National Police Federation asks Canadians to wear red on Friday
BARRIE -- Twenty thousand members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police across Canada are preparing to pay their respects to Constable Heidi Stevenson, who was killed this past weekend while trying to stop the mass murderer in Nova Scotia. But for the first time, the RCMP will not be able to hold a regimental funeral.
"A regimental funeral is a tradition that's steeped deep into the history of the RCMP, which is 147 years old police organization in this country and Canada's national police force," says VP of the National Police Federation, Peter Merrifield.
The union representing RCMP officers says strict limits on gatherings and physical distancing rules will prevent a regimental funeral from happening for the first time. The National Police Federation is instead calling on all Canadians to mourn the 22 Nova Scotia victims together.
"If you've seen a police funeral, there are thousands that would attend. For so many of these families there would be scores of loved ones, supporter and neighbours. That is something that's being taken away from them by the pandemic, so it's important for us as the National Police Federation to get all Canadians to stand together and mourn with people because these are unprecedented times."
The Police Federation is asking Canadians to wear something red on Friday and to pause for two minutes.
"Friday, April 24, we are asking all Canadians at 2 o'clock Atlantic time wear something red. Stand in your driveway, stand on your lawn, but do these things. Mourn together as a country. Protect yourselves and ensure you are doing physical distancing, and wear something red to show support for all of the victims."
The National Police Federation is hoping the word about wearing red on Friday spreads from coast to coast. The two-minute pause takes place at 1 pm eastern time.