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Record-breaking pace of poppy sales leading to shortages

Poppy sales in Canada are on a record-breaking pace and there is even the possibility that some legions might run out of poppies to sell.

More poppies have been sold in 2014 than all of last year

Sales in Canada are on a record-breaking pace and there is even the possibility that some legions might run out of poppies to sell 2:20

Poppy sales in Canada are on a record-breaking pace and there is even the possibility that some legions might run out of poppies to sell.

So far this year, 19 million poppies have been distributed, which is a million more than last year on the same date.

Navy veteran Dave Logan, a long-time seller of poppies, says the mood and support from people this year is different from other years.

"I've never seen it so busy," he said.

"I put a big can out and within two hours, I had to phone the legion to bring more cans. People were putting in 20s and even 50s. People were even walking by who already had a poppy and were putting money in the can and thanking us, so it's phenomenal."

Tom Osborne makes sure to buy a poppy every year. He thinks this year's interest has been sparked by the tragedies in Ottawa and Quebec, where two military members were killed.

"With the way the world is going, I think people realize the threat we're under and realize the contribution veterans have made for us," he said. 

A poppy for every Canadian

The campaign is going so well, Bill Maxwell, the head of the national poppy campaign, says they've set a new goal to distribute 35 million poppies this year — one for each Canadian. 

Meanwhile, the executive director of the Nova Scotia Nunavut Command of the Royal Canadian Legion says the organization is receiving "panicked and urgent" phone calls for orders to resupply.

"We hope that we will be able to resupply, but it's coming very close to Remembrance Day now, so shipping times could be a detriment in getting those supplies to those branches quickly," said Valerie Mitchell-Veinotte.

The funds raised during the annual poppy campaign are held in public trust and are used only to support veterans and their families.

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