Statement - Harper Government Marks the End of the Italian Campaign

OTTAWA, Feb. 22, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister for La Francophonie, issued the following statement today regarding the 68th anniversary of the end of Canadian participation in the Italian Campaign.

"This month marks the 68th anniversary of the end of Canadian participation in the Italian Campaign. Canadians fought there for 20 hard months and played a vital role in the struggle to eventually liberate Italy during the Second World War.

"Canadians fought on the Island of Sicily from July 10 to August 6, 1943, and in mainland Italy from September 3, 1943, to February 1945, before being shifted to Northwest Europe to join the First Canadian Army serving there. The fighting in Italy was harsh and Canadian casualties totalled more than 26,000—nearly 6,000 of which were fatal.

"The brave Canadians who fought in Italy were among the more than one million Canadians who served during the Second World War. Coming from all walks of life, these Canadians accomplished much and sacrificed greatly in the fight for peace and freedom."

For more information on the Italian Campaign, please visit veterans.gc.ca.

SOURCE: Veterans Affairs Canada

For further information:

Media inquiries:
Janice Summerby
Media Relations Advisor
Veterans Affairs Canada
613-992-7468

Jean-Christophe de le Rue
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
613-996-4649