Legion issues lifetime membership ban due to “Stolen Valour” for the first time

THE Royal Canadian Legion, in an unprecedented move, has revoked the membership of two members found to have engaged in “Stolen Valour.”

“The Legion takes the issue of Stolen Valour very seriously,” said Dominion President Thomas D. Irvine on Monday.   “Anyone who makes illegitimate claims of service or sacrifice degrades the honour of those who have served and brings tremendous discredit upon this organization. I cannot stand by to see the good name and deeds of the Legion tarnished by such discreditable conduct.”

The lifetime membership ban of one member in Ontario and another in British Columbia came over the weekend, after inquiries into each case ended. The Legion investigated allegations regarding the members’ military service and the wearing of medals they had allegedly not earned. Irvine shared his decision with the Legion’s Dominion Executive Council after outlining the steps he had taken before reaching his landmark decision, in accordance with the Legion’s General By-Laws.

“I provided each individual an opportunity to rebut the alleged evidence of their unfounded service claims and wearing of unearned medals; their submissions were without merit,” he said. Expulsion from the Legion can come after the Legion’s own complaint process, or its Dominion President can revoke membership after inquiry and for cause.

In addition, The Royal Canadian Legion has just passed a new by-law amendment stating that anyone convicted under section 419 of the Criminal Code of Canada will be automatically expelled from the Legion. 

Upon being elected to the role of Dominion President in 2018, Irvine had expressed his plans to take a strong stance against Stolen Valour as part of his mandate. The Legion believes Stolen Valour is stolen service.

Read more here from Legion.ca: Stolen Valour background