Doug Ford Will Exempt Royal Canadian Legion from Property Tax

Published on May 22, 2018

Respecting veterans is a non-negotiable principle of the Ontario PC Party
Ontario PC Leader Doug Ford today issued a letter to the Ontario Command of the Royal Canadian Legion committing that an Ontario PC Government will introduce legislation that ensures that all Ontario RCL branches pay no municipal property tax.
“As a proud member of the Royal Canadian Legion Coronation Branch 286, I know first-hand the important role that legion branches play in our communities,” said Ford. “Just as importantly, I recognize the role that the Royal Canadian Legion plays in educating our youth about the contributions our veterans made, and commemorating those who sacrificed so much to defend our freedoms.”

Ford committed that an Ontario PC Government will amend the Assessment Act, which governs the property tax system, to specifically exempt all Ontario Royal Canadian Legion branches from paying property tax.
“Across Ontario, Legion branches are already contributing so much to their community, and providing so many services that local families hold dear,” said Ford. “Our veterans have paid their fair share and this is the least we can do to recognize their contributions, their leadership and their sacrifice.”
Ford’s longstanding engagement with the legion and support of veterans stands in stark contrast to the Ontario NDP. Earlier this week, it was revealed that recruited NDP candidate Laura Kaminker has a long-history of slandering veterans, soldiers and military families. Kaminker refuses to wear what she calls the ‘fake’, ‘prison labour’ poppy on Remembrance Day and accuses the Legion of engaging in ‘War Glorification’ and ‘brainwashing’ activities.
To date, Laura Kaminker has refused to apologize for the hurt her comments have caused and instead, is doubling down on her activism against soldiers, veterans, and military families. More troubling still, Andrea Horwath continues to stand by her star candidate – even having Kaminker on her bus just yesterday – despite Kaminker’s offensive views.
“Our Ontario PC Party is a big tent, but we are united by shared principles,’ Ford included in his letter, “chief among those shared principles is the importance of respecting and honouring the men and women in uniform who have sacrificed so much for the freedoms we enjoy today. We will never waver in defending our veterans, and the Legion, from whose who seek to discredit or disparage your sacrifices and contributions to our country.”
Backgrounder – Exemption for Legions from Property Tax

The Royal Canadian Legion (RCL) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to serve our veterans and promote remembrance of their sacrifices. The remembrance poppy is often used to commemorate the great military personnel who have died in war to protect our country. The RCL has branches throughout the country, and as it proudly states, “The Legion exists so that Canada never forgets.”[1]
However, it seems that the NDP has already forgotten about the service and sacrifice provided to us by our veterans. NDP candidate Laura Kaminker previously wrote that commemorating the service of our veterans was a product of “collective brainwashing”, and labelled the symbol of the poppy as “fake” and “another ritual of war glorification” and made through “prison labour’”[2] – offensive and disrespectful comments.
Unsurprisingly, these comments were defended by NDP Leader Andrea Horwath.[3]
Currently, in Ontario, the RCL, even as a not-for-profit, pays property tax, which is determined through an assessment.[4]
While Ontario’s Assessment Act provides some exemptions on property taxes for certain organizations, the Ontario Command of the RCL does not qualify for the exemption.[5]
Under this Liberal government, Ontario’s Legions are struggling to keep their doors open with mounting expenses that need to be covered, such as the rising cost of utilities.[6]
Alberta has passed a province wide-exemption for all Legions. In Ontario, the Township of Clearview and the Township of Whitewater Region have both passed an exemption to their property taxes for the RCL.[7]


How We Will Fix It:

We can do better. A Doug Ford Ontario PC Government will exempt all Legions in Ontario from paying property taxes.
The Ontario PCs will do this by amending Ontario’s Assessment Act to specifically exempt all Ontario Royal Canadian Legion branches from paying property tax.
This will allow more money to stay within the RCL’s Ontario branches so they can continue to provide services for thousands of veterans annually, and advocate for the care and benefits for all who served.


[1] http://www.legion.ca/who-we-are/what-we-do
[2] http://torontosun.com/news/provincial/warmington-ndp-candidate-sparks-outrage-with-poppy-remark
[3] https://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2018/05/20/andrea-horwath-defends-ndp-candidate-over-remembrance-day-comments.html
[4] https://www.ontario.ca/page/not-profits-taxes-and-exemptions#section-1
[5] https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/90a31#BK2 (see Section 3).
[6] https://www.sudbury.com/around-the-north/skyrocketing-hydro-rates-caused-legion-br-23-sale-claim-members-581885; http://www.thewhig.com/2018/05/18/legions-future-in-doubt
[7] http://www.municipalaffairs.alberta.ca/documents/as/pte_guide_2005.pdf; https://www.whitewaterregion.ca/sites/default/files/2016-11-0899.pdf; http://www.clearviewclerk.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/11-08_Exemption-of-Taxes_Legion-Branches.pdf