THUNDER BAY – Thunder Bay-Rainy River New Democrat MP John Rafferty has tabled motion M-417 in the House of Commons to establish a Royal Canadian Legion Infrastructure Renewal Fund to assist individual Legion branches across Canada in modernizing and upgrading their physical infrastructure.
“Legions have always provided a safe haven for veterans, active personnel, their families, and the public in their communities,” Rafferty stated. “However, as a nonprofit self-sustaining body they are only able to raise funds through membership dues, catering and other programs. With community service commitments ranging from seniors support, housing projects, and youth programs, there is little left to invest in branch infrastructure, so I would like to see the federal government assist in the renewal of these proud institutions across Canada,” he said.
Rafferty’s motion M-417 calls on the Federal government consider establishing a Royal Canadian Legion Infrastructure Renewal Fund to assist individual branches in their infrastructure renewal projects. If implemented, any investment made by a Legion branch to preserve or enhance the physical infrastructure of the branch would be eligible for matching funds by the Federal government.
Rafferty said the proposed new fund would allow branches in need to allocate their funds in a more efficient manner and build a lasting presence in the communities they serve. “Our Legions want to continue to provide the services they do in their communities, but simply aren’t able to raise enough funds to make their branches fully accessible or to make major repairs to heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems for example. I’m hoping the federal government will take this idea and run with it to help our Legions survive and thrive throughout Canada.”