In the days leading up to another D-Day anniversary, officials with the BC/Yukon Command of Royal Canadian Legion say they appreciate some provincial aid.
On Wednesday (June 2), the B.C. government announced $1.5 million for the Legion organization in “one-time support” to help offset the impacts of the pandemic and recent circuit-breaker restrictions to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Based in Surrey, the Command said the funding will “help ensure our branches can continue to provide essential services to our veterans and their families, and community services across B.C.”
The funds will be distributed to the 143 Legion branches based on need, the organization said in a news release.
“We are thankful to Premier Horgan and the BC Government’s commitment to honour and remember our veterans and their families by supporting the sustainability of our entirely volunteer-led branches,” said Val MacGregor, president of the BC/Yukon Command.
“As June 6, the annual date when we remember D-Day and the Invasion of Normandy approaches, our 47,000 members in BC and Yukon are especially encouraged that we can continue our mission.”
The $1.5 million mirrors the average grant provided to businesses under the Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant.
“Legions play an important role in our communities, caring for the people who have served our nation,” stated Premier John Horgan. “Our government committed to finding a solution, and we’re delivering support to ensure legions can keep serving veterans, their families and our communities.”
Like many in the food and beverage industry, Royal Canadian Legion branches in B.C. have been navigating the current economic crisis.
“The updated public order for Food and Liquor Serving Premises released on April 21, 2021, directly affected Legions, but they did not receive access to the Government aid provided to the ‘industry’ through the Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant because of their non-profit status,” the Command release noted.