The federal government will be giving Squamish’s Royal Canadian Legion #277 Diamond Head $11,919 to help it keep afloat amidst the pandemic.
On March 2, local MP Patrick Weiler announced $91,715 in federal funds will be distributed among the 10 legions in his riding of West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country, which includes Squamish.
“Legions are community pillars for many veterans,” said Weiler in a news release.
“Now more than ever, the services they provide are essential to the well-being of veterans but also to the wider community. It is vital that our government responds to the challenges that legions across the country are facing as a result of the pandemic. Today’s investment will help sustain legions across the region so they can continue to provide important services for our veterans and their loved ones.”
Arthur McLain of Squamish’s Royal Canadian Legion #277 Diamond Head greeted the news with enthusiasm.
“To say that we were overjoyed at receiving it would be a definite understatement, and it will definitely help us a great deal in helping us pay our regular monthly bills, because at the moment — thanks to COVID-19 restrictions, no meat draw no darts no cribbage, etc. — we are unable to generate enough to pay our bills,” he wrote to The Chief.
“I am sure that with the addition of the generous funds, we will still be able to meet our commitments, and we are not in danger of closing at this point in time.”
McLain also expressed hope that the vaccines will soon put an end to COVID.
“I am certain that with all these vaccines becoming available, we will see the back of this pandemic and things will return to some form of normality. Enough is enough,” he wrote.The government release says funding is being delivered through the Veterans Organizations Emergency Support Fund, part of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan to protect jobs, provide emergency support and keep businesses afloat through the pandemic.
The intent behind the funds is to give organizations the support they need to replace charitable and other revenue lost because of the pandemic, the release says.The Veterans Organizations Emergency Support Fund was launched in November 2020, and it set aside $20 million to help charities and non-profits access the money they need to address shortfalls caused by the pandemic.