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Statement by Prime Minister and Governor General and Commander-in-Chief on CAF Day

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on Canadian Armed Forces Day:

“Today, we honour the brave members of the Canadian Armed Forces, who protect Canada’s values and defend Canadians at home and abroad.

“From humanitarian missions to peacekeeping and defence operations, the Canadian Armed Forces play a vital role in defending peace and stability at home. When wildfires and floods ravage our communities, our Armed Forces members evacuate those in need, support first responders, and help families get to safety. As the Canadian Arctic becomes increasingly under threat, our Armed Forces stand guard protecting our northern approaches and the continent, including through NORAD.

“The Canadian Armed Forces are also steadfast in defence of democracy and the rules-based international order around the world. As Russia continues its brutal and illegal war of aggression against Ukraine, our Armed Forces are providing military support to Ukraine through Operation UNIFIER. Through Operation REASSURANCE, Canada’s largest active overseas military mission, we remain committed to upholding long-term security in Central and Eastern Europe. To support NATO’s deterrence measures in the region, we have scaled up our enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group, increasing the number and capabilities of Canadian troops on the ground.

“Addressing the challenges of tomorrow starts with our work today. That’s why we launched Our North, Strong and Free, with transformative investments in modern defence capabilities. From responding to the impacts of climate change, including in the Arctic, to deepening our NATO presence, to modernizing our defence capabilities, this policy update is about making sure the Canadian Armed Forces have the tools they need to protect Canadians and uphold the rules-based international order.

“Canadian Armed Forces members serve with immeasurable courage and sacrifice. That’s a debt we can never repay. But we can do what’s right by honouring the service and sacrifices made by our active serving members and veterans. With Budget 2024, we’re providing additional resources for the Veteran and Family Well-being Fund, with initiatives like improving mental health supports and helping homeless veterans find housing. The budget also expands the Veteran Family Telemedicine Service pilot to make sure our veterans and their families get quality care, when they need it.

“Today, and every day, we celebrate the resilience and valour of Canadian Armed Forces members, past and present. They protect democracy, uphold the rules-based international order, and defend peace – so that we can live free. On behalf of the Government of Canada, I thank you, your families, and loved ones for your service and sacrifice.”

Message from the Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada on Canadian Armed Forces Day

As commander-in-chief, I am grateful for the dedication and courage of our Canadian Armed Forces’ members. This year, we are also marking several milestones, including the 80th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy and the 100th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Air Force. These occasions are opportunities to celebrate the service of Canadians throughout history and to remember their sacrifice. 

I have seen first-hand the strength, professionalism and adaptability of our Canadian Armed Forces. Every day, Canadians benefit from their diverse set of talents and skills, and from their leadership across a variety of missions, ranging from international operations, to the defence of North America, to emergency response to national disasters.

These members come from every corner of Canada. They represent many different backgrounds, cultures and experiences. Despite their differences, they are united in their commitment to service, strive for excellence in everything they do and show great resilience. Whether they are employed here at home or around the world, they are steadfast in fostering collaboration and innovation.  

On behalf of all Canadians, I thank every member for their unwavering commitment to the Canadian Armed Forces and to our country.

– Mary Simon

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