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Old 23-12-04, 13:30
Bill Alexander's Avatar
Bill Alexander Bill Alexander is offline
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Location: Ontario
Posts: 270
Default Ban proposed on the sale of Canadian military medals

A Nova Scotia area MP wants a ban on the sale of military medals. He has started to move to get the proposal into law. Perhaps members of this forum have some thoughts.

Halifax Herald, Dec 21, 2004
Stoffer seeks to stop sale of medals: MP plans to introduce bill banning marketing of war treasures
By BARRY DOREY / Staff Reporter

Peter Stoffer believes selling the war medals of dead veterans is unnecessary and disrespectful.

If the MP for Sackville-Eastern Shore gets his way, it will also become illegal. "Nobody should be making a profit from those medals," he said Monday. "Nobody needs the money that bad."

Mr. Stoffer plans to introduce a bill in February to prohibit the sale of the war treasures after Canadians were obliged to raise $300,000 to prevent the sale of a Victoria Cross to a British collector.

Surviving veterans are not permitted to sell their medals. But family members who inherit them in wills can sell them.

Mr. Stoffer said medals are available for sale on the Internet and at flea markets.

"When I spoke to a lot of veterans, they felt very angry over that. That is not a way for them to be remembered."

He said his proposal would ensure that more medals end up in museums, branches of the Royal Canadian Legion or schools.

It would be a fitting tribute in 2005, the Year of the Veteran, he said.

"What a great way to enshrine the memory of these brave men and women by ensuring that the medals that they wear so proudly can never be sold," Mr. Stoffer said.

"I think they would be quite pleased by that."

A British collector had been seeking the Victoria Cross that paratrooper Cpl. Fred Topham was awarded near the end of the Second World War.

Cpl. Topham's family set the price at $275,000 and a Canada-wide effort raised the money to save it. It will be donated to the National War Museum in Ottawa.

During the Second World War, only 16 Canadians earned the treasured decoration - the highest award for courage in the Commonwealth.

Cpl. Topham, who died in 1974, was lauded for saving dozens of wounded soldiers during action in Germany in March 1945.

In all, 94 Canadians have won it since its creation to recognize acts of valour during the Crimean War of 1854-55.

Veterans will join Mr. Stoffer and his provincial counterpart for the area, NDP MLA Dave Wilson (Sackville-Cobequid), in the Red Room at Province House on Wednesday.

Members of this site that have opinions on this proposal may email or voice their concerns to MP Stoffer.
Here are the details:
Peter Stoffer

Political Affiliation: New Democratic Party Caucus

Constituency: Sackville—Eastern Shore

Province: Nova Scotia

Telephone: (613) 995-5822

Fax: (613) 996-9655


One note. Given he is a NDP, the intiative will likely be a private members bill, which seldom make it to law.
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Old 23-12-04, 15:18
Tony Smith's Avatar
Tony Smith Tony Smith is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Lithgow, NSW, Australia
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Unfortunatly, often inheriting family members only look for the monetary value of an estate, rather than the sentimental value. Indeed, owing to lack of support from "modern" governments, often Veterans themselves need to realise assets to make ends meet. I feel that the heritage of family members should be priceless and should not be sold on the open market. In fact, as one who has been in the situation of having to finalise an estate of a veteran in the family, I am appalled at the attitude of some dependants and siblings who only look for dollars. My Wife's grandfather's medals and papers are held by us and will be passed down through our children, NOT NEGOTIABLE! That said, if the family should want to dispose of an item of family military history, I think that someone who will cherish it should be able to buy it, rather than the family disposing it as "worthless" and of no value. I really do cringe at the number of times that I have been told that some deceased veteran's keepsakes have been dumped with the garbage because the family thought that they were of no interest (that is, Valuable) to anyone else.
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Old 04-01-05, 23:00
Bill Alexander's Avatar
Bill Alexander Bill Alexander is offline
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Ontario
Posts: 270
Default Reply from MP

Being back at work, I just got around to checking phone messages. Mr.Stoffer had called and left a message for me regarding the email that I had sent. (see post above.)
In essence his message stated that veteran's and veterans' "organizations" and the RCMP didn't want the medals that they wear on their chests bought or traded. He recounted one "poignant" anecdote where the veteran said what he earned should not be treated as "currency". He also indicated that he understood that "collectors" did good things with the medals that they held, but that it was not right that the medals were being "traded" or sold at flea markets or on ebay. Essentially it was the same messsage as the original press release.
He did mention the Topham group again and the Prince group, expressing that interested parties shouldn't have to go through what they did to obtain the medals. (???, not 100% sure what he means by this. Sounds like $ argument mixed in with some sentiment.)
This was a message and did not indicate any further contact except to wish me the best in the "Year of the Veteran".
I am puzzled by the RCMP reference. He used it a couple of times in the message. Yes one group of RCMP served as Provost, others enlisted, and some RCMP serve with peace keeping and UN missions, but what exactly they had to do with this initiative is unclear.
Are any of our forum readers aware of the support of the Royal Canadian Legion for Mr. Stoffer? Or of any other veterans' groups?
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