OTTAWA, Sept. 21, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - This morning at VIA Rail's Ottawa Station, in the presence of the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport; John Fraser, Member of Provincial Parliament for Ottawa South; Jody Mitic, Councillor for Innes Ward at the City of Ottawa; and the President and Chief Executive Officer of VIA Rail Canada, Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, the Canadian delegation of 90 military athletes boarded a train on their way to the Invictus Games Toronto 2017. The Crown Corporation's major partnership of the Invictus Games Toronto 2017 is part of VIA Rail's involvement in Canada's 150th celebrations and its ongoing support of the military community. VIA Rail's support will enable the athletes, members of the organizing committee and their families to travel by train for the duration of the Games.
From September 23 to 30, Toronto will host a major international Paralympic multi-sport competition where more than 550 members of the armed forces and wounded or handicapped war veterans from 17 countries will compete in disciplines such as wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, indoor rowing and, for the first time this year, golf. Established by His Royal Highness, Prince Harry of Wales, the Games are now in their third edition.
"The strength and determination displayed by the service men and women at the Invictus Games is as inspiring as the courage and the discipline they demonstrate on the frontline. Canada is proud to host these important international games; They are a unique opportunity for our country to commemorate and honour the achievements and willpower of these exceptional athletes."
— The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, Government of Canada
"It was my privilege to meet the competitors and coaches representing Team Canada at the 2017 Invictus Games and welcome them to our province. The dedication and perseverance of this team is an inspiration to all of us. Hosting the Games is an honour for Ontario and will pay tribute to the sacrifices of Canada's military personnel and their unconquerable spirits. Good luck to all the competitors and go Team Canada!"
— The Honorable Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Province of Ontario
"I am humbled by the dedication and resiliency of our current serving members and veterans who will be representing Canada at the 2017 Invictus Games. They have all put long hours and fierce determination into their training. I have no doubt they will represent the Canadian Armed Forces and Canadians extremely well. All Canadians should be proud of these amazing men and women, who epitomize what it means to adapt, overcome, and Soldier On."
— Brigadier-General Mark Misener, Commanding Officer of the Joint Personnel Support Unit and Head of Mission for Team Canada
"VIA Rail is always proud to support the Canadian military and their families. The Invictus Games Toronto 2017 presents us with a unique opportunity to recognize both their commitment to country and their personal sacrifice. Moreover, it allows us to celebrate their resilience and strength in overcoming adversity. It is this courage that stands on guard for our country, our rights and freedoms."
— Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, President and Chief Executive Officer, VIA Rail Canada
VIA Rail and the military community
Maintaining a long and proud tradition of supporting members of the military and veteran communities, VIA Rail has worked with governments and representatives of the Canadian military community to valorize the work of military who served or are serving Canada, and contribute to their well-being and that of their families.
VIA Rail's approach is based on four pillars:
1. 25% Offer to Military, Veterans and their Families
VIA Rail offers members of the Canadian Armed Forces, as well as veterans and their families, a 25% discount on its best fares. Since 2010, more than 200,000 members of the military community have used this offer to travel onboard VIA Rail trains.
2. Support to Military and Veteran Community Organizations
VIA Rail has entered into various partnerships with organizations such as the Canada Company Military Employment Transition Program, as well as the Commissionaire's MISSION EMPLOI, both of which help former Canadian military members make the transition to civilian life. VIA Rail also supports the military community through partnerships with the Royal Canadian Legion's national Poppy Campaign, True Patriot Love, Wounded Warriors Canada, Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services, and the Canadian Army Run. VIA Rail has also partnered with the Vimy Foundation, and contributed to building a new Education Centre for First World War History and the 100th anniversary of victory at the Battle of Vimy Ridge in France, which stands near the current Canadian commemorative monument.
3. Civilian Military Transition - Military / Veteran Employment
VIA Rail has a very active and disciplined approach to integrating returning veterans into its workforce, or encourage its employees to join the reserve, to stand ready to defend the country's rights and freedoms, or continue to support peace and freedom around the world.
4. Support for the Reservist community working at VIA Rail.
Over the past few years, VIA Rail has increased its efforts to support Canada's Reserve Forces. The Crown Corporation has, among other initiatives, worked with its Reservist employees to implement a new leave policy allowing employees who are in the Reserves to continue their military training or participate in temporary missions during military operations in Canada and abroad.
For more details on VIA Rail initiatives, visit its military community website at: career.viarail.ca/en/why-choose-us/veterans-program.
About VIA Rail Canada
As Canada's national rail passenger service, VIA Rail (viarail.ca) and its 2,700 employees are mandated to provide safe, efficient and economical passenger transportation service, in both official languages of our country. VIA Rail operates intercity, regional and transcontinental trains linking over 400 communities across Canada, and about 180 more communities through intermodal partnerships, and safely transports nearly four million passengers annually. The Corporation was awarded seven Safety Awards by the Railway Association of Canada over the last eight years. For more information, visit: www.viarail.ca/en/about-via-rail.
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For further information: Mariam Diaby, Media Relations, VIA Rail Canada, 514 871-6010, 1 877 393-8787, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com