Ceremonies take place across Greater Victoria to mark Remembrance Day, including the largest, at the cenotaph in downtown Victoria at the legislative grounds. (Black Press file photo)

Veterans enraged at Victoria suggestion to seek refunds from DND, Veteran’s Affairs for Remembrance Day

The Victoria Remembrance Day Committee says calling the parade a military event is ‘asinine’

Members of the Victoria Remembrance Day Committee are angered by a proposal put forward by Victoria city council to ask the Department of National Defence and Veteran’s Affairs Canada for a refund for military events costs.

In an amendment put forward by Coun. Ben Isitt on Thursday, council voted to “engage DND/Veterans Affairs Canada officials to seek to recover costs associated with military events in the city.”

These events include Remembrance Day and Victoria Day, to which the city typically puts forward $15,200 within the Victoria Police Budget for security costs.

READ MORE: Victoria agrees to fund Canada Day, special event policing – calls on feds to cover military events

This year, events costs were cut from the police budget, which prompted VicPD to ask for funding for special events. This request resulted in the ensuing motion to grant the costs to police with several amendments, including the request for funding from the DND and VAC.

“I never slept all night, I can’t can’t believe how people can say things like that,” said Angus Stanfield, chairman of the Victoria Remembrance Day Committee. “To say that Remembrance Day and May 24 are military events is so asinine, they’re Canadian events.”

Stanfield said the the Remembrance Day Committee, comprised of members from several local legions, plans the entire parade on volunteer hours. No one gets paid, and the parade has very minimal costs.

The City, he added, doesn’t provide any funding for Remembrance Day aside from what is provided by the police.

“They give us zero dollars,” he said, “It’s paid for out of donations. We do it for Canadians, and it’s paid by Canadians.”

ALSO READ: Victoria councillor faces criticism over suggestion to bill military for Remembrance Day

One year, he added, city hall even sent the committee a bill for noise violations on Remembrance Day. Eventually the bill was waived.

Neither the DND nor Veteran’s Affairs contributes to Remembrance Day costs in Victoria, though the CFB Esquimalt does offer volunteers and equipment, such as chairs, for Remembrance Day events.

Veterans Affairs Canada provided a statement in regards to the situation, thought it did not directly address the city’s position.

“Commemorating the service of the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces and those who made the ultimate sacrifice is an integral part of the work at Veterans Affairs Canada,” said Alex Wellstead, VAC press secretary.

“As such, our department works with and supports local communities, stakeholders, and youth, to provide support for commemorative monuments and activities at home and abroad – working to educate all Canadians on our country’s proud military history traditions.”

Wellstead added that in 2017/18 $2 million was used to support 200 projects across Canada for these kinds of activities.

For Stanfield, who’s lived in Victoria for nearly 70 years, it’s important for the picturesque city and its residents to remember its history.

“We live in the most beautiful, enviable country and there’s a reason we do, because people gave their lives,” Stanfield said. “If we forget what happened, then we may be doomed to repeat it.”

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

Just Posted

Tomato planting controversy inspires Victoria author’s book on transforming cities

Woman behind the Collinson street mural pens third book

Victoria Humane Society needs volunteers after flood of puppies and kittens

Pregnant cats, dogs and their litters are in need of foster care

New UVic student housing project before Saanich council tonight

Two new buildings would add almost 700 new student housing spaces

Stem cell donor with rare genetic makeup needed to save Saanich man after cancer returns

Jeremy Chow is half Canton Chinese, half British and needs a donor with a similar ethnic background

Victoria Police seek witnesses after cyclist tripped up by tow strap between vehicles

The collision happened on Aug. 18 at Oswego and Belleville streets

Disney Plus to launch in Canada in November

Analysts say latest streaming service may escalate cord cutting

Okanagan bus driver assaulted for asking patron not to smoke

59-year-old in hospital with non-life threatening injuries

B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Larger operating areas seen as threat by cab companies

Two hiking families team up to extinguish fire in B.C. backcountry

Children and their parents worked for three hours to ensure safety of the popular hiking region

Police seek tips in 2015 death of Island teen Brown

Four years has passed since the body of Penelakut Island woman was discovered

Vancouver man arrested after pregnant woman’s SUV stolen, then crashed

Police are recommending charges against a 22-year-old Vancouver man

Elections Canada to assess ‘partisan’ climate change rhetoric case by case

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier has said climate change is not an emergency nor caused by human

Unseasonable snow forces campers out of northeastern B.C. provincial park

Storm brought as much as 35 centimetres of snow to the Fort Nelson, Muncho Lake Park-Stone Mountain Park

Most Read