OTTAWA, March 8, 2017 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, issued the following statement to mark International Women's Day in Canada:
"Once again, Canadians join the world in marking International Women's Day. At Veterans Affairs Canada, we remember the many achievements and contributions women have made in service to their country.
"During the Second World War, women filled the spaces left by sons, husbands and fathers who fought on the frontlines in Europe. As a result, the number of women in the Canadian workforce doubled to 1.2 million, a testament to their immense contribution to the war effort.
"The Second World War also marked the first time in history that women in Canada served in the military. After fiercely pursuing their right to be allowed to enlist and serve overseas, more than 46,000 Canadian women joined the army, navy and air force, changing the face of the modern Canadian Armed Forces forever.
"The contributions of women 100 years ago opened the door for women like Mary Greyeyes-Reid, the first Aboriginal woman to enlist in the Canadian Army; Lieutenant-Colonel Maryse Carmichael, the first female Commanding Officer of the Snowbirds; Heather R. Erxleben, the first woman to serve in a combat role; and Lieutenant Karen McCrimmon, the Canadian Armed Force's first female air navigator, recipient of Order of Military Merit, a fellow parliamentarian and a former Parliamentary Secretary for our department.
"Today, I hope you join me in expressing gratitude to women all over the world. I have special admiration for those who have served, and continue to serve, Canada. Their courage and patriotism in answering the call have made our country—and our world—a brighter and better place to live."
SOURCE Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information: Media Relations, Veterans Affairs Canada, 613-992-7468, [email protected]