This Explanatory Note was written as a reader’s aid to Bill 55 and does not form part of the law. Bill 55 has been enacted as Chapter 21 of the Statutes of Ontario, 2016.
The Bill expands the scope of the Remembrance Day Observance Act, 1997 to proclaim the week preceding Remembrance Day in each year as Remembrance Week.
An Act to proclaim Remembrance Week and to provide for the observance of Remembrance Day
Assented to November 2, 2016
Remembrance Day commemorates the armistice signed to end the First World War at 11:00 a.m. on November 11, 1918, being the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of that year.
The people of Ontario must never forget the extraordinary courage and profound sacrifice made by the men and women who bravely and unselfishly gave their lives for Canada in wars and in peace support operations. As a gesture of respect for them, it is appropriate to proclaim the week preceding Remembrance Day in each year as Remembrance Week and to unite in honouring their memory by observing two minutes of silence on Remembrance Day itself.
Therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:
1. The seven-day period in each year that begins on November 5 and ends at the end of November 11 is proclaimed as Remembrance Week.
Remembrance Day observance
2. (1) Subject to subsection (2), at 11 a.m. on each Remembrance Day, the people of Ontario shall pause and observe two minutes of silence in honour of those who died serving their country in wars and in peacekeeping efforts.
(2) The silence can only be achieved through voluntary observance and through our collective desire to remember.
Suggestions for observing the silence
(3) The following are suggestions for ways to promote the observance of the silence:
1. We can participate in a traditional Remembrance Day service at a war memorial or cenotaph.
2. If driving, we can pull our vehicles to the side of the road and sit quietly.
3. We can announce the silence on the public address systems of our places of business and of our institutions.
4. We can gather in common areas of our places of business and of our institutions.
5. We can briefly shut down our assembly lines.
6. We can hold Remembrance Day assemblies in our schools, colleges and universities.
7. We can hold Remembrance Day services in our places of worship.