Veterans Affairs Minister Recognizes Contributions of Métis Veterans
September 21, 2017 Ottawa, ON – The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, issued the following statement today regarding the contributions of Métis Veterans:
“Those who have proudly served in Canada’s armed forces have proven time and again that personal sacrifice in the face of injustice and tyranny can literally change the world. That was true a century ago at Vimy Ridge. It was true 75 years ago in Dieppe. And, it remains true to this day, for those thousands upon thousands of Canadians who served more recently in Afghanistan and other areas of conflict around the world.
“The people of Canada are steadfast in their desire that each and every Canadian Veteran is cared for, that their service is respected and that they receive the help they need, when they need it. Throughout our history, Canadian governments have worked to ensure that the will of the people is carried out.
“In April 2017, the Government of Canada and the Métis Nation signed a permanent bilateral agreement, called the Canada-Métis Nation Accord. At that time, the President of the Métis National Council spoke about the need to address, in a timely manner, the recognition of Métis Veterans who served our great country and reconciling the longstanding grievance of the Métis Veterans in relation to their claim for compensation for post- World War II benefits.
“As David Chartrand, the Minister of Social Development – Metis Nation has previously noted, it is vital we learn from our past to do what’s right to correct those wrongs; the Metis veterans have waited for over 70 years for Canada to keep their promise and we may finally have a government to correct that wrong”.
“Veterans Affairs Canada recognizes that the Métis Nation has long raised this as an issue and is committed to bringing it to resolution. To do so, the Government of Canada will begin work immediately, in partnership with the Métis Nation, to address concerns that there have been past discriminatory practices of Métis Nation Veterans. The scope of this work will include the service of World War II Métis Veterans and will consider whatever information sources are available. The outcome we seek is to identify any discriminatory practices that may be discovered and to take concrete action, in the spirit of reconciliation, to address these findings.
“No matter their background, any individual who serves in Canada’s armed forces must be treated fairly and equitably by the Government of Canada.”
Communiqué: Canada-Métis Nation Leaders Meeting
Veterans Affairs Canada
Veterans Affairs Canada 902-566-8321