FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 18, 2014
(Queen’s Park) – The end of the 12-year mission in Afghanistan marked the conclusion of the longest war fought by the brave men and women in our Canadian Armed Forces – a milestone recognized this week by all parties in the Ontario Legislature.
As Opposition Leader Tim Hudak said, “I know all of us in our own ridings and across the province would find it immensely stirring during parades when the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces would march by, how the crowds would stand and cheer and salute and send out their thanks.”
“I would see the recognition of our soldiers during First of July parades in Caledonia and Port Dover” Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett said after the remarks in the Legislature. “One of my proudest moments was to return to the Brantford Armories, where I received my basic training, and to review troops of the 56th Field Regiment involved in Afghanistan”.
Afghanistan cost the lives of 158 soldiers, one diplomat, one journalist, two civilian contractors and, of course, the injuries of both body and mind of those who did come home. Haldimand-Norfolk lost one of their own during the Afghanistan conflict. Petty Officer Second Class Craig Blake, a Canadian navy diver and a member of the Joint Task Force Afghanistan explosive ordinance disposal team. The husband and father of two was returning to camp after disposing of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and was killed by another IED 25 kilometres southwest of Kandahar.
“Today is a day of mourning across Canada and especially in Haldimand-Norfolk where Petty Officer Blake will be remembered as a local hockey coach and tri-athlete,” Barrett said in the Legislature on May 4th, 2010. “On behalf of the province of Ontario we all extend our sympathy to his family.” A moment of silence was then observed in the Ontario Legislature to pay respect to Craig Blake – one of Canada’s heroes.
“When you’re half a world away from the place you call home, when every day is a danger, it’s quite an understatement to say life can be tough, but it can also be incredibly elevating.” Hudak indicated in his remarks this week, “Bringing hope to the hopeless is no easy task, but it is a task incredibly well done by the men and women of our armed forces.”
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For more information
Contact MPP Toby Barrett at 519-428-0446