Bill S-209

9/11 as a National Day of Service

Chronology of C-CAT’s Campaign to Mark 9/11 as a Day of National Service in Canada




“9/11 Declared a National Day of Service in Canada”

Canadian Terror Victims Laud Prime Minister Harper

The Canadian Coalition Against Terror representing terror victims across Canada wishes to commend the Government of Canada for declaring 9/11 as a National Day of Service:

“We wish to thank Prime Minister Harper for taking this important step. It is a further example of his government’s commitment to fighting terror and its unwavering support of its victims.

C-CAT also wishes to commend Senator Pamela Wallin who had introduced several bills to this effect at the request of Canadian 9/11 victims, and who has been a stalwart supporter of Canada’s 9/11 victims since 2001 when she served as Canadian Consul General in New York.


Until today, Canada has had no national memorial for 9/11 and no set protocols for recognizing the day as anything other than ordinary. Doing so tacitly cast 9/11 as an American event as opposed to an attack of global import in which the citizens of 90 countries lost their lives – including 24 Canadians.  By formally incorporating this day into our official calendar the Prime Minister has changed that.

Canada has not been merely a spectator in the events of 9/11 and its aftermath. We have been deeply involved abroad in the military campaign to defeat the Taliban and Al Qaida, while domestically our society is still struggling to find appropriate measures and balances in coping with the security environment of a post 9/11 world.  9/11 is about us – not only as members of the international community but as Canadians.  And it is incumbent upon us as a society to craft a Canadian lens through which to view and engage the very Canadian issues pertaining to the 9/11 experience. Today’s declaration provides a new tool and valuable platform to that end.

For more background on this initiative:

For media interviews: 416 788 4777

Liberal Senators Once Again Voice Objections and Adjourn Debate – The Bill is Unable to Proceed to Committee

…Designating September 11 as a national day of service is, I believe, very appropriate for Canada and Canadians. On that day, and in the days following, Canada and Canadians went out of their way to serve. Hundreds of families in Newfoundland and Labrador opened their homes to strangers whose aircraft were forced to land. These strangers were clothed and fed, entertained and were strangers no longer and they became friends. Newfoundlanders served as they always have before they were Canadians in 1949 and every single day since.

…Hundreds of Canadian firemen and women, police personnel, nurses, doctors, coroners and volunteers made their way to NewYork, often at their own expense, to offer assistance. These Canadians served. One hundred thousand Canadians converged on Parliament Hill with barely 24 hours notice to stand in support with our American friends and let them know that we would do whatever was necessary to assist them in the days following the attacks on North America. Fire companies across Canada continue to this day to observe a moment of silence every September 11 to remember their comrades who were lost running in to save others on that day in New York City.

….Honourable senators, there are no exit dates in the battle for humanity, no end date to the struggle against cruelty, not in Afghanistan or anywhere else….

…An official national day of service will also be a reminder to those too young to recall its origin and for those yet to come that history can point back to September 11, 2001 as the actual date on the calendar when the world changed, and on this date it is our responsibility as Canadians to honour those who served, who continue to serve and, in some small way, emulate the service with small acts of kindness and volunteerism ourselves….

Senator Pamela Wallin:

…Inspired by the American 9/11 families, Canadian families have asked us to consider a national day of service. Bill S-209 answers their call. I believe it is a unifying, non-partisan bill that I hope everyone can support and embrace.

I will give a little history, just for the record. In March of last year the United States passed a similar bipartisan bill called the Serve America Act co-sponsored by 42 senators who worked together to construct a compassionate way for generations to remember, to pay honour and to maintain that spirit that played out in many moments of spontaneous humanity around the world.

Since the passage of the Serve America Act, thousands of organizations — non-profit, faith-based and employer-based have mobilized hundreds of thousands of Americans…. This is the sort of volunteerism we hope Bill S-209 will recognize and inspire in this country. It can be a constructive and uplifting way to commemorate 9/11….

…With Bill S-209, a national day of service bill, the families hope to ensure that the lessons so painfully learned continue to resonate within our nation’s heart. Bill S-209 will ensure that the passage of time or the ill will of others will never somehow combine to diminish this tragedy. The day will honour the victims of terrorism. It will pay tribute to all those who would not stand aside but who stood up in the face of terrorism, particularly the men and women of our military.… This bill honours the selfless service of our civilian and military volunteers, which is far more persuasive and far more powerful than the hate they battle every day. This bill recognizes the spirit of our citizens who, through their acts of generosity to strangers, are a powerful inspiration to our children and, through them, to the future.
Click here for the compete transcript

Bill S-240 is reintroduced by Senator Wallin as S-209.

Click here to see Bill S-209
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