Government of Canada Invests in a National Memorial for Fallen Canadian Firefighters

Canadian Heritage

OTTAWA — On behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, the Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of Public Safety and Member of Parliament (York-Simcoe), today announced funding to support the creation of a national memorial to honour Canada's fallen firefighters.

"Our Government is proud to support the creation of a monument to honour the sacrifices and dedication of Canadian firefighters who died in the line of duty," said Minister Moore. "This new national memorial will be an appropriate tribute to the men and women who put their lives at risk for their communities."

"No job is more important than protecting the lives and safety of Canadians. There is not a Canadian family whose life has not been touched by the dedication, commitment, and courage of those who go beyond the call of duty to aid those in distress," said Minister Van Loan, who attended the national memorial service on Parliament Hill yesterday. "This memorial will serve to remind all Canadians of the ultimate sacrifice our fallen firefighters have made to keep our families, friends, and communities safe."

The Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation will construct the monument. It will be the only official memorial to Canada's firefighters and will be located in the Lebreton Flats area of Ottawa, near the Canadian War Museum. This is the exact location where the Great Fire of 1900 was finally brought under control after destroying 1400 buildings and killing seven people in Ottawa and destroying 1300 buildings in Hull.

A design competition will be launched later this fall, and a winning design and team will be selected by early 2010. The design phase will take place shortly thereafter, and construction of the monument will begin in 2011. The site, monument, and special art elements will be completed in 2012 for an unveiling at the annual ceremony for fallen firefighters in September.

The Government of Canada is providing funding for the monument under the Celebration and Commemoration Program of the Department of Canadian Heritage. This program creates opportunities for all Canadians to participate in national celebrations and commemorations that contribute to building a sense of pride and belonging to Canada.

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