North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney has added her name to two recent private members’ bills put forward by her NDP colleagues to recognize the service of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members.
Blaney, who is also the NDP critic for veterans affairs, was a seconder to Bill C-296, an act respecting the establishment and award of a Defense of Canada Medal, according to a media release. The bill, put forward by Ontario MP Carol Hughes, would acknowledge and recognize those who trained and prepared to defend during the cold war between 1946 and 1989. The medal would be awarded to individuals who served in the regular forces, reserves, police and emergency measures organization.
Blaney also seconded Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP Alistair MacGregor’s Bill C-292, which would mark October 22 as Canadian Armed Forces Members’ Day, commemorating members who have made the ultimate sacrifice while on Canadian soil during peacetime.
While Canadians remember those killed in armed conflicts around the world on Remembrance Day, MacGregor’s bill seeks to honour the more than 2,400 CAF members who have lost their lives in non-combat roles on Canadian soil, such as the recent deployment in long-term care homes during the coronavirus pandemic, the release stated. October 22 marks the date in 2014 when corporal Nathan Cirillo was shot and killed while standing guard at the National War Memorial in Ottawa.
“Both of these bills highlight the work, commitment and sacrifice Canadian Armed Forces members and their families have made and continue to make,” stated Blaney. “It’s important for Canadians to remember that our armed forces do much more to keep our communities safe than fight in wars, but their work is still often dangerous.
“I’m proud to support these grassroots bills being brought forward by my NDP colleagues on behalf of veterans they represent. I hope the government will give them proper consideration.”