Power's exceptional contribution to Canada's war effort officially recognized
QUEBEC, June 5, 2014 /CNW/ - On behalf of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, the Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and Member of Parliament for Lévis-Bellechasse, today unveiled a Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada plaque commemorating the national historical significance of Charles Gavan Power, a well-known politician of Irish origin who served as Minister of National Defence for Air during the Second World War.
As a Quebec federal politician for 50 years and a champion of national unity, "Chubby" Power was responsible for the growth in reputation and size of the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War. As Minister of National Defence for Air between 1940 and 1944, he oversaw the expansion of the air force into one of the most formidable in the world and fostered a sense of identity by organizing separate Canadian squadrons under British command.
Charles Gavan Power was also a driving force behind the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, which operated across Canada, preparing over 130,000 Allied pilots and aircrew for war. Charles "Chubby" Power's efforts contributed to Canada being known as "the aerodrome of democracy".
A plaque unveiling ceremony was organized by Parks Canada, on behalf of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, at NHS Québec Garrison Club, in the presence of members of the Power family, and representatives from Quebec's Irish community.
- Charles Gavan Power, nicknamed "Chubby", was born of Irish descent in Sillery, Quebec, in 1888.
- Charles Gavan Power enrolled in the Canadian military at the beginning of the First World War and served overseas. He was seriously wounded at the Battle of the Somme and won the Military Cross for bravery.
- Mr. Power was an influential member of one of the greatest cabinets that Canada has ever known, the 'Cabinet War Committee'.
- Charles Power was responsible for the massive expansion of the Royal Canadian Air Force, which saw its members exceed 200,000 under his leadership, becoming the fourth largest Allied air force.
"On behalf of the Harper Government, it is an honour for me to commemorate the remarkable contribution of Charles 'Chubby' Power to the history of Canada. In addition to winning 10 straight elections in the riding of Québec South, this exceptional politician played a key role in our country's contribution to the Allied war effort during the Second World War, while defending Canadian identity and unity."
The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and Member of Parliament for Lévis-Bellechasse
- Historic sites and monuments Board of Canada : http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/clmhc-hsmbc/index.aspx
About the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Created in 1919, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, in close collaboration with Parks Canada, advises the Minister of the Environment regarding the national historic significance of places, people and events that have marked Canada's history. The placement of a commemorative plaque represents an official recognition of historic value. It is one means of informing the public about the richness of our cultural heritage, which must be preserved for present and future generations.
SOURCE: Parks Canada
For further information:
Public relations and communication officer
Québec field unit
Office of the Minister of the Environment