Legion spokesperson wants city bylaw curbing business activities on Nov. 11

A senior spokesperson with the Quebec branch of the Royal Canadian Legion says he wants to make sure a Santa Claus on Remembrance Day situation never happens again.

Kenneth R. Ouellet says he'd like to see the city of Montreal pass a bylaw preventing businesses from conducting activities that clash with ceremonies on the morning of November 11th.

"Montreal should have a municipal regulation like they have in the city of Ottawa which states that on Nov. 11, no such type of activity takes place between 1 o'clock or 2 o'clock," Ouellet says.

The Ottawa law requires most retail businesses to remain closed until 12:30 p.m. on Remembrance Day, with a few exceptions, including small grocery and convenience stores.

He's also floating the idea of making Remembrance Day a statutory holiday, as it is in most other Canadian provinces.

The east-end Place Versailles shopping mall became a target of Canadians' dismay when it advertised an event scheduled for 10 a.m. on Saturday, which would see Santa Claus would arrive by helicopter.

Canadians across the country observe Remembrance Day at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11 — marking the exact time and date the armistice was signed ending the First World War in 1918.

The mall's management apologized for the conflict in a Facebook post, but added it couldn't hold the event on any other day because of "logistical constraints beyond our control". It also promised to take "the necessary steps to honor those who served our country" on Nov. 11.