Cornwall N Area Facebook Group Defiles Poppy – Royal Canadian Legion Sees Red By Mary Anne Pankhurst

800px-Soldiers_Commemorating_Remembrance_Day_in_Afghanistan_MOD_45154699CFN – While Canadians were taking pleasure in the radiance of June-blooming poppies, something unlovely was germinating within the contaminated soil of a Cornwall-area Facebook group that specializes in mockery and cyber bullying.

But it is the group’s pre-Canada Day defilement of the poppy that has the Royal Canadian Legion seeing red.

It is a first. I have never seen such a blatant defacement of our sacred symbol and believe that if other Canadians could see it, they’d be as outraged as I am,” says Bill Maxwell, who is secretary of the Legion’s Poppy and Remembrance Committee.

Truth is, the defiled poppy is still sitting on the group’s Facebook site (as of press time) where it is viewed by close to 400 adult members as a joke.

“If you can’t take a joke take it and bleep off and that goes for all the whiny little cry asses.”

The group’s members include a deputy mayor, city council hopefuls( including one veteran himself ) and a former member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario who represented the riding of SD&G for the Ontario Liberal Party.

The image of the group’s ignoble jape will not appear within this story.  It is hoped that members (whose names will also not appear) will reset their moral compasses and voluntarily remove the post that is accompanied by the following words from the group’s leader, who makes a mockery of Remembrance Day solemnity:

“Let us all remember “member’s name” and remain silent and NO POSTING till his Facebook Jail term is complete I believe around 9 am Saturday morning but in the mean time feel free to report the people that like to do all the reporting…Till then “member name” your fight has not gone unrecognized.”

The Legion’s Bill Maxwell also points out that the symbol is protected by trademark and copyright and says people should understand that serious consequences exist for any group, or individual, who co-opts, wrongfully uses, abuses or defaces the symbol.

Cornwall-area citizens who are not members of the group but who monitor posts by choice, remain shocked about the symbol’s defilement particularly when it resides among so many garden-variety vulgarities, including one member’s custom photos of dog and chicken feces.

But concerning the poppy defilement specifically, at least one local resident bravely asks on her own Facebook page:

Could this be any more disrespectful to our soldiers?

If you’re reading this wondering why only one local person has dared to speak up, it’s simple: speaking up leads to predictable counter attacks, even though the group’s original nastiness (due to pending law suits) has become a ragtag collection of LOLs, LMFAOs, LOCKED CAPS INSULTS that often include references to human and animal excrement, Internet memes, photos, and the group’s favourite refrain that they are speakers of truth.

The group will also turn on its own members. Recently when a member challenged another (the one who’s so enamoured with his dog’s poop), the latter – who appears to be in his 70s – posted:

“…I am a big boy and can stand my own ground very easily. I am used to dealing with assholes, so go kick your dog or something “member name”  . We do not need your kind here.”

Incidentally, the go-kick-your-dog-comment got a resounding public “thumbs up” from a deputy mayor.

So is the group interested in truth as it claims? Many are thinking poppycock, and others are plain fed up.

In an editorial that appeared in Cornwall’s Standard Freeholder, the bullies were cursed with the phrase:

A pox on all your houses,

which in  14th century Verona (the setting for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet) would most certainly be the modern equivalent of: I hope you all get cancer, H1N1, SARS or Ebola, get sick, suffer and possibly die.

Presumably, the nuance of a slightly modified Shakespearean quote was lost on the group, as it remains the only comment it has not responded to.

Ironically, the group emerged around the time of pink t-shirt day, 2014, and made its debut as the “angry mob” complete with an image of people carrying weapons.

angry mob facebook

Within short order, Facebook shut the group for using violent words and images against its primary victim – Cornwall citizen and mayoral candidate Jamie Gilcig who owns and is editor of Cornwall Free News, an online newspaper. But everyone knows it’s difficult to control invasive and noxious weeds.

Before you could say: “Get out of my face, Jamie,” the mob reinvented itself, as a “fun” group, with some strategic help from a representative of the Ontario Press Council who in all fairness could not have imagined a trajectory that lead to (among other things):

  • Images of bonking Gilcig over the head with a baseball bat;
  • A photo likeness of Gilcig lying in the street as though wounded, dead or dying;
  • A statement to Gilcig and a friend that reads like a death threat: (…Psst, Hey…Don’t be afraid we are here to help you go to a better place);
  • Depictions, photos, and comments about Gilcig’s body, abode, pets, family members and friends, listing of the newspapers clients for the purpose of intimidation, and of course
  • The present desecration of the Remembrance Day poppy.

There have also been events involving group members outside their Facebook haven. Some evidence suggests the possible manipulation of a local 80-year-old veteran to affect political controversy, and group member’s political gain.

Cyber bullying among all age groups is a tragedy and a growing phenomenon.

A recent airing of CBCs Cross Country Checkup posed the question: How can cyberbullying be stopped?

Oh, how we long for the answer.

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
 in Flanders fields.


Post Script: The Cornwall N area group’s page suggests its members have gone underground to a non-public Facebook page.
Photo at top:    Corporal Neil Bryden RAF/MOD






  1. The poppy is a very recognizable symbol for those that fought and gave their lives as well as those that survived the atrocities of war for their country. Lets not forget as well those who have served their Country with pride and not necessarily in theater.
    Generations of Canadian youth lost in the defense of democracy guaranteed the rights and privileges we often take for granted today.
    This desecration of the poppy by a group that promotes contempt and dislike is truly symbolic of the same our soldiers fought and died against to protect our rights and freedoms.

    To those who served past and present and as well those that died;Thank you for your devotion to our Country and the ultimate sacrifice to ensure the rights we cherish today but as well our future.

  2. I think in defense of democracy is true and a bit inaccurate. There is so much more to that we have not been told.

    History is scary, “He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”

    George Orwell

  3. K, you’re getting scary Hailey…

  4. Hailey is absolutely right and I have downloaded George Orwell’s 1984 book of PDF and I am about to read it all over again. History always repeats itself and don’t think that it doesn’t. We have many people who are coming forward who will be Hitler’s ghost and worse. This generation of today is horrible and the Bible even talks about that. An ungrateful, spoiled and all me society. I even see it through the crimes and the way of life here in Ottawa and I don’t need to go any further to see such garbage of a society of today. What disrespect for the soldiers of past and present who have gone through hell and going through it today. I hope that the Good Lord comes with a vengeance on such people and I can guarantee that He sure will and all written. Put these spoiled, ungrateful no good for nothings on the firing line and see if they come back in a body bag or nuts.

  5. Thank you Christopher Cameron! Your words/thoughts say it all.

    Thank you Jamie for sharing this story with the community residents. I am certain the majority of people agree with Mr. Cameron and with you regarding these shared thoughts.

    There is indeed a price to pay any time we speak up for our rights and freedoms.

    Speaking out against injustice in Cornwall also comes at a price. People are silenced, shut out and shut down but this must not be allowed to happen or else we have lost what caring souls who fought for those rights and freedoms died and gave their lives for.

    Thank you both for caring enough,speaking out against wrong and speaking up for what is right, good and decent in this community.

  6. The group creator and members clearly enjoy causing people emotional pain, & they do this all day everyday with they’re idiotic posts, quite disgusting. So glad this group of social degenerates are getting the exposure they deserve. What a great example they’re setting for their children. Sad.

  7. Sorry Admin, But you can see the logic in that statement. I suggest you look up “Heritage Foundation Panelist on Radical Islam”

    There is some history so often over looked that is mentioned by that very panelist

    I can provide he link if you would like it

  8. Sadly while the core group of absolute sad adults keep boosting each other up and PRETENDING they are computer literate from the coding of the site- it like their content- is so amateur- you can go anywhere on the site with impunity

  9. Elliot
    I think even sadder is the fact that Todd Lihou of seaway news(who makes claim of being a journalist) allows his name to remain as a group member of that juvenile hate site

  10. as well apparently as our former MPP

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