As shocking as it may be, not all provinces in Canada recognize Remembrance Day as a provincial holiday. Ontario, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, and Quebec, are the only provinces in Canada who do not recognize November 11 as a statutory holiday.

As a unified nation, each province and territory should be able to recognize a holiday that affects almost every Canadian. Canadian families have been affected by war, whether their family and friends were active in service, or their communities have been affected by the devastation that war causes. It is a time when Canadians gather, so they can remember the Veterans who were monumental in shaping the country, nay, the world, today.

Canada is allied with many other nations, so often they support decisions to engage in military activity to resolve conflicts across the globe. Provinces cannot opt out of engaging in recruitment, and these recruited individuals come together to form the Canadian Armed Forces.

While it is important to recognize our veterans from the World Wars, and the Korean War, it is necessary to recognize and remember our veterans from more modern wars as well. We must acknowledge veterans’ sacrifices, especially since many still have friends and families to support them. It is easy to forget that behind the smiles in the photos seen on social media, that there are battles still being fought, atrocities still being committed, and veterans that still need support.

Since November 11 is not a federal holiday, Canadians in four provinces who cannot afford to take time off to attend remembrance ceremonies cannot support their veterans in this manner. By forcing many Canadians to go to work, these provinces diminish the gravity of Remembrance Day by suggesting that is an ordinary day. However, it is far from it and all Canadians should have the right to be able to participate in community celebrations of remembering their veterans.