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VIDEO: Wilson introduces Merchant Navy Day Act, 2017

 (May 5, 2017) On Thursday, Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson was pleased to introduce legislation that, if passed, will designate September 3rd in each year as Merchant Navy Veterans Day in Ontario. Before introducing the legislation, Wilson spoke to a reception of Second World War veterans and various representatives of veteran and military organizations who were at Queen’s Park for a tribute ceremony in the legislature earlier in the day. 

“Canada’s Merchant Navy played a critical role in the war effort, carrying desperately needed equipment, fuel, goods, and personnel to Europe and around the world,” said Wilson.  “These brave men and women did this vital job without recognition to ensure the freedom and democracy of not only our country but around the world.”

Wilson continued, “…a total of 12,000 men and women served in Canada's Merchant Navy, more than 25,000 merchant ship voyages were made during the war. More than 70 Canadian Merchant ships were sunk by enemies, and over 1700 Merchant Mariners lost their lives.”

Wilson’s legislation echoes legislation passed by the Government of Canada that also proclaims September 3rd in each year as Merchant Navy Veterans Day. The federal legislation was tabled in 2001 by the Member of Parliament in Simcoe-Grey at the time—Mr. Paul Bonwick.  It subsequently passed in 2003.

Other provinces including, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba have made similar proclamations in their respective provinces to help bring awareness to merchant navy veterans.

“I would also like to recognize and commend the late Mr. Jack Stapleton, a former Wasaga Beach resident and navy veteran, for inspiring the initiative federally, and Mr. Stephane Ouellette, President and CEO of the Merchant Navy Commemorative Theme Project for continuing to promoting the significance of September 3 across Canada,” said Wilson.

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