The Royal Canadian Legion Chemainus Branch 191 has received much-needed financial assistance from the federal government to help cope with challenges emanating from COVID-19.
The federal government announced a $20 million aid package on Nov. 10 for veterans organizations to get through the pandemic. The Royal Canadian Legion received $14 million of the total, with the funds being used to cover a wide range of operational needs such as insurance, utilities, rent or mortgage, property tax, administration costs and wages, and more.
Chemainus Branch 191 was allotted $10,600 after making a request through an application process involving the Provincial Command.
The Chemainus Legion funds will be used to continue branch operations since revenue has been reduced significantly due to the shutdown of all events and the reduced capacity in the lounge as directed by Provincial Health Authority restrictions.
The financial help will allow the branch to weather the pandemic longer and continue to work to support veterans and the community, according to a statement released by Chemainus Legion 191 President Len Lavender.
Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP Alistair MacGregor wrote to the Ministers of Veterans Affairs and National Revenue back in May, making a request for emergency relief funding for Royal Canadian Legion branches within the riding and across the country.
“As you may be aware, Canada’s Legion branches are struggling to deal with the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” MacGregor indicated. “Currently, as our country continues to employ physical distancing guidelines, Canada’s Legions are not collecting revenue from food and drink sales. Furthermore, additional revenues are being lost from hall rentals. This has put many in precarious financial situations.”
The Royal Canadian Legion was founded in 1925 and is Canada’s largest veteran support and community service organization.