Month: January 2011

News

Library Partnership Expands Program

The popular Lest We Forget program operated by Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has been given new life with a partnership announced Nov. 8 with the Canadian Urban Libraries Council and the Canadian War Museum. Under the program, students have been able to come to the National Library in Ottawa and pore over original documents of those who served in the First World War with the help of trained Library and Archives Canada staff. The students then use that information to write biographies or other assignments on the people they have studied (Lest We Forget Project Brings Names To Life, July/August). “The program was mostly able to help students who lived in Quebec or Ontario,” Librarian and Archivist of Canada Dr. Daniel Caron told Legion Magazine. “It was my idea to expand the progra...
Defence Today

Veterans Affairs Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn – Raising Expectations

A very busy apprenticeship and short honeymoon marked Jean-Pierre Blackburn’s first year as minister of veterans affairs. He has logged tens of thousands of travel miles: two commemorative trips to Europe, a tense trip to the Middle East marked by a diplomatic incident as the plane carrying him was refused permission to land in Dubai, and by machine-gun fire heard in the distance while hopping onto a helicopter for a quick takeoff during a visit to troops in Afghanistan. Life in Canada has hardly been less hectic. Aside from a myriad of commemorative activities, including taking part in Remembrance Day and 2009’s End of an Era event marking the passing of Canada’s last First World War veteran, there has been a stream of media reports criticizing Veterans Affairs Canada’s handling of...
News

Governor General Accepts Position

Governor General David Johnston has accepted The Royal Canadian Legion’s invitation to serve as the veterans organization’s patron. One of his first duties as patron was to accept the first poppy to launch the 2010 poppy campaign at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Oct. 25. “We are extremely pleased that the new Governor General of Canada has accepted this position,” said Dominion President Pat Varga. “It keeps alive a tradition that started 84 years ago with the formation of the Canadian Legion of the British Empire Services League and its invitation to Lord Byng of Vimy, then the governor general of Canada, to be its first patron.” Speaking at the first poppy ceremony, Johnston said, “Since 1921, poppies have reminded us of countless stories of brave men and women who left home to sacri...
News

New Exhibit Focuses on Legion Life

“Almost every community has a Legion branch and I thought it was important to document what was going on there,” says photographer Tobi Asmoucha. The result of her work over a couple of years will be the subject of a new exhibit at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, running from Jan. 15 until Nov. 20. Asmoucha, 42, who grew up in Vancouver, but has lived in Toronto for many years, said she had some exposure to Legion branches from going to weddings, but had never really studied them until she received an assignment to do so for Canadian Geographic magazine in 2007. “I wanted to see what was going on inside a Legion when there wasn’t a wedding,” Asmoucha told Legion Magazine. “I found that whenever I left a Legion I was in a happier mood than when I went there,” she said. The or...
News

Military Jumps In After Hurricane Igor Hits

The three branches of the Canadian Forces, along with Fire and Emergency Services—Newfoundland and Labrador— and locals joined forces to battle the aftermath of Hurricane Igor. The hurricane hit the coast on Sept. 21, sweeping away roads, bridges and houses, leaving some 50,000 households without power. Operation Lama, a joint task force (JTF) mission, was created and housed in a computer training room at Canadian Forces Station St. John’s. Station Commander Larry Jones said the operation went smoothly. “It was an incredibly busy time for our station, but it went very well. Certainly my folks, military and civilian alike, were very proud to be able to contribute to the overall effort,” he said. “It took essentially everybody in the station putting in a lot longer hours…and working...
News

Bridge Between The Street And A Better Life Offered

It’s been just over a year since tears in the eyes of some participants at a Remembrance Day ceremony at Toronto’s Scott Mission alerted Ontario Command to the problem of homeless veterans. Since then more than 100 have been identified and dozens given a helping hand through Operation Leave the Streets Behind, a partnership of The Royal Canadian Legion’s Ontario Command, Veterans Affairs Canada, Good Shepherd Ministries and other Toronto-area hostels, shelters and agencies that help the homeless. “The program is voluntary,” Ontario Command President Ed Pigeau said at a Toronto press conference. “Those who want to leave the streets behind have only to ask.” When they do, the Legion becomes an advocate for the veteran, working with partner agencies to offer early support while VAC expl...

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