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TORONTO -- In wake of a well-publicized incident in which a veteran selling poppies at a Provigo store in Montreal for Canada's Nov. 11 observation of Remembrance Day was asked to leave, Provigo's parent company, Loblaw Cos. here, has apologized to the Royal Canadian Legion and the Department of Veteran Affairs for what it now terms a "misunderstanding."
The mixup "was quickly rectified," said Loblaw in a statement. "It is a long-standing policy of ours to accommodate veterans who sell poppies in our stores for the entire period leading up to Remembrance Day."
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The company added that it "fully supports our Canadian veterans and the cause of Remembrance Day. As Canadians, we are grateful for the sacrifices which veterans have made on our behalf."
Last week, Korean War vet Tom Mullin was asked to leave the Provigo location because he was told by the store manager that there was no longer enough space for him to continue selling poppies after a newly renovation, although veterans had been selling the flowers at the same store for over 25 years.
Remembrance Day pays honor to Canada's war dead. Poppies are traditionally worn on lapels as a mark of respect.
Loblaw Cos. Limited is Canada's largest food distributor and a leading provider of general merchandise, drugstore and financial products and services.. Loblaw is one of the largest private sector employers in Canada, employing over 135,000 full-time and part-time employees.