WINNIPEG, Aug. 7, 2014 /CNW/ - On behalf of the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs, Parliamentary Secretary Parm Gill, along with Steven Fletcher, Member of Parliament for Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia, participated in a tour of the Field of Honour at Brookside Cemetery, guided by City of Winnipeg officials, Grant Nordman, Deputy Mayor, Michael Jack, Chief Administration Officer, and Jane Saxby, Manager of Brookside Cemetery.
Brookside Cemetery is one of the largest and oldest municipal Military Fields of Honour in Canada. More than 12,000 Veterans, service men and women, and their family members have been interred in this cemetery since 1915.
Later in the day, Parliamentary Secretary Gill joined Lawrence Toet, Member of Parliament for Elmwood-Transcona, to meet with Veterans and local representatives of Veterans' organizations to gain their perspectives on key issues facing Canada's Veterans and their families. Discussions focussed on Government of Canada initiatives related to Veterans' employment, mental health and transition to civilian life.
While in Winnipeg, Parliamentary Secretary Gill also had the opportunity to meet with Veterans at the Deer Lodge Centre and tour the facility.
- Veterans Affairs Canada offers rehabilitation services, vocational assistance and career transition services to help improve Veterans' employability after they leave the military.
- Since 2006, the Government has invested almost $5 billion in new funding to enhance Veterans benefits, programs and services.
- Veterans Affairs Canada has a well-established national network of approximately 4,000 registered mental health professionals, including psychologists, social workers and mental health nurses, who deliver mental health services to Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other operational stress injuries (OSIs).
- The Brookside Field of Honour is home to the only Commonwealth War Graves Commission "Stone of Remembrance" in Canada and many other important military monuments, including the Last Post Fund Columbaria—the first of its kind in Canada.
- Veterans Affairs Canada contributes almost $500,000 annually to Deer Lodge Centre to support an enhanced level of programs and services. Approximately 120 Veterans currently reside at the Centre.
- An Operational Stress Injury Clinic, fully funded by Veterans Affairs Canada, is also located at Deer Lodge Centre.
"Our government will always stand up for Veterans, and together with all Canadians, we will never forget their service and sacrifice. I was pleased to meet with many of Canada's brave men and women while in Winnipeg to ensure we are providing adequate support to Veterans and their families. We are listening and taking action on initiatives that are important to those who have served."
Parm Gill, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs
"I am pleased to tour Brookside Cemetery with Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs, Parm Gill, as we commence Manitoba's commemoration of the First World War."
Steven Fletcher, Member of Parliament for Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia
"Our Government is committed to ensuring those who have served have the supports they need to successfully transition to civilian life. I am pleased that Parliamentary Secretary Parm Gill travelled to Winnipeg to meet with local Veterans and the organizations that represent them to discuss issues facing Veterans and their families in our area."
Lawrence Toet, Member of Parliament for Elmwood-Transcona
"The Field of Honour at Brookside Cemetery is one of the largest and oldest military interment sites in Canada. It was a pleasure to join the Government of Canada representatives and others on a tour of this significant tribute to Winnipeg's fallen heroes."
Grant Nordman, Deputy Mayor, City of Winnipeg
"I am pleased Parliamentary Secretary Gill is reaching out to Veterans right here in Winnipeg. It is essential that we continue the dialogue on how best to ensure our men and women transition to civilian life."
Celeste West, President, Transcona Branch 7, the Royal Canadian Legion
SOURCE: Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information:
Office of the Minister of Veterans of Affairs
Veterans Affairs Canada