I would like to voice my support for the Legion’s ban on the wearing of outlaw motorcycle gang’s colours on Legion premises.
I am a 32-year veteran, having served 12 years with the Royal Canadian Navy and 20 years with the RCMP. I recently spoke to Lujma Bond, an Official with Legion headquarters in Ottawa as I wanted to clarify that the ban only applies to motorcycle gangs with a known connection to criminal activity and she confirmed this.
The Legion uses information from the RCMP and other law enforcement agencies to determine who is an outlaw motorcycle club. Bacchus definitely fits this profile and is also known to be affiliated with the Hells Angels Motorcycle “Club”, who also have a presence in Charlottetown. There are also about four other motorcycle clubs on the Island that wear a patch designating that they support Bacchus.
The Legion rightly states that the wearing of outlaw motorcycle “club” colours would be disrespectful of the sacrifices made by our veterans. It is not only the Legion that has taken a stand on outlaw motorcycle gangs. The Department of National Defence has issued a general order banning members of Canada’s military from associating with a variety of groups, including outlaw biker gangs. There are legitimate motorcycle clubs across Canada that are not affected by this ban and will be allowed to wear their colours.
It is important that, as citizens, we not allow ourselves to be misled into believing these outlaw gangs are benign. They actively recruit people with a history of service and put them forward to try to legitimize their organization. They are known as a criminal organization for good reason, and the old saying holds true. You can’t turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse, or perhaps a gang into a ‘Club’.