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Teacher denied unpaid leave to accompany Father to Holland

Preroller

TRIBE Member
Art Boon deserves more from school board | Beacon Herald

Whatever reason the Avon Maitland District School Board has for denying history teacher Rick Boon’s request for a two-week unpaid leave of absence isn’t good enough.

It doesn’t matter what rules or guidelines the board has in place. It doesn’t matter if the board is worried about precedent or apparent favouritsm.

Whatever the board’s concerns or rationale, it pales beside the result of its decision.

By denying Rick’s request, the school board is impeding his father, Art Boon, a 90-year-old veteran of the Second World War, from travelling to the Netherlands to take part in the 70th anniversary celebrations of that country’s liberation.

Without his son to accompany him, Art will have a difficult time making the trip.

That, in itself, should be enough for the Avon Maitland District School Board to grant Rick’s request.

What makes the board’s decision even more distasteful is it seems to dismiss Art’s longtime volunteerism with local schools. Art has spent countless hours speaking with students about his harrowing experiences in wartime Europe. The Stratford veteran has worked with his son and others to speak at Remembrance Day ceremonies at city high schools. The Avon Maitland District School Board’s denial is a shoddy way of saying thank you.

And given the board’s partial credo of engaging and inspiring, it’s a strange example to be setting for its students.

Art represents the best of this community and this country. He is the definition of a patriot. Once his service ended in Europe, it began here. He has been a tireless advocate for other veterans and has raised the awareness of generations of local kids about the contributions of Canadians in the Second World War.

We should be proud to send him.

While the board declines to share the reason for its decision, citing employee privacy, there are ample reasons to reverse that decision – and the board still has time to do the right thing. Over the next few days, the AMDSB has an opportunity to reverse its baffling choice and grant Rick’s leave. If the board acts quickly, there is a chance that Rick will be able to accompany his father on their trip to the Netherlands.

Instead of digging in its heels, the board should jump at this opportunity to right its own wrong. Art Boon deserves no less.



On Monday, a petition is being presented to the board at its Seaforth office. Add your signature to the almost 800 who have already signed

Veteran finds obstacles in attending commemoration in Netherlands - Activism - Petition Online Canada
 

videotronic

TRIBE Member
Whatever reason the Avon Maitland District School Board has for denying history teacher Rick Boon’s request for a two-week unpaid leave of absence isn’t good enough.
writer went full warmington in the first sentence. you never go full warmington
 

Preroller

TRIBE Member
A 'travesty' of a decision | Beacon Herald

Veteran Art Boon will be in a high school history class on Wednesday sharing his experiences from the Second World War in spite of his disappointment regarding a school board decision affecting his upcoming trip to the Netherlands.

Boon had hoped his son Rick, a teacher at the Avon Maitland District School Board, would accompany him on Friday to participate in commemoration ceremonies marking the liberation of the country. He was invited back by the Dutch government and will likely be the only representative from this area.

“This being the 70th one, we don't have as many people on the ground now from the Second World War, so it's special," Boon said Monday. "Last year, there were only about 20 from the D-Day landing mainly because they couldn't travel. Age makes an awful difference."

Despite mounting public and political pressure, the request for unpaid leave was denied and will not be reversed the board confirmed Monday.

“We have a great deal of respect for Art Boon and what he's done, not just for our schools, obviously, but for our country. And I think our students and staff really appreciate his work and veterans, but we've never made this about Mr. (Art) Boon.

“We were faced with a decision about one of our employees and that's how we've dealt with it,” Ted Doherty, the AMDSB director of education, said in an interview at the board office in Seaforth Monday.

The 90-year-old veteran, in his first interview since a petition and letter-writing campaign started last week, said he wasn't terribly surprised by the decision, which has caused him to lose respect for the board.

“That wouldn't stop me from still going into the schools and talking to the children, who I have great respect for, and the teachers in those schools all through this board are just excellent.”

When renowned singer-songwriter Loreena McKennitt heard about the board’s decision, she started the petition and an advocacy campaign asking the board to reconsider.

Monday afternoon, McKennitt and legion Chaplain Lorne Mitchell presented the board with the petition, which had more than 2,000 signatures and letters sent from around the country.

Two vans full of supporters looked on and then applauded as McKennitt and Mitchell spoke in the front of the board offices.

McKennitt expressed her disappointment regarding a statement sent to media by the board on Sunday night, prior to the letters and petitions being presented, suggesting the decision would not be reversed.

“Knowing we were coming, it was my hope and intention, as no doubt it was yours, that our collective voices would stand for something and would be taken into consideration in further deliberations,” she said told supporters.

McKennitt has organized a public meeting for 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Stratford City Hall auditorium so residents can discuss the matter further.

“If they do not grant Rick Boon leave, I think there are lessons to be learned in this. How did we get to a situation like this? How did we get to this situation which seems so obvious to so many other people?”

McKennitt said it was worth the fight, no matter what happens, and she has no regrets. Mitchell called the decision “deeply disappointing” and lacking compassion.

Meanwhile, in Ottawa, Perth-Wellington MP Gary Schellenberger made a statement in the House of Commons calling the board’s decision a “travesty.”

“Our government strongly condemns this decision and calls on the Avon Maitland District School Board to allow Rick Boon to travel with his father to be honoured.

"This is about respect for veterans and their families, and our Conservative government stands firmly behind the Boon family,” he said

Boon's son has travelled with him in the past, including last year to France for the 70th anniversary of D-Day. The board allowed Rick Boon leave on that occasion. The board said the timing and number of previous leaves are among the considerations when dealing with requests.

It's that past travel experience that makes Art Boon most comfortable travelling with his son.

“He knows what I do. Sometimes in the airport, it's not an easy time and he knows my medical needs,” Art Boon said.

Art Boon said he will go to the Netherlands anyway and work out other arrangements. Likely his grandson Jamie will accompany him.

“I was hoping I wouldn't have to scramble in the last week,” he said.

Though the experience has left a bad taste in his mouth, the outpouring of public support heartened him.

“The thing that amazes me and what you don't realize are the people that support you. I've had phone calls and so has my son coming in from all over the country. Some people on the trip with us last year to Normandy have phoned as well.”

Boon landed on the beaches at Normandy on D-Day in a tank and fought his way through France, Belgium and the Netherlands before ending the war in Germany. He recalled sitting in a Dutch home where they were eating tulip bulbs.

“And also just the chaff off the wheat for cereal. They even tried to give us some of that,” he said.

He still chokes up when he recalls the Dutch children who were starving to death.

“They got a lot of our food. Naturally, you can't just see a kid starve to death,” he said.

There's been nothing but appreciation from the people in the Netherlands ever since, he said.
 

Snuffy

TRIBE Member
That teacher has a job to do. Two weeks is a very long time to be away from the classroom. Also, even if it's unpaid leave, the board would have to pay for a supply teacher. This is unfortunate timing, but the board is right.
 
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Preroller

TRIBE Member
its only 6 days, as the school year is winding down, they will also save money by paying for a supply, instead of a long tenured teacher.

Using todays technology, what an opportunity to maybe have Mr. Boon do a live check in with his class everyday. the guy teaches HISTORY! It was brought up in the House of Commons today, and this story is gathering a lot of steam...
 

peko

TRIBE Member
That teacher has a job to do. Two weeks is a very long time to be away from the classroom. Also, even if it's unpaid leave, the board would have to pay for a supply teacher. This is unfortunate timing, but the board is right.
BS. This isn't really about the students (that's a safe cop out). The supply teacher would be cheaper then the teacher's wages. Dayplanners are a teacher's BFF - the class curriculum and timeline are already planned.

unfortunate timing: give your head a shake and revisit what storming the beaches of Normandy were about.
 

peko

TRIBE Member
its only 6 days, as the school year is winding down, they will also save money by paying for a supply, instead of a long tenured teacher.

Using todays technology, what an opportunity to maybe have Mr. Boon do a live check in with his class everyday. the guy teaches HISTORY! It was brought up in the House of Commons today, and this story is gathering a lot of steam...
exactly!

face time era: modern family filmed an entire episode using facetime via iphones and ipads.... chances are, a history teacher can utilize this technology too.
 
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Preroller

TRIBE Member
Imagine Mr Boon having to contact the Nederland Government, ya sorry guys cant make this national honor, the Avon Maitland School Board, said my son, who is my caretaker when I travel, his work said he cant get the time off.
 

derek

TRIBE Member
I get the feeling there's more to the story (like the teacher may have an absenteeism issue), still, even if that's the case, wrong battle to choose given the context of the request.
 

peko

TRIBE Member
I get the feeling there's more to the story (like the teacher may have an absenteeism issue), still, even if that's the case, wrong battle to choose given the context of the request.
I got that feeling too when they disclosed that he in fact has had other unpaid leaves due to being the orimary support role for his father. Totally inappropriate on the board's behalf.

I wonder if this could be some kind of accessibilty issue/ barrier for the father? kind of far fetched, but like telling a person they can't have access to their service dog.
 

Preroller

TRIBE Member
He has accompanied his Father on a bunch of these kinds of trips, Normandy last year, basically whenever Art gets invited. mostly for less time. When he did that, the board said "this is the last time."

I never had him as a teacher, but from what I understand, he is amazing, and uses all these experiences in the classroom as a history teacher, using life experiences as a teaching tool, rather than straight from the text. His father has been speaking in schools and advocating for vets for 50 years or so. Him I have seen. Inspiring, and he was one of the first troops to land in Holland and the Perth battalion was instrumental in liberating the Dutch people. Huron Perth is probably one of the the largest population of Dutch immigrants in Canada, mostly farmers, and we have monuments all over the place built by the Nederlanders.

You can see from Arts interviews that it is very emotional for him, and having his son with him is a great comfort, and the only person he has done most of these travels with. from what understand Art is one of the youngest remaining vets that is able to make this special trip, so it will most certainly be the last, being the 70th anniversary, hell if he can make it to the 75th one, send his whole family, the Dutch are paying for everything!
 

Preroller

TRIBE Member
Rick Mercer @rickmercer · 23h 23 hours ago

Avon Maitland School Board proudly stands by decision to be cruel & unusual to 90 year old Second World War Veteran. http://tinyurl.com/kzsxat5
696 retweets 317 favorites

We have also emailed CBC in hopes Don Cherry might talk a bit about it on Coaches Corner.

I am going to the public meeting on Thursday, will report back
 
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Preroller

TRIBE Member
Also, if they are trying to set a precedent, from what i can tell, dont know all the facts, what is there going to be max 5 of this type for the next 5 years? They are just digging in their heels and cant admit they are wrong and being douches. IMHO.
 

Jeffsus

TRIBE Member
Teachers receive generous time away from work during the best months in Canada to be on vacation. They are also paid very handsomely. And though they are loathe to admit it, their actual working hours, on a regular basis, are quite modest.

Which is fine.

But in return, the expectation is that they are in the classroom when they are supposed to be in the classroom. A degree of flexibility is exchanged for generous time away from work.

Yes, a private sector worker might be able to negotiate two weeks off of unpaid work. But that same worker does not get summers off or short days.

We all remember how effectively we learn while a "substitute teacher" is in. It's a joke -- it's nothing more than babysitting.

If every teacher were allowed to just disappear unpaid for reasons of nostalgia, where would we be.

-jM
A&D
 

NemIsis

TRIBE Member
Teachers receive generous time away from work during the best months in Canada to be on vacation. They are also paid very handsomely. And though they are loathe to admit it, their actual working hours, on a regular basis, are quite modest.

Which is fine.

But in return, the expectation is that they are in the classroom when they are supposed to be in the classroom. A degree of flexibility is exchanged for generous time away from work.

Yes, a private sector worker might be able to negotiate two weeks off of unpaid work. But that same worker does not get summers off or short days.

We all remember how effectively we learn while a "substitute teacher" is in. It's a joke -- it's nothing more than babysitting.

If every teacher were allowed to just disappear unpaid for reasons of nostalgia, where would we be.

-jM
A&D
Teachers are not paid for those generous vacations, nor are they paid for Stat holidays. Please, go check. The pay is stretched to accommodate this. Presently, the Boards are allowing teachers to take one unpaid week a year to go on a trip, a vacation etc., Why? because it's cheaper to hire a supply for the week. Let's be honest. never taken one.

Those classroom number caps? Goodbye. The Board wants to be done with them. Not that they meant much. I had to teach two classes of 40 Grade 7's last year (15 of them were ESL.. in a French class), and there weren't enough desks or chairs (despite begging for them). Kids were sitting on shelves or the floor. It was a challenge. That was with the cap in place. Good luck people with the caps gone.

I agree with you on substitutes, but it depends on the sub. I've had some awesome ones. Subs that have followed my plans and taught the kids. Subs who have a history with the school and do help. If the school knows the teacher is away for a longer period, they can replace the teacher with a good substitute.

This isn't disappearing for reasons of nostalgia. Think of what he could bring to the kids when he returns.
 
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Preroller

TRIBE Member
When Canadian tanks rolled through Rotterdam and the Nazi stranglehold finally lifted, one of the soldiers asked 10-year-old Wilma Van Bussel for a kiss.

He pulled a picture out of his pocket of a little girl about the same age, likely the daughter he was missing.

Van Bussel regrets she'll never know who he was. But all Canadian veterans have come to represent the man who risked everything for the liberation of her family and the Netherlands.

“They were our heroes. Even though we were so hungry and desperate, we danced in the street,” she said.

“I'll be forever, forever so grateful.”

That's why the 80-year-old proud Dutch-Canadian offered $100 to cover any losses the Avon Maitland District School Board might incur if they allow one of their teachers, Rick Boon, to accompany his veteran father Art Boon to the Netherlands to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation.

“This is something that's very dear to my heart,” said Van Bussel of Ilderton, who was moved by Boon's story in the news.

Unfortunately, it's not money that's the issue. Rick asked for an unpaid leave from the school board. His request was denied for reasons the board has not revealed, saying it can`t discuss an individual employee's situation publicly.

“We have supported Mr. Art Boon on a number of previous ventures to ceremonies in Europe,” was all that Steve Howe, manager of communications for the board, would say on Friday.

With one week left before Boon is supposed to leave, the board hasn't reversed its decision. Neither Rick nor Art Boon have spoken publicly about the denied request.

The Second World War was brutal for the Dutch people, who were occupied by Nazi Germany in May 1940 and didn't again enjoy their sovereignty until May 1945. It was a dreadful five years. An active underground fought back and, in a past interview, Boon himself praised their effectiveness. Van Bussel's own father was part of that network.

It was a time of misery, particularly during the Hunger Winter of 1944-45. Food was running out, and the population was starving and eating tulip bulbs to survive. In Rotterdam, they didn't have even that.

“I saw people walking on the sidewalk just slumping over, falling into the gutter,” Van Bussel said.

Her own mother wouldn't have lasted another two weeks, she said. She weighed less than 100 pounds by the time the Canadians came through.

She remembers sitting on the roof watching the planes fly over as they were dropping food.

Van Bussel has never met Art Boon but, to her, he represents all the soldiers who camped down by the river in her hometown and shared what they had. A soldier gave her brother a pack of cigarettes for their dad.

As a young man, Boon joined the Perth Regiment but switched to the 19th Field Regiment that saw action in France, Belgium and the Netherlands before finally ending in Germany. He was a gunner in a tank overseas, but at home he's been an advocate for other veterans.

The connection between the Netherlands and Canada will live on because people such as Van Bussel and Art Boon talk about it.

But the number of people here who understand what it is to look into the eyes of starving civilians, standing in the rubble of what was once their homes, is on a steep decline. There will come a day when there are none.

And that is a day Van Bussel dreads because she believes the way to avoid war and suffering is to remember it.

Boon has been a tireless volunteer in AMDSB schools. He has relived his own experiences and answered any questions asked to make sure generations of young people here know what happened over there.

Former Dutch Consul Dirk ter Vrugt describes the relationship between Canada and the Netherlands as “symbiotic.” The Dutch are grateful for the Canadians who served and the Canadians are grateful for the heartfelt recognition.

“It's an emotional situation. I've seen vets cry with the recognition they get in Holland,” he said.

It's recognition London North Centre MP Susan Truppe wants to be sure Boon gets both here and abroad.

“I hope the board does the right thing and allows his son to travel with him. Who's a better companion to travel with him than his son? We'll be watching,” Truppe said Friday.

Stratford is known primarily for its Shakespearean Theatre, but there is a generation of Dutch who knew Stratford as home. A battalion of Dutch conscripts was stationed in Stratford. While Princess Juliana of the Netherlands was in exile in Ottawa, she visited them here.

A reminder of the bond forged back then stands to this day in parkland near the Lions Pool. It's a statue of hands holding a dove with the inscription “To the people of Stratford in grateful memory of their kindness and hospitality to the soldiers of the oppressed Netherlands.”

Many who have taken up Boon`s cause seem to feel that if the Dutch haven't forgotten the sacrifices of Canadians, then neither should we.
 

Jeffsus

TRIBE Member
Teachers are not paid for those generous vacations, nor are they paid for Stat holidays. Please, go check. The pay is stretched to accommodate this. Presently, the Boards are allowing teachers to take one unpaid week a year to go on a trip, a vacation etc., Why? because it's cheaper to hire a supply for the week. Let's be honest. never taken one.

Those classroom number caps? Goodbye. The Board wants to be done with them. Not that they meant much. I had to teach two classes of 40 Grade 7's last year (15 of them were ESL.. in a French class), and there weren't enough desks or chairs (despite begging for them). Kids were sitting on shelves or the floor. It was a challenge. That was with the cap in place. Good luck people with the caps gone.

I agree with you on substitutes, but it depends on the sub. I've had some awesome ones. Subs that have followed my plans and taught the kids. Subs who have a history with the school and do help. If the school knows the teacher is away for a longer period, they can replace the teacher with a good substitute.

This isn't disappearing for reasons of nostalgia. Think of what he could bring to the kids when he returns.
I come from a long family of teachers, many of whom, are, teachers still.

We can debate semantics but the reality is that within ten years, which means once one is about 32, most teachers are making about $94k, which includes all the summer time off, two weeks at christmas, march break, all bank and statutory holidays... Let's be frank here, it's a substantial amount of time off.

Most private people work from ~8am to ~5pm, or, with flex time, generally expected to work 40 hours a week one way or another. Many in some sectors work much more, and earn less than $94k a year.

The sacrifice? A teacher has little or no say in when they get their vacation. In the private sector, well everyone gets two weeks, most people get at least 3 weeks to start, and it goes up from there, and when is optional for them. Teachers don't get an option.

And that's the whole point. This guy wants an "optional vacation" for reasons of his nostalgic father. Well, then he should choose a different profession. Pay someone else to take him. Can't have your cake and eat it too. Trust me, I've tried.

By no means am I saying teachers don't deserve their pay or whatever, but, you can call it "stretching" or deny that for most days teachers really only are present 9am-3pm, but the sacrifice is: you show up when the kids do, and the benefit is you can largely leave when the kids do.

-jM
A&D
 
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Preroller

TRIBE Member
STRATFORD - Canadian veteran Art Boon fought and was on the winning side in both D-Day and the liberation of Holland.

However, it seems winning the war he’s in 70 years later is no sure thing.

Unless there is a massive change of heart or a dramatic intervention, the 90-year-old retired warrant officer of the Second World War might just lose this battle.

But don’t tell him. He is determined to take this hill. There are many lining up to do battle with him.

There seemed on Tuesday to be no movement in his quest to convince the Avon Maitland District School Board to let his son, Rick, an elementary school teacher, take a leave to accompany him to the Netherlands Friday for a 10-day trip to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Holland — one of Canada’s greatest military achievements. Rick is also not allowed to take vacation when school is in session.

And with the school year still on, they won’t let him go — even on unpaid leave.

“I really need him with me,” explained Boon. “He knows my medical needs and understands what goes on on these trips. I can’t believe they won’t let him go. I am very hurt by this.”

It’s not looking good. The school board is adamant that they won’t let their teacher off from his classroom duties.

And the decision is final.

“We try to make a responsible decision for the staff and the students and we did that,” said director of education Ted Doherty. “I was asked point blank yesterday if we were going to change our mind and I said ‘No’ and I believe I have acted responsibly for a person in my position.”

Yes, the lines in this battle are clearly drawn. It’s a war of wills.

Accompanied by photographer Michael Peake, I tried to make some sense of this decision. I mean, Boon is a veteran. Who cares if a teacher misses a week of classes as long as he takes a leave with no cost to the taxpayers?

If ever a rule could be bent a little, this could be it. Our first stop was at the Stratford Legion to see Boon, a man who organizes Remembrance Day ceremonies and speaks in schools about his experiences.

He is very upset about the board’s tough stance. Hopping mad.

“I think it is petty and very low class, as far as I am concerned,” he said. “It is insulting to all the veterans. We lost 7,000 men in Holland and I am going over there to represent them.” Attempts to change Doherty’s mind have so far failed.

Maybe you can give it a shot. His phone number is 519-727-0111, ext. 106. His e-mail is teddohe@fc.amdsb.ca.

You won’t find him rude or condescending. In fact, when Mike and I drove the 40 minutes west from Stratford to the board’s office in Seaforth, Doherty invited us into the boardroom and did an interview with us.

While he seems like a solid, courteous professional, I did find him to be stubborn, bureaucratic, unbending and intent on digging in his heels.

I urged him to look at the bigger picture. Make an exception for one of our heroes — one who is highly decorated and who was in heavy fighting that eventually led to the Dutch being freed from Nazi oppressors.

His point, however, is Boon is not being kept away from the trip as originally thought. The veteran’s grandson is poised to travel with him.

“The good news is he is still going to get to go and that is something we all wanted,” he said. “We have respect for him and the service has given to this country.”

Boon countered he finds this sentiment to be shallow.

“They don’t have any respect for me,” he said. “They don’t know me. They have never spoke to me yet.”

Many people are upset about this here, where a petition of 2,000 names was presented to the board, as well as 100 letters of support. A protest is set for Thursday. Among those planning to be there is legendary singer Loreena McKennitt, a Stratford native and honorary colonel in the Canadian Armed Forces.

“We need to keep the pressure on the board,” she said. “It would be so easy to let this man go back to Holland with his son one last time. People like Mr. Boon are so important to this country and to the people of Holland. We don’t understand how it could hurt to have his son go over on the trip so he can go.”

With the clock winding down and not wanting to wait until the last minute, Boon said he tapped a grandson to look after him and he has paid for his ticket and travel.

“The problem is I don’t want him to have to be worried about looking after me,” said Boon. “I would prefer Rick to do that because he knows how to get me into the airports and on to the planes. He is also a history teacher who has been invited to go there, as well, by the Dutch government.”

From Doherty’s point of view, Rick Boon is needed back here in Stratford in his classroom.

“We tried to be as fair and sensitive as we could toward the staff and students,” said Doherty.

Hogwash, said Boon, who added: “I hate to say it, it’s also very small town.”

So, with the two camps clearly entrenched in their bunkers, it appears there is no truce on the way anytime soon.

Many Canadians are signing up to go war for Art Boon. There is no need for conscription.

But there are still two days left to conduct peace talks and judging from our readers, the school board would be very wise to do that.

Even if they feel a need to win at the Avon Maitland board, making a 90-year-old hero of the war feel uncomfortable on perhaps his final trip to revisit his and this country’s glory is not a victory to be proud of.

On the other hand, making sure veteran Art Boon is happy and content is something worth fighting for.

joe.warmington@sunmedia.ca
 

Preroller

TRIBE Member
Jeff it shouldnt be about teacher rules, or whatever time this guy has taken off before...its about this...and that he wants and needs his son to be with him...

Friday, September, 14, 2007 - 11:11:35 AM
Art Boon awarded Legion's top honours

One of Stratford's best-known Second World War veterans, Arthur H. Boon, of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #8, received the Meritorious Service Medal Sunday afternoon following the Decoration Day Parade at Avondale Cemetery.

"Local veterans, our Legion branch, and our community have all benefitted so much over the years from Art Boon's tireless efforts," said Legion president Jim Millar. "He is an inspiration to all of us to give of our time to help others."

Becoming a Legionnaire after his return from the war, Boon has done almost every job in the Legion organization including poppy chair for five years and parade marshal for 17 years. He visited school children on behalf of Branch #8 on Remembrance Day for 10 years and helped veterans and their dependents as Legion Service Officer for many years. Boon's many efforts outside the Legion include volunteer curator of the Perth Regimental Museum, president of the Royal Canadian Regimental Museum, fundraiser for Canada's Juno Beach Museum, and secretary of the Perth County Pipe Band for some 20 years.

"I was happy to hear that someone was being recognized for their efforts," said Boon after the ceremony. "I didn't know it was going to be me. I'm very pleased and honoured to receive this award. It really means a lot coming from my comrades here at the Legion."

Art Boon's many medals and decorations include the ANAF 150th Anniversary Medal for work with veterans, the Order of St. John and most recently, the Legion of Honour from French President Jacques Chirac.
 

kyfe

TRIBE Member
this is so gross, give his kid time off to take him already. Given his service they should be bending over backwards to accomidate his son so he can attend
 

diablo

TRIBE Member
I don't think the board is being unreasonable, especially given the fact that they've allowed him to go several times before.

If it's important to the father to go (fair enough), let the son, the government, Rick Mercer, or one of the other attention-seeking opportunists pay for a caregiver to accompany him.
 
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