HALIFAX, THURSDAY, MAY 1, 2003
STANDING COMMITTEE ON VETERANS AFFAIRS
Mr. William Langille
MR. CHAIRMAN: Good morning. We still have one person to come, and he will be over shortly, but we are going to start. At this time I would ask that the members introduce themselves, starting on my left.
[The committee members introduced themselves.]
MR. CHAIRMAN: This morning we have two guests here involved in peacekeeping: Richard Ross from Glenholme, and we also have Mr. David Lightburn, Director of Special Projects of the Lester B. Pearson International Peacekeeping Centre. We will start with you, Mr. Ross, you have a presentation. We also have a couple of guests here too, Margie and Jane.
Dave, if you would just introduce yourself.
MR. DAVID WILSON: Sorry, Mr. Chairman. I apologize for being late. Dave Wilson from Glace Bay.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Ross, if you would start your presentation, please.
MR. RICHARD ROSS: Good morning, Mr. Chairman, and Veterans Affairs Committee members. I will give you a short record of my military service. At 17 years of age I joined the Canadian Army from high school. From 1948 until 1951 I served in Ontario. From 1951 to 1953 I went to Europe with the first troops to serve in NATO after the war. From 1953 to 1955 I served here in Eastern Command. From 1955 to 1957 I was stationed in Fort Churchill, Manitoba. From 1957 to 1965 I served at Camp Gagetown. From 1965 to 1966 I was with the UN in the Middle East. From 1966 to 1969 I was posted to the Proving Grounds in Ottawa. From 1969 to 1972 I served at base maintenance here in Halifax. I took my release from the Canadian Forces in 1972, retiring with the rank of Warrant Officer. My unit was the Royal Canadian Electrical Mechanical Engineers.
I have a letter here from the president of our national association and he writes:
"TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
I have the honour of serving as the National President of the Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping (CAVUNP). With 21 Chapters spread across Canada along with our National Headquarters in Ottawa, CAVUNP serves as Canada's largest and pre-eminent Peacekeeping Association. Four of our Chapters are located in the Province of Nova Scotia.
These four Chapters represent only a small population of the many service personnel, police and civilian of Nova Scotia who have served Canada in the Service of Peace. Throughout the years 109 service personnel have sacrificed their lives for Canada - and many others carry the physical and mental wounds from service in areas of strife. They should be so recognized.
To this end, a number of Canada's Provinces have recently Proclaimed the 9th of August as Peacekeepers' Day. Not to be confused with United Nations Day in October the 9th of August specifically honours the 109 Fallen Peacekeepers those who have served and continue to serve. Although not a civic holiday, it is a day 'designated' by the Provinces reminding Canadians of the sacrifice paid by their Service personnel, police and civilians who serve in the 'Service of Peace' in contentious areas throughout the world.
We ask you to consider the same initiative for the Province of Nova Scotia.
Donald S. Ethell
I had received information by newsletter from the peacekeeping association in Ottawa, where I am a member, about different chapters approaching their governments to see if they would proclaim August 9th as Peacekeeping Day. As I noticed that no one had approached our provincial government, I sent an e-mail to the President of the CAVUNP to see if it would be appropriate for me to approach the government in Nova Scotia and the answer was go for it.
I approached my MLA, Bill Langille, who I knew was the Chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee in the Legislature. He asked me to forward all the information I had to him and he would bring it forward to his committee for discussion. I was very pleased to see the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre lend their support to the initiative to promote an annual Peacekeeping Day in the province.
August 9th was chosen for Peacekeeping Day, as that was the day we lost nine peacekeepers by a SAM missile over Syria. The CAVUNP mandate is to remember comrades who lost their lives and to educate the public about peacekeepers. To this end, the association envisioned a day of recognition for peacekeepers and asked that August 9th be proclaimed Peacekeeping Day. It is a chance to promote the good work of peacekeepers in their community. It also honours those who have served both Canada and Nova Scotia through their work helping maintain peace. As of this date, the Governments of B.C., Manitoba and Alberta have proclaimed August 9th Peacekeeping Day. The Provinces of Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia are currently being asked to proclaim the same date. Thank you.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Mr. Ross. Before we ask questions, I would ask that we have the other presentation now by Mr. David Lightburn.
MR. DAVID LIGHTBURN: Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, I'm pleased to be here today to support the work of this committee and to support the work of the association and indeed we at the PPC applaud this initiative. I want to do four very quick things. One, I will say a few words about myself, as my colleague has done, also a few words about the centre here in Nova Scotia, a few words about the initiative itself, and then a few words of where we might go with this initiative that would be helpful.
Like my colleague, I have a military background, a 30-year military career in the Canadian Armoured Corps, involving some UN peacekeeping. I spent 13 of the last 15 years at NATO Headquarters in Brussels as a civilian where I founded and headed the NATO peacekeeping section, and for the last two and a half years I've been at Cornwallis, Nova Scotia, as part of the staff at the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre.
The PPC is an institution involved in preparing Canadians and indeed others for the complexities of modern peacekeeping. We are very pleased to be associated with this initiative. The centre is proud to be based here in Nova Scotia. It is a national centre, and it is recognized by the United Nations as an international centre, but I can assure you that all of those who come to the centre from around the world leave with very fond memories of this province. We have had representatives from over 140 countries here in this province, training at the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre.
During a perceived decline in Canadian peacekeeping, which is where I think we are at the moment, the Pearson Centre is still out there in the world. We have a team in Bulgaria, at the moment, training. I just came back from some training in Kenya. Indeed, we will be going to other countries later this year.
With respect to the initiative, we are pleased that the association - and we would urge the province in relation to Peacekeeping Day that they acknowledge all of those who are involved in peace operations. Here, I particularly stress the fact that our police and many civilians, many from the judiciary, many from the corrections services, and individual Canadians and individual Nova Scotians are working with international organizations in the Balkans, in Sierra Leon and other places around the world. The initiative, and as the association does recognize, should include all of those who are deployed in the service of peace.
We would also urge that, despite the focus on UN peace operations, those who are involved in other peace operations under the lead of NATO and the lead of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and so on also be engaged because, at the end of the day, these are all UN mandated peace operations.
With respect to how we might further implement this initiative, one of our suggestions has been to, perhaps, use August 9th in the future to recognize individuals who have recently returned from peace operations. In that regard, the Lieutenant Governor has, on several occasions, presented peacekeeping medals at the Pearson Centre. One might consider, in the future, looking at August 9th as a day to present such medals and other recognition to individuals, and perhaps including the participation of the Lieutenant Governor of the province.
For our part, at the centre, we would be pleased to offer the centre as a venue for activity or activities or the hosting of something on August 9th in the future. We have a small problem with this calendar year, not to say we rule it out, but the centre is there perhaps as a focal point in the province with peacekeeping in the title. We also have people who could work with various chapters of the association or with this committee of the government in an advisory role on themes for a particular day or people who could go out as speakers to various groups in support of members of this committee or the wider Legislature.
Finally, it is a small caution, the summer is a great time in Nova Scotia and the summer brings in lots of tourists. That is a plus, if we properly promote Peacekeeping Day. It also means, however, that some of us might find it difficult in that month to be fully engaged, so I think we have to really look at our calendars, particularly members of this committee and members of the Pearson Centre and the associations, and take care to, in the future, block August 9th to be able to support this very worthwhile initiative. Thank you.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much. Before I open the committee up to questions, I would ask that we rotate questioning. Our last meeting was hard for the recording, we have blanks because people were not going in order. I'm going in order and ask for Mr. Holm to start.
MR. JOHN HOLM: I'm interested in the comments about the blanks. Some people say that when we speak, we shoot blanks sometimes, but I will leave that one aside. I really don't have any questions, more I guess an observation or a comment I should say and maybe a suggestion because, quite honestly, to me this is almost like a no-brainer. I mean it's just common sense.
Canada certainly has had and still does have, but I wish that our Armed Forces had some more modern equipment and more manpower, mind you, to assist them in doing their jobs, but that's for another day. We certainly have had a very proud record of service around the world and going into many hot spots and have provided tremendous leadership. Certainly the Pearson Centre has been providing a great deal of leadership as well in terms of training people to be able to go in and do that kind of assistance. I like the notion that was suggested that it be really all-inclusive, that it would include not only the women and men who serve in the military full-time or as reservists, but also the many others who have gone as you have pointed out, like police officers, civilians, and so on.
In fact, some members of this Legislature have gone to different countries after the wars have concluded and have been assisting the people in those areas to try to develop a judicial system, trying to develop constitutions and so on. In fact, two of my colleagues, the members for Halifax Fairview and Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage, have been in what we call the Balkan areas on a number of occasions trying to assist in doing that.
I guess really all I would suggest as I conclude my comments, and I think that the request that is being brought forward is an extremely reasonable one and that this committee, before we rise, should have a motion on the floor, and I would suggest to the Premier, it wouldn't be really all that difficult a thing in terms of actually getting the declaration done. That could be done by a resolution, for example, introduced in the Legislature with all-Party support or even I'm sure it could be declared if the government wanted to do it on its own, just declare it, although I would prefer it to be an all-Party supported resolution declaring August 9th to be Peacekeeping Day in the province.
I don't know that we can commit in terms of what the Lieutenant Governor will be doing in terms, obviously, of making the presentation of medals on that day, or some of the other kinds of activities that would be going on, but I think that it's pretty easy for the government to make the commitment to have that proclaimed as a special day to remember and honour all of those who have served humanity in peacekeeping capacities over the years and who will continue to do so. With those brief remarks, Mr. Chairman, hopefully I didn't shoot too many blanks, but that's all I really have to say.
MR. CHAIRMAN: No, no, you're following procedure very well this morning and I thank you for that. Mr. Hendsbee.
MR. DAVID HENDSBEE: I will second the motion.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Maybe we will ask questions and give your comments and then make a motion.
MR. HENDSBEE: I believe the honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid made the eloquent remarks and I'm glad to see that we have at least three associations, in looking through the literature, in Greenwood, Port Hawkesbury and Sydney that are affiliated with the peacekeeping veterans association. Are there plans for any more to be established in the province?
MR. ROSS: There is one in Dartmouth forming now.
MR. HENDSBEE: Did they all work closely with the Royal Canadian Legions and Army, Navy, Air Force branches?
MR. ROSS: I would hope so.
MR. HENDSBEE: I would just like to support the endeavours and go forward from there.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Chataway.
MR. JOHN CHATAWAY: Certainly I very much appreciate what has been said so far and certainly we feel very honoured to be here to discuss this because it's very, very important to Canada because I think we are known worldwide for the peacekeepers we put in all over the world and I think the reason that they keep on saying here, Canadians, you come in here, is because we do a good job and it's a very fair job and it's a very responsible job. You said 109 died on August 9th. How many peacekeepers have we lost over the years?
MR. ROSS: It's 109.
MR. CHATAWAY: It's 109 since World War II. It's a very important date. I understand that you mentioned B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan have adopted . . .
MR. ROSS: No, Manitoba. Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia are in the process.
MR. CHATAWAY: So there's five.
MR. ROSS: B.C., Manitoba and Alberta have proclaimed August 9th. Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan are in the process.
MR. CHATAWAY: What's the reaction of the federal government? I would think it would be very wise for the government in Ottawa to declare it right across Canada, just say okay. What's the reaction?
MR. ROSS: That's what they're hoping for.
MR. CHATAWAY: How long has this suggestion of August 9th been put forth to provinces and put forth at the federal level? How long has this been going on?
MR. ROSS: I'm not really sure. I would think probably right from the start, when they started forming the difficult peacekeeping chapters.
MR. CHATAWAY: So this has been going on for many years.
MR. ROSS: I would think so, yes.
MR. LIGHTBURN: I think I read, in researching this on the Web site, that Manitoba was the first province, and I think they actually proclaimed it in 2001. In point of fact, while there may have been a lot of background work going on, I think it is a relatively new initiative and has growing momentum.
MR. CHATAWAY: The Canadian Legions, do they support this date of August 9th?
MR. ROSS: I know ours does.
MR. CHATAWAY: But across Canada, has it been discussed on the federal level, when all the Legions get together on an annual basis?
MR. ROSS: I can't answer that, I don't know. I would think they would have. We go to the schools in our area.
MR. CHATAWAY: I think it would be very important to get the Legion to support this. It would be very important and very encouraging, because they speak for the people who died during war. At the same time, the people have gone abroad and done great service and peacekeeping things. The reason they did is because they wanted to avoid war, and they had to go out there and do that great work. It is dangerous, it certainly is dangerous.
I think it would be very wise to get the national Legions and the national peacekeeping association, peacekeepers, to come out nationally and say it should be done. Just one more question. Was there any consideration for November 11th, because, of course,
on November 11th we remember people who have passed away in World War I, World War II, the Korean War. I know at the Legions that I attend that many people talk about it, in fact they just put peacekeepers on the monument. So we remember that, many people do remember that on November 11th.
MR. ROSS: August 9th has always been the day. The main reason was that we lost those many men on that one single day. That's why it was chosen.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. O'Donnell.
MR. CECIL O'DONNELL: I don't have questions, but I want to thank Mr. Ross and Mr. Lightburn for coming in this morning, for your presentation, and say that I do agree with your suggestion of having August 9th as Peacekeeping Day.
MR. ROSS: Thank you.
MR. LIGHTBURN: Thank you.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Mrs. Baillie.
MRS. MURIEL BAILLIE: My questions were answered. Like John, I was a little bit interested in the history in the provinces, but that has already been answered. I just want to say that I also support the idea, and it's nice having you here this morning.
MR. ROSS: Thank you.
MR. LIGHTBURN: Thank you.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Wilson.
MR. WILSON: Mr. Chairman, just a couple of questions, gentlemen, if you don't mind. One, I'm left wondering a bit about the involvement of, for instance, Scotia Command of the Royal Canadian Legion, are they in support of this proposed date for this proposed day?
MR. ROSS: I can't answer that, I don't know.
MR. WILSON: So, Mr. Ross, you're representing what Legion?
MR. ROSS: Cobequid Branch.
MR. WILSON: So this is an idea that comes from just one branch of the Legion?
MR. ROSS: It just comes from me.
MR. WILSON: On behalf of the peacekeeping association?
MR. ROSS: Yes.
MR. WILSON: And has there been any kind of discussion or any kind of contact whatsoever with Scotia Command of the Royal Canadian Legion?
MR. ROSS: Not from me, no.
MR. WILSON: Do you plan on discussing it with the Royal Canadian Legion?
MR. ROSS: Well, we can, yes, sure.
MR. WILSON: All I'm asking for is because it seems to me that I think, as my colleague said, it's pretty much - for lack of another term - a no-brainer that we would honour peacekeepers. My brother, who is a peacekeeper, would kick me out of the family if I didn't vote for something like this and I don't want to deal with him, other than to say I did it and keep peace in the family. (Interruption) No, he doesn't need any more reasons, let me put it that way. What I'm trying to get at is to make sure we have one big happy family here, that no one is standing on the outside looking at this as a negative thing. I can't see how they would.
MR. ROSS: I really can't see how they would come to that conclusion.
MR. WILSON: I'm hoping you're right, but stranger things have happened, let's put it that way, but just to make sure. The other one is the administration of the actual day and that sort of thing would fall within the Canadian association of the peacekeeping association itself?
MR. ROSS: Yes.
MR. WILSON: Thank you very much. Mr. Chairman, I am in support of the motion that's before us right now, but I would suggest as well that perhaps we, as a committee, could make the necessary contact with the Royal Canadian Legion on our behalf saying that we have this presentation before us and that we're in favour of it. Perhaps we could look towards their support with our motion going towards the Premier, whatever the case may be. Just an added thought towards the motion. Perhaps maybe we can follow up on that as well. In conclusion, I thank you gentlemen, I'm in full support of your proposal before the committee.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Just for the record, I had a meeting with Fred Mombourquette, the President of the Provincial Command, Royal Canadian Legion, last week on another matter. At that time I did bring up that we'd be meeting with the gentlemen here this morning and he's well aware of it. On that point, I think that this is something that we should go forward with this morning. We'll have to do it by letter and a resolution, as Mr. Holm stated. That's the proper procedure and the Legislature is sitting now and if we want to get this through this sitting of the Legislature, it'll have to be done quickly. Mr. Hendsbee wants to speak.
MR. HENDSBEE: I just want some points of clarification on the information that we have received here. Of the four chapters now that are established for the Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping in Nova Scotia, two of the chapters are in honour of someone, for instance, the Greenwood chapter is known as the William C. Hall V.C. and in Sydney we have the Major General Lewis W. MacKenzie Chapter. Could you tell me if the Port Hawkesbury and Dartmouth chapters are going to be commemorative of anyone, be named after anyone?
MR. ROSS: I really don't know.
MR. HENDSBEE: Is that sort of a practice that the association is trying to do in regard to designating these chapters after significant individuals who had participated in peacekeeping missions?
MR. ROSS: I would think so, because out West one was named after an engineer who was killed in mine-clearing operations, in British Columbia it's named after him. There was a General Crabbe, I think it was, retired, who has a chapter in Alberta.
MR. HENDSBEE: Also the information, further to the answer you provided to Mr. Chataway, saying there were 109 deaths and looking at some information here that came from the Manitoba Web site of the Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping, it says there were 111 military deaths in peacekeeping history. I was wondering if there was a record being maintained by the association of all those memorials, of who had lost their lives while in the service of providing peace. I wonder if that could be clarified for our records.
Also, further to that, lower on the page, I will just refer to it, under this Web site of cavunp-manitoba.com/news.html, there's a paragraph in here which I'm finding a little confusing and which I thought might need clarification. "While British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick recognize Aug. 9 as Peacekeeping Memorial Day, set aside . . ." For some reason they are saying that Nova Scotia recognizes it already. I want to know if we could have that clarified for the record. Perhaps we should notify the Manitoba Web site in regard to what our intentions and ambitions are here in this province. I see that Manitoba's Resolution 83 - Peacekeeping Day, first sat in their House on August 8, 2000,
and a year following the Manitoba Government proclaimed it as an official day of recognition. I'm just hoping that we could have those few points clarified for us.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Holm.
MR. HOLM: I will just pick up on the last comment of David's first. It's something that we obviously would have to get clarified, if by some chance, unbeknownst to any of us, the province somehow did already declare it as Peacekeeping Day, then one of the first things that we have an obligation to do is to notify the gentlemen before us and others that it already is a day. I am assuming that the proper research has been done and that the Manitoba Web site is incorrect. Maybe they are looking at the fact that it was something that they're trying to do here and they've jumped the gun, expecting that we will have, by then, done the common-sense thing and actually done it.
Just a couple of comments, briefly, again. One, the discussion about the Legion being in support, certainly that is important, and I don't say this in any way to offend those Legion members, but this goes beyond just the Legion. As was pointed out, there are many others who have made tremendous sacrifices and provided excellent service, who are not and were not members of the military. We're being asked now, for example, to assist in Iraq. There's some suggestion that we may have police, RCMP and other police officers, going over, trying to, for example, establish a police force and to help train. That's a pretty dangerous and a pretty major commitment. They're peacekeepers. It may not be under a UN mandate, but they will be doing a tremendous service. I think Pearson has been asked to be involved.
The other thing is that it's not only the 109 or 111 people who have lost their lives who have made tremendous sacrifices, the ultimate sacrifice. There are many who go who come back with physical scars and, as we have learned, and we learn more all the time, about the very real and often devastating emotional scars and so on that those who have gone off to serve come back with and they also deserve our extreme gratitude and support for what they have done for us.
So I would request, Mr. Chairman, that if we are going to be sending this letter in, and the resolution doesn't have to be introduced by the Premier by any stretch of the imagination - you will have to get, obviously, his approval and Ron Russell's approval - but it could also be introduced if we have the agreement by yourself on behalf of this committee in the Legislature to proclaim it. Who does it is really not all that important, it's a matter of having it done. It's not something that, if the government is in agreement with, should take all that long. The resolution can be crafted within half an hour, I'm sure, a very thoughtful resolution and introduced and passed very quickly and we probably won't be there much more than, by my calculation, two and a half weeks for the Financial Measures (2003) Bill and a little bit longer if we really want to turn the screws. We won't get into that now.
MR. CHAIRMAN: No, we're getting off track here.
MR. HOLM: Another blank?
MR. CHAIRMAN: I'm going to ask Mr. Ross if he wants to say something and then Mr. Lightburn.
MR. ROSS: This is a letter from the national president and he says this specifically honours 109 fallen comrades. And that's definitely a mistake, that thing from Winnipeg about Nova Scotia.
MR. HENDSBEE: Perhaps we should have Manitoba's Web site corrected.
MR. ROSS: Yes, but the list of fallen comrades is on the Internet, it lists their names, when they were killed and where they were killed.
MR. HOLM: Does that include Afghanistan?
MR. ROSS: No, I don't think unless there are Canadians killed. Oh, Afghanistan - I was thinking of Iraq for a minute. I'm not sure if they would be on there or not, I haven't looked in the last month.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Lightburn.
MR. LIGHTBURN: Just to support Mr. Holm's comments about civilians, as I speak, we have some 30 civilians at Cornwallis today being prepared for peace operations. More than half of these are Canadians, but we also have international civilians present, including officials from the United Nations in New York. I would also add that one of our focuses is to build capacity in the rest of the world and somebody referred earlier to our reputation out there, we believe we have a lot of knowledge that we can transfer to assist in building capacity in nations that want to do peacekeeping and at the moment we have a large program in francophone West Africa and we are just beginning to have a team there, in fact today. In Ghana we're beginning another three-year program for the government in central Africa.
On the business of the Web site and the mention of Afghanistan, I suspect Afghanistan is not there because technically speaking it wasn't - the Forces that were deployed there were not involved in a UN mandated peace operation. There was a security force doing other things. On the Web site question, I think it perhaps is just a case of somebody drafting a piece of information for the site to promote this and somebody got carried away with the number of provinces that were thinking about it. As to the numbers, I think we should stand by the list that is on the site and if it's 109, it's 109.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Did you want to say something, Mr. Chataway?
MR. CHATAWAY: Certainly I think the committee should consider supporting the motion in principle, but I would very much like I think, before we support this in principle, but I would like a reaction of the Legion of Ottawa to say, because obviously August 9th is August 9th and the Legislature is not staying in business until August 9th or even to then, I wouldn't think anyway, but basically I think we're all very impressed with what we have been talking about, but the thing is I would like to get the reaction of the Legion of Canada, or at least in writing from them.
MR. CHAIRMAN: If I could just interject, Mr. Chataway. We'll probably get their reaction after we proclaim it. I think we have the authority to proceed now with this and I'll speak on it, and I think today we should make the motion and move on with it. It's regarding peacekeepers, it's not the Legion; this is a peacekeeping initiative. We'll move on this today if it's the wish of the committee.
MR. HENDSBEE: Mr. Chairman, I'm sure we will probably be looking at the other resolutions that the other Legislatures across the country have moved in regard to assisting with the drafting. I hope we're not going to use the eight "whereases" that Manitoba had used and also the recognition of Hiroshima and the atomic bomb. I think that those are significant events that I don't think we need to include in our resolution. We have a long military and proud tradition of military service and peacekeeping service in this country and I think we should recognize the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre in the Valley somehow throughout the resolution.
MR. CHAIRMAN: The proper procedure would be to write a letter to the Premier from this committee requesting the day for peacekeeping.
MR. WILSON: A question, Mr. Chairman.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Go ahead.
MR. WILSON: We're not drafting a resolution here today?
MR. CHAIRMAN: No, we're not.
MR. WILSON: So, can we hear the motion again?
MR. CHAIRMAN: We haven't gotten to the motion.
MR. WILSON: Do we have a motion on the floor?
MR. CHAIRMAN: No, we don't have it. We're coming to that, that's why we're asking the question. We're going to come to the motion. Mr. Holm, do you want to make the motion?
MR. HOLM: Okay. I guess very simply, that we draft a letter to be sent to the Premier within two days requesting that the government proclaim, by resolution, August 9th as Peacekeeping Day in Nova Scotia and that we ask that be done during this Spring sitting of the Legislature. So, let's just get that taken care of.
This isn't part of the motion, but in terms of the drafting, we've got all kinds of craftspeople who can pull it together to say it with the appropriate words and so on; that's not something we have to concern ourselves with.
MR. WILSON: Is it peacekeeping or peacekeepers?
MR. HOLM: Oh, peacekeepers, I'm sorry.
MR. ROSS: Peacekeeping.
MR. HOLM: Oh, peacekeeping, is it? Yes, that's what I said first.
MR. HENDSBEE: I second it.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Seconded by Mr. Hendsbee. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.
The motion is carried.
Is there anything else before we adjourn?
MR. LIGHTBURN: Mr. Chairman, I just repeat my offer at the outset that we would be pleased to continue to support the association and/or any of its chapters here and this committee and the province in any implementation that is deemed appropriate, by giving publicity to this activity either closer to the event or in advance, and so on, so we remain available to this group.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Mr. Lightburn. Mr. Holm.
MR. HOLM: In keeping with that, and in terms of promoting the whole tradition and so on - and it's not something for the committee to consider today, but maybe in the future - we now have a Veterans Highway and as something that is out there as a constant reminder,
and someday it mightn't be a bad idea for this committee to consider - and there would have to be consultations done, but thinking about having a section of highway named the peacekeeping . . .
MR. HENDSBEE: Highway No. 101, going towards . . .
MR. HOLM: Yes, absolutely, The Peacekeeping Way.
MR. WILSON: How about a peacekeepers' licence plate?
MR. CHAIRMAN: We'll go one step at a time here. That certainly is a well-thought-out initiative. I know you didn't just come up with that now. Anyway, is there anything else, any other comments?
MR. ROSS: I might add it's on one of your letters you sent to me, the Provincial Command sat in on your committee, so they knew all about it.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Well, I did discuss it with Mr. Mombourquette too.
MR. HOLM: And he didn't object?
MR. CHAIRMAN: No objections, no.
MR. CHATAWAY: Is that before the whole Nova Scotia Legion or just a conversation you had . . .
MR. CHAIRMAN: Just a conversation I had. Is there anything else?
MR. ROSS: Before you go, I'd like to thank you very much before you go for supporting this.
MR. CHAIRMAN: I thank you for bringing it to my attention and I thank the committee for their co-operation in this. I would like to see us get this through in this sitting and I can't speak for the government, but I personally don't foresee any problem with it. It's nice to see Margie here too, by the way. Motion to adjourn.
MR. HENDSBEE: I so move.
MR. CHAIRMAN: We stand adjourned.
[The committee adjourned at 9:51 a.m.]