Legion commandeers Wounded Warriors Canada fundraising campaign over use of poppy

Updated: 00:00 GMT, Jan 1, 1970 | Published: 11:24 GMT, Nov 10, 2017 |

A popular fundraising partnership between Telus and Wounded Warriors Canada was commandeered by the Royal Canadian Legion this week because it included an image of a poppy, which the legion claims as a trademark symbol.

The online fundraiser asks users to scroll through the names of more than 117,000 fallen soldiers — a sobering and time-consuming task — and, as users scroll, a poppy blooms above the list of names.

For each user that makes it to the end of the list, the telecommunications company pledged to donate $5 to Wounded Warriors Canada, a national mental health charity that supports veterans, first responders and their families.

But the beneficiary of the funds suddenly changed a few days after the campaign launched, and the site now pledges to donate $5 to the Royal Canadian Legion, instead.

The legion says the change happened after it contacted Telus to advise of its trademark rights over the poppy image.

“To address the situation, the legion provided Telus with the option to remove the poppy symbol from their campaign or change the beneficiary,” communications manager Nujma Bond said in an email to CBC News.

“Telus chose to change the beneficiary with the promise to ensure Wounded Warriors Canada received the maximum amount of the donation they had promised them.”

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