KENORA – National Politics – Kenora MP Eric Melillo joins NetNewsLedger to provide an update on the latest happening between Kenora and Ottawa.
In our first weekly interview of 2021, Melillo shares progress on vaccines, on getting faster and more reliable Internet, and on some of the events of the past week, including the events in Washington DC.
Melillo also shares that a life line has been given to Royal Canadian Legions in the riding.
Royal Canadian Legion Branch 63 in Dryden, Branch 238 in Ear Falls, and Branch 102 in Red Lake have each received $11,406 in emergency funds from the federal government, to address the impact of COVID-19.
“On behalf of the executive of Branch 63 of the Royal Canadian Legion, we would like to thank Eric Melillo, MP Kenora, for his assistance in advocating emergency funding for the Legion following our meeting November 25/20,” stated Comrade Cyril Ryan, President of Branch 63. “As you are well aware, Branch 63 is a focal point and hub of the City of Dryden and has been for 94 years. The Legion has hosted many community events outside of our legion activities, such as weddings, socials, meetings, dances, funerals, etc.”
“This financial assistance is greatly appreciated and will help with our fixed expenses until we can safely reopen,” said Branch 238 President Matt Barrow. “I’d also like to thank our community for their donations and support during the past year.” “This financial help will allow our Branch 102 to weather the pandemic for longer and continue to work to support our Veterans and community,” added Branch 102 President Gary Gazankas.
“Legions are important hubs that play an essential role supporting veterans and their families,” said Kenora riding MP Eric Melillo, adding, “It would be a tragedy to see our local Legions, who have served our veterans and our communities for years, close their doors due to this pandemic.”
Legions across Canada have seen their funding streams dry up due to COVID-19, but the institutions did not qualify for many of the federal government’s business support programs.
Conservative Shadow Minister for Veterans Affairs John Brassard wrote to Minister Lawrence MacAulay in September urging him to provide emergency funding to keep Legions open.
MP Melillo wrote a similar letter in October on behalf of Legions in his riding.
“The funds needed to keep Legions afloat during this unprecedented time are a small price to pay to honour the sacrifices of our veterans,” Melillo concluded. “I’m glad that the government has listened to veterans advocates and stepped up to keep these institutions alive.”
Comrade Cyril Ryan went on to say, “It’s comforting to see the parties working together to assist the Veterans with emergency funds from the government to help address the impact of COVID-19. The funds we have received will help us to remain operational and carry out our mandate of supporting Veterans and their families.”
“Our Branch is grateful for the Federal Government support and appreciates all the hard work and effort put forward by our local MP Eric Melillo,” concluded Mr. Gazankas.