Ottawa, ON, November 8, 2019
Métis National Council Minister of Veterans Affairs and National Spokesperson David Chartrand honoured two Métis veterans of the Second World War at a ceremony in Ottawa today. The ceremony at the National Aboriginal Veterans Monument included the presentation of a $20,000 cheque to each of the veterans under the terms of the $30 million Canada-Métis Nation Métis Veterans Recognition Payment Agreement.
“Today’s ceremony is another important step Canada is taking with the Métis Nation on the road to reconciliation,” said Minister Chartrand who has been visiting surviving Métis Veterans of the Second World War to thank them in person and present them with cheques.
Guy Pierre Joseph Lafreniere was born May 19, 1925 in Swan Lake, Manitoba and enlisted August 24, 1943 in the Royal Canadian Air Force in Winnipeg. Two of his sisters also served in the armed forces. After leaving the Air Force, Mr. Lafreniere served in the RCMP until he retired in 1977 in Ottawa. During the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, he was posted at the Prime Minister’s residence, 24 Sussex Drive, to guard then Prime Minister Diefenbaker.
George Ricard was born on October 23, 1925 in Renfrew, Ontario. He joined the RCAF 423rd Sqn at the age of 17. He was stationed in Coastal Command in Ireland for 2-1/2 years where the squadron was employed to attack German U-Boats. Mr. Ricard was an airframe technician and did repairs to sheet metal on planes when they needed repairs.
“It may be late but it is still fulfilling to see these heroes of the Métis Nation and indeed all of Canada get the recognition they so rightly deserve,” said Minister Chartrand who is carrying on to Port Hope, Ontario to honour another Métis Nation war veteran tomorrow.
Joining Minister Chartrand at the ceremony to honour the veterans were the federal Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations Carolyn Bennett, the Minister of Indigenous Services Seamus O’Regan, and Margaret Froh, President of the Métis Nation of Ontario.