QUÉBEC CITY, May 14, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister
of Veterans Affairs and Minister for La Francophonie, and the
Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today announced a
Government of Canada investment of $5 million to support the
construction of a permanent Visitor Centre at the Canadian National
Vimy Memorial in France. Construction of the Centre is expected to be
completed by April 2017, the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.
"The cross here at la Citadelle once stood at Vimy Ridge. This sacred emblem stands today to remind us
of the price our nation paid at Vimy Ridge that Easter Monday morning
96 years ago," said Minister Blaney. "Despite the incredible sacrifice
of fellow Canadians, our nation found a stronger sense of identity and
national pride. The Government of Canada is proud to be working with
the Vimy Foundation to establish a permanent Visitor Centre at the
Canadian National Vimy Memorial. Our mutual goal is to help strengthen
that pride and to educate citizens and friends of Canada about the
sacrifices and achievements of brave Canadians during the First World
The construction of a permanent Visitor Centre at Vimy will be realized
through financial support from the Government of Canada and the Vimy
Foundation. The Vimy Foundation will raise funds through donations from
the private sector and individual Canadians. The Vimy Foundation is a
registered Canadian charity with the mission to preserve and promote
Canada's First World War legacy as symbolized with the victory at Vimy
Ridge in April 1917.
"Through Canada's Economic Action Plan, our Government is committed to
building a lasting legacy to honour the sacrifices of Canadians who
helped to shape our nation," said Minister Flaherty, while visiting the
Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France. "The construction of a
permanent Visitor Centre at Vimy honours our commitment to commemorate
the courage and sacrifices of Canadians in the First World War."
"Today is a big day for all Canadians," said Christopher Sweeney, Chair
of the Vimy Foundation's 2017 Committee. "We look forward to working
with the federal government and other stakeholders, both in Canada and
France, in the lead up to the centennial of Vimy Ridge in 2017. The
opening of this education centre will be the highlight of national and
international celebrations of what we, as Canadians, accomplished
together at Vimy almost 100 years ago. Lest we forget."
The 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge is part of the Road to 2017, a
Government of Canada initiative that begins in 2014. The aim of the
initiative is to commemorate significant milestones that helped shape
Canada leading up to our nation's 150th birthday in 2017. One of these milestones was the Canadian victory at
Vimy Ridge in April 1917. The battle came at a heavy cost: 100,000
Canadians who fought there suffered approximately 11,000 casualties,
nearly 3,600 of them fatal.
To learn more about the Vimy Foundation, please visit vimyfoundation.ca. For more information about the Battle of Vimy Ridge and the Canadian
National Vimy Memorial, please visit veterans.gc.ca.
2013 is the Year of the Korean War Veteran—Canada proudly remembers the
heroes of the Korean War and their brave fight to uphold freedom,
democracy and the rule of law. For more information on Canada's role in
the Korean War, visit veterans.gc.ca.
SOURCE: Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information:
Media Relations Advisor
Veterans Affairs Canada
Jean-Christophe de Le Rue
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs