MP Blake Richards representing the riding of Banff-Airdrie and the Conservative shadow minister for Veterans Affairs, and Pierre Paul-Hus, Quebec political lieutenant, have released a joint statement regarding the vandalization of the Vimy Ridge Memorial in France:
“We are shocked and disturbed to learn that Canada’s Vimy Ridge Memorial in France has been vandalized," it states. “This abhorrent act is an affront to the thousands of Canadians who made the ultimate sacrifice at Vimy Ridge in the service of Canada."
They call it a place of solemn reflection and remembrance where visitors honour the memory of the brave Canadians who served and laid down their lives at Vimy Ridge and throughout the First World War.
“Those who committed this appalling act of vandalism should be ashamed of their actions, and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Canada and France must stand together in showing that there will be zero tolerance for these actions.”
Veterans Affairs Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor also issued a statement condemning the vandalism.
On Aug. 15, it is reported an employee of the Vimy Memorial, which is maintained by Veterans Affairs Canada, spotted a person defacing the memorial with graffiti before fleeing the scene.
In her statement, Petitpas Taylor said Canadian officials are in contact with French authorities to aid in the investigation, and that the graffiti will be removed as soon as possible.
In April, Richards presented special commemorative pins in both Cochrane and Airdrie in advance of Vimy Ridge Day. Locally, the pins were presented to David Usherwood, Lawrence Charles, Steve Merritt, Steven Bachalo, and Brian Walford.
In 2017, the Cochrane cadets corps (King’s Own Calgary Regiment) travelled overseas on the centennial of the battle in April 2017 to visit the memorial.
In response to Canada's Online News Act and Meta (Facebook and Instagram) removing access to local news from their platforms, HighRiverOnline and OkotokOnline encourage you to get your news directly from your trusted source by bookmarking this page and downloading the HighRiverOnline or OkotoksOnline app.