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

VIDEO: RibFest kicks off in Langley

Free event features barbecue ribs, chicken, pork and brisket from Canada’s top rib artists

Langley woman’s graduation marks expansion of PTSD service dog program

Delta-based B.C. and Alberta Guide Dogs Society and Vancouver Island Compassion Dogs merging to service to more veterans

For a 20th year, golfers memorialize Surrey business owner killed by cancer

Annual tourney pays tribute to Howie Blessin, who wasn’t an avid golfer but employed people who are

Langley City Terry Fox Run in need of volunteers

Route marshals, event set-up and take-down on list of jobs that need filling

Take-home naloxone may be replacing 911 calls in parts of Lower Mainland

Naloxone kits handed out up 29% over 2017, ambulance calls and emergency visits down 22-24%, deaths hold steady

PHOTOS: B.C. city wakes up to darkness under wildfire smoke

The rest of the province also dealing with thick haze as smoky skies continue

VIDEO: World of Magic coming to Vancouver

Seven magic shows will appear at the Vancouver Playhouse from September 7 to 9

Safeway union urges prejection of mediator recommendations

Says mediator asks for too many concessions

Fire chases B.C. crews out of their own camp

Crews in Burns Lake had to leave after a wildfire reportedly overtook their sleeping quarters

To address peacock problem, B.C. city moves ahead on trapping plan

Surrey’s new bylaw focuses on ensuring people no longer feed the birds, ahead of relocation

Hospitals to see ‘delays’ in care after losing Saudi students, health group says

About 1,000 Saudi residents called back to kingdom after suspending diplomatic relations with Canada

Bernier diatribe against ‘extreme multiculturalism’ boosts Liberal coffers

Party spokesperson Braeden Caley says online donations doubled, social media engagement quadrupled

‘Disjointed’ system hinders British Columbia First Nations in wildfire fight

More than 550 wildfires were burning in B.C. and crews were bracing for wind and dry lightning

Castlegar bridge designed by architect of collapsed Italian bridge

Riccardo Morandi designed the Kinnaird Bridge, which is part of Highway 3.

Most Read