was encouraging to see that all these years after our soldiers gave their lives, we as a country are not apathetic to the privilege of our freedoms and are continuing to work towards a better future for Canadians.

Interestingly, at the conference I sat next to an American lawyer who asked what the red flower I was wearing represented. I did my best to explain “In Flanders Field” and the history of the poppy campaign, apologizing for my lack of confidence in the details. In return, she complimented me on how much I actually knew. I laughed it off, commenting that we get it drilled into our heads starting in elementary school. She was surprised and envious explaining that in the States they really learn nothing about the world wars until high school, and even then not much.

I had always worn a poppy with pride, but this experience was a little wake up call as to exactly how fortunate we are in Canada, even in the face of our ongoing challenges. So, if you’ve never bothered with a poppy, maybe, if you value the plentiful rights we are so fortunate to have bestowed upon us in this country, this will be the year you start.