Ottawa: The Federal Government has announced $20 million in new funding to create a temporary Veterans Organizations Emergency Support Fund.
Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence said the fund would provide financial support to Veterans organizations who have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and who are in need of immediate support.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted: “The global pandemic has had an impact on Veterans, their families, and the organizations that serve them. Many of these organizations are experiencing financial hardship and find themselves at risk of closure, which has complicated their ability to provide services to Veterans.”
The $20 million will be provided in the form of grants to non-profit and charitable Veterans organizations, including The Royal Canadian Legion ($14 million), ANAVETS ($1 million), True Patriot Love ($1.5 million) and VETS Canada ($850,000) to cover a portion of their operating expenditures.
These payments will all be made before the end of the year.
Additionally, an application process is now open for the remainder of this fund so that additional Veterans organizations affected by COVID-19 may access support.
MacAulay said: “Since the pandemic began, it’s been one of my top priorities to ensure that our community partners are able to continue to provide the vital support they offer Veterans right across the country…and I hope that Canadians will continue to support them as they always so generously do.”
Thomas D. Irvine, CD, Dominion President, The Royal Canadian Legion, said: “This is what we have been waiting for to help our Branches with their operational costs and longer-term survival during the pandemic.
“We have unfortunately lost Branches over recent weeks and do not want any others to close. We thank Veterans Affairs Canada for this critical funding to help ensure our Branches’ important work to support our Veterans can continue.”