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Statement from Gordon Moore, Dominion President of The Royal Canadian Legion

OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 03/24/14 -- Dear Editor

Remembrance allows Canadians the opportunity to show our serving men and women that their sacrifices will never be forgotten and that they will always have Canada's respect and recognition. They need not fear that their sacrifices will be in vain. By commemorating the historical accomplishments of Canada's Armed Forces, Canadians are also reminded of the important role this country has played on the world's stage.

However, the Legion is increasingly concerned that the Government of Canada's list of commemorative events, also known as Operation Distinction, seems to be growing which must also mean an increase in the budget needed to support these events. Our concern is threefold: (1) The government has not been transparent or candid about the actual budget being planned for all of these events; (2) This funding is coming at the expense of the operational and maintenance budgets; and (3) this funding cannot be diverted from the care afforded our Veterans and serving military members injured as a result of their service or from necessary changes to enhance their care.

The Legion's mission statement is well known: It is to serve Veterans, which includes serving military and RCMP members and their families, to promote Remembrance and to serve our communities and our country. The Legion recognizes the solemn sacrifices made during conflicts as well as the major actions Canada was involved in. But we have also remained steadfast in the belief that commemorative activities should be balanced with the care and needs of our injured Veterans and the operational effectiveness of our fighting men and women.

We are often reminded that there are shortages in funding and questions regarding the allocation of funds for the care of our injured Veterans. It is our belief that the government needs to focus their funding towards better understanding of the needs of our Veterans' health and well-being and provide access to various federal programs. This must be a priority.

The Legion and our more than 300,000 members insists that the government be transparent and tell Canadians what the cost will be of these commemorative activities, what the impact on Canada's military operational readiness will be and how the needs of our Veterans are being met in light of all of these commemorations?

Lest We Forget

Gordon Moore
Dominion President
The Royal Canadian Legion

Dominion Command
613-591-9335 (FAX)

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