When an individual commits stolen valour – wearing government sanctioned medals, uniforms, or decorations they are not entitled to, or possessing documentation that falsely identifies them as Canadian Armed Forces – they degrade the honour and sacrifices of those rightly wearing the uniform… and they are breaking the law.
It is an offence under Sections 419 A and B of the Criminal Code of Canada for anyone, other than the recipient, to wear a uniform of the Canadian Armed Forces or Service Insignia, such as medals, ribbons, badges, chevrons or other decoration. It is also an offence for anyone to wear any imitation of the above if it is likely to be mistaken for the said uniform, or service insignia, etc. The Legion condemns any act that disrespects Canada’s Veterans and Dominion Command fully supports that individuals be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for acts of stolen valour. Additionally, any member convicted in Canada of an offence under section 419 of the Criminal Code of Canada (Stolen Valour), shall be summarily expelled from the Legion as per The General By-Laws article 203.
BC/Yukon Command takes the issue of stolen valour very seriously, and underscores to all Commands, Branches and members the significant harm it causes to those who served, and the serious criminal repercussions of claiming illegitimate service or sacrifice.
The Legion does not have access to an individual’s service record to verify a stolen valour accusation. When BC/Yukon Command is alerted of an accusation of stolen valour within the Legion membership, whether the complaint comes from a Legion member, a member of the public, or Stolen Valour Canada, the claim is immediately addressed beginning with regional investigation. If there is evidence of criminal activity, the claim is reported to local authorities and we monitor the investigation through its conclusion.
BC/Yukon Command advises anyone who suspects an individual may be unlawfully wearing medals to contact their local police department. If the suspected individual is a Legion member, we encourage you to also contact the local Legion branch where the individual resides to inform them of the suspected criminal activity.
Together we will uphold the service and sacrifice of all Veterans, and honour their legacy.
Download a copy of the Royal Canadian Legion’s Stolen Valour Policy
Royal Canadian Legion Dominion President, Thomas Irvine, speaks about stolen valour