Quebec premier removes Fleur-de-lis poppy after complaints
Published Friday, November 2, 2012 11:30AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, November 2, 2012 6:19PM EDT
MONTREAL -- The premier of Quebec will stop wearing a Fleur-de-lis pin inside the red poppy on her lapel after some complaints from veterans.
A spokeswoman for Premier Pauline Marois says she wasn't trying to offend anyone by wearing the Quebec emblem inside the symbol synonymous with Remembrance Day.
The sudden sartorial reversal comes after complaints from a veterans' group.
The Royal Canadian Legion says some of its members were insulted that Marois stuck the Quebec symbol inside the poppy she'd been wearing in the legislature this week.
Margot Arsenault, the Legion's provincial president, accused the Parti Quebecois premier Friday of playing politics.
She said she'd even sent a letter to the premier saying it's not proper to wear the poppy with a pin inside.
"I find it's very political and right now the veterans are very, very, very upset because they fought for Canada not just for Quebec," she said Friday. "We are in Canada. If she wants to wear the poppy she should just wear it like it is."
Arsenault, whose father was a veteran, said the poppy is a Royal Canadian Legion symbol and nothing should be attached inside -- even the Canadian flag.
"The poppy is the Royal Canadian Legion symbol and nothing is to be worn inside like a pin -- whether it's the Canadian flag or anything. We're not supposed to," Arsenault said.
She said she received about 15 phone calls and about a dozen emails yesterday from veterans who complained the premier's gesture was not acceptable.