MP Report — Canada’s Veterans

Just a few days ago, our nation mourned the service and sacrifice of Canada’s Armed Forces, just as we do every year on November 11th.  It is an incredibly emotional day and yet incredibly patriotic. Canadian service men and women are honoured around the world for their heroic efforts in battle. 

This year marked the 75th anniversary since V-J Day, and the end of the Second World War. The men and women that went overseas to fight tyranny and preserve our shared values of freedom and democracy in the face of fascism are often referred to as the greatest generation. Sadly, each year there are fewer of them left to regale us with their stories and share their firsthand accounts with us. It makes the act of remembering and honouring these incredible Canadians all the more important.

Due to COVID-19 this year and the general uncertainty surrounding Remembrance Day services, I made the decision to visit every community and lay a wreath at every cenotaph.  It mattered to me that no cenotaph be unadorned on Remembrance Day.

Every community stepped up and made each act of remembrance their own.  Whether I was accompanied by an RCMP Member in red serge or was met by a Veteran and a young piper, every community, every short ceremony to pay respect and honour those that gave the ultimate sacrifice.  Every year, the Legions in our communities volunteer their time to make sure that this simple act of Remembrance is carried out.  Every year, Legions also spend countless hours serving and supporting our veterans – whether it’s providing an opportunity for engagement and socialization with others or helping advocate for a veteran, the Legion members go above and beyond to help. 

Legions are struggling.  COVID-19 has all but closed their doors, revenue generating activities like hall rentals and catering have ceased.  This year’s Poppy Campaign was also in jeopardy.  The most generous volunteer organizations in Canada are our Legions and right now 120 of them across Canada may be forced
to close their doors – permanently.

It is incredibly frustrating that the Prime Minister would make an opportunistic funding announcement the day before Remembrance Day, offering only a fraction of what was requested to support our Legions.  It is really a shame that this announcement comes nine months into the pandemic when earlier support may
have made the difference. 

The Prime Minister clearly has his priorities all wrong. While he has millions for Liberal insiders and his well connected friends he claims that Canada’s Veterans and Legions are asking for more than he is able to give right now. 

How different our country and the world would be if instead of answering the call bravely, our Veterans said the cost was too great?