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'Unprecedented': Area legion shut down due to biker gang connection

Provincial command closes after alleging members were breaching policy wearing 'gang colours'
The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 414 in Woodbridge is no more.

The Royal Canadian Legion provincial command has shut down its legion branch in Woodbridge due to an alleged connection with outlaw motorcycle gang activities.

Royal Canadian Legion Branch 414 is no more after the provincial command investigated apparent activity relating to motorcycle gangs. A letter sent from provincial command to Woodbridge legion branch members said that some members were knowingly breaching policy by wearing overt “gang colours” affiliated with biker gangs. The provincial command decided to suspend the charter for the branch after a tipoff from police led to an investigation.

“It is sad to lose a branch in our area and zone,” Newmarket legion branch past president Wayne Hooey said.

The letter urged members of the Woodbridge branch to retain membership and transfer to new branches. With the closure, the provincial command intends to sell the building and pay off any outstanding bills and debts.

The letter from provincial president Derek Moore said the investigation was thorough.

“We cannot permit the Legion’s name to be associated with organized crime,” Moore said. “We spent days, weeks and months gathering information and discussing the final decision on the Mackenzie branch and concluded that the revocation was the only choice.”

The legion branch has recently also faced controversy regarding its books. York Regional Police announced charges in September against a former 414 branch president for defrauding the legion between 2017 and 2019 by writing cheques to herself totalling more than $30,000. Giuseppina Fedelea, a staffer for King-Vaughan MPP Stephen Lecce, was charged and also fired from her position in Lecce’s constituency office. 

The charges came just one month before provincial command suspended the charter for Woodbridge. However, provincial command executive director Pamela Sweeny said this matter is unrelated to those fraud charges. 

NewmarketToday attempted to contact members of the Woodbridge branch but did not receive a reply before publication deadline.

The branch was in service for decades. Moore said the move was made with “great sorrow.”

“This is an unprecedented situation and one which I hope we never experience again,” he said. “I thank you all for your understanding and patience while we worked our way through this issue.”


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Joseph Quigley

About the Author: Joseph Quigley

Joseph is the municipal reporter for NewmarketToday.
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