Lethbridge city council voted unanimously on Tuesday to proclaim April 7, 2021 Green Shirt Day in Lethbridge.
Green Shirt Day honours Logan Boulet, whose choice to be an organ donor spurred an estimated 150,000 Canadians to do the same in the weeks following the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.
The decision to proclaim just April 7 of 2021 was made with a purpose by members of council.
“From last year when we brought it forward, I looked forward to doing it again this year,” said Coun. Blaine Hyggen, who was behind the motion on Tuesday. “I think it’s something that’s really important that we have yearly, and brought forward so that we can have those questions, comments, and debate throughout council.”
Logan’s father Toby Boulet says he was grateful for council’s support.
“I really appreciate that it’s not in perpetuity, it’s every year they have to sit back, look at it, discuss it, and remember the Humboldt Broncos tragedy and Green Shirt Day,” Boulet said.
The third annual Green Shirt Day will be held virtually for a second straight year due to COVID-19 restrictions, with a focus on the hashtag #TogetherStrong.
Boulet says he was blown away by the online response and the number of social media impressions in 2020, and he hopes to see another uptick this year, sparking even more conversations about organ donation.
“It will be virtual, it will be people wearing green shirts — whatever green they choose to wear — and post themselves on social media, push it as much as you can,” he said.
“It’s about organ donation and awareness, we’re not trying to raise any money, we’re just trying to get people aware and registered.”
Boulet says the COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on organ donation across the country that could be felt for years to come.
Canadian Blood Services estimates a 39 per cent drop in organ and tissue donor registration numbers in 2020, citing a lack of in-person opportunities to raise awareness and prompt registration.
According to preliminary data from 2020, Canadian Blood Services is estimating a decrease of about 30 per cent for living donation, and deceased donation was down about 21 per cent.
“That’s certainly a focus of ours, to try and turn that around,” Boulet said. “We really need to push people to think about registering to be organ donors, to get that back — not into the front part of people’s minds — but you know, think about it. It’s now online almost everywhere in Canada.”
April 6, 2021 will mark the three-year anniversary of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash. Logan Boulet succumbed to his injuries the following day.