Legion, other veterans groups to get $20M to weather COVID-19

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Poppy

OTTAWA — On the eve of Remembrance Day, the federal Liberal government is moving ahead with plans to provide emergency assistance to veterans organizations battered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government first set aside $20 million for veterans groups that provide services to former military personnel in the COVID-19 relief bill passed by Parliament last month.

Organizations such as the Royal Canadian Legion have been asking for federal assistance for months, saying the pandemic has hit their finances hard and forced branches across Canada to close.

The government says the Legion will receive $14 million to help it weather the pandemic, with the remaining $6 million divided between a number of other groups.

Legion dominion president Tom Irvine told The Canadian Press last month that the organization had been asking for $30 million to help stave off branch closures.

The funding will not go to the Juno Beach Centre, the museum built on the beach in France where Canadian troops came ashore on D-Day, which is facing its own pandemic-related financial crunch.

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