VIA Rail Canada shows commitment to military and veterans

MONTRÉAL, June 3, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - In anticipation of Canadian Forces Day on Sunday June 5th, VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) announced its intention to continue passenger rail's over a century of support for our nation's military and attract more Canadian Forces members and veterans into its ranks. This initiative will be done by introducing a new leave policy for employees who serve in the military reserves and through renewed efforts to help veterans join Canada's intercity passenger rail company.

"VIA Rail has a long and proud tradition of supporting members of the military and veterans communities and their families," said the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport. "This is yet another initiative that clearly demonstrates VIA Rail's commitment to serve and support the men and women in uniform who selflessly serve Canada, both at home and abroad."

"Remembrance means not only thinking about the commitment and the ultimate sacrifice made by our members of the military – past and present - but also acting on it," said the President and CEO of VIA Rail, Yves Desjardins-Siciliano. "Veterans can make a definite contribution to the future of VIA Rail since they can bring their technical and leadership skills as well as discipline and commitment to serving Canadians."

VIA Rail Canada is already working with partners such as Canada Company's Military Employment Transition (MET) Program and the Commissionaire's MISSION EMPLOI which both help former Canadian military members make the transition to civilian life.

"This is great news for Canadian veterans. I applaud VIA Rail Canada for leading the way for other Canadian Corporations and the Rail Industry to support Veterans by providing them outstanding employment opportunities," said the Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence. "By helping military members make the transition to civilian employment, VIA Rail is affirming that Canada's men and women in uniform are well-trained and accomplished individuals with the skills and experience to be a real asset to any organization."

In addition to its partnerships with veteran-hiring groups, VIA Rail's has a specifically designed webpage for members of the military and veterans communities: career.viarail.ca/en/why-choose-us/veterans-program.

VIA Rail also supports members of the Defence community through partnerships with the Royal Canadian Legions' National Poppy Campaign, True Patriot Love and the Army Run. In addition, a 25% reduction on the best available fare is offered to members of the Canadian Forces, as well as veterans and their families.  Since 2010, over 150,000 military personnel have taken advantage of this offer and travelled on VIA Rail trains.

About VIA Rail Canada

As Canada's national rail passenger service, VIA Rail (viarail.ca) and its 2,600 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 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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SOURCE VIA Rail Canada Inc.

For further information: Mylène Bélanger, Advisor, Public Relations, VIA Rail Canada, 514 871-6309, 1 877 393-8787, mylene_belanger@viarail.ca, media@viarail.ca

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