10/24/2014 04:08 EDT | Updated 12/24/2014 05:59 EST

Legion says it can't move up poppy campaign even as Canadians demand poppies now

OTTAWA - The Royal Canadian Legion says Canadians have been clamouring for poppy lapel pins early this year due to the murders of two soldiers this week.

But the veterans organization says its traditional poppy campaign formally starts Oct. 31, adding it would be very difficult to move up the date.

It says the opening of the poppy campaign is determined by more than 300,000 members of the legion through a democratic convention process every two years and is passed by vote into the legion general bylaws.

Changing the bylaws would require a resolution process that couldn't be completed within a day or two, the group says.

As well, the legion says, tens of thousands of volunteers from almost 1,500 branches across the country participate in the campaign and it's a major process to co-ordinate the delivery of poppies to every branch.

The legion says in future, it can look into changing the date, but it's too late to do so this year.

But it adds that many legion branches already have poppies available for those who stop by.