Bad idea to trot out Santa Claus before Remembrance Day

A Montreal shopping mall criticized for bringing out Santa an hour before ceremonies

A Montreal shopping mall has been criticized for its decision to trot out Santa Claus about an hour before ceremonies are held on Remembrance Day to honour Canada’s war dead.

Saint Nick will be at Place Versailles on Saturday morning — a move described by some social media users as a terrible lack of judgment.

Many called on the bearded one’s visit to be rescheduled but the mall responded by saying it isn’t logistically possible to have Santa come another day.

His elaborate entrance by helicopter has been promoted for several days.

“Rest assured that in no case did we want to ignore the memory of our veterans and all those who made the greatest sacrifices for our country,” the mall wrote in a statement this week.

“Unfortunately, logistical constraints beyond our control made the November 11th date the only time we could proceed with the arrival by helicopter.”

Management apologized in a Facebook post and said it will also mark Remembrance Day in some fashion.

“We apologize deeply to all those who were shocked by this choice of date,” the post said. “We will make the necessary arrangements to honour all those who served our country on November 11th.”

Kenneth R. Ouellet, president of the Quebec branch of the Royal Canadian Legion, described the mall’s decision to welcome Santa on Saturday as “regrettable” and said it is likely to offend veterans.

“We can’t do anything (to change) it, but there should be more education put out there as to the importance of the day and the hour and the why,” he said in a phone interview.

Ouellet said the mall should try to delay Santa’s arrival until the 11 a.m. Remembrance Day ceremonies conclude.

In the future, he’d also like Quebec to follow the lead of most other Canadian provinces and declare the day a statuory holiday.

— With files from Sidhartha Banerjee and Morgan Lowrie

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Secret ballot will determine if MP’s abandoned vessels bill can proceed

Members of Parliament will vote next week whether to allow Sheila Malcolmson’s bill to be debated

Nanaimo could become oil spill response hub

Western Canada Marine Response Corporation held an open house Tuesday

Hatchet attacker at Campbell River marina sentenced to 18 months

Dan Van Do injured one man with a hatchet then ran after victims with an axe

VIDEO: Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP files ‘historic appeal’ to save proposed legislation

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Sheila Malcolmson filed a “historic appeal” on Thursday to have… Continue reading

Island Health updates RDN on overdoses

Increase in drug-related deaths has everything to do with opioids, Island Health officer says

Four vehicles involved in crash on Bowen Road

Three taken to hospital with minor injuries after accident Thursday at Bowen and Buttertubs Drive

Beefs & Bouquets, Nov. 23

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

Condos in the planning stages in Nanaimo’s north end

Development permit applications made for two five-storey condo buildings along Metral Drive

Vehicle rolls over at bottom of hump, driver not found

Port Alberni RCMP investigating crash near Cathedral Grove

15 arrested as Duncan police raid yields drugs, stolen property

Arrests made, drugs and stolen property seized

Coins for Kids ready to roll for another season

Christmas charity campaign gets underway in Nanaimo

Stilwell supporting Wilkinson to lead B.C. Liberals

Michelle Stilwell, Parksville-Qualicum MLA, is endorsing Andrew Wilkinson for party leader

An adopted cat is the best 10 pounds you’ll gain this season

BC SPCA encouraging families to add a forever feline friend during adoption event Nov. 24 to Dec. 3

Most Read