A year ago, Council appointed Deputy Mayor Matthew Luloff as City Council’s Liaison for Veteran and Military Issues. As a former member of the Canadian Forces having served in Afghanistan in 2008 with the 2nd Battallion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, it was clear that Councillor Luloff would be the perfect representative to solidify the City’s important relationship with the 23,000 active service members and more than 53,000 veterans and their families living in Ottawa.

Councillor Luloff will co-chair the newly created Veterans Task Force, responsible for developing a culture of supporting our veterans and their families in our community. The Task Force’s key objectives are the following:

  • Championing the cause of helping veterans living in our community who are experiencing challenges with their transition to civilian life;
  • Advocating for our veterans and their family, particularly those not supported by entities (i.e. VAC) to receive complete and appropriate health care, including case management services and working with the Province to ensure they have access to a family doctor on a priority basis;
  • Making housing more affordable and easier to secure for veterans and their family dealing with financial precarity. (In fact, the City is partnering with Multifaith Housing to build approximately 40 affordable housing units for Veterans at the Rockcliffe Air Base); and
  • Enhancing 2nd career opportunities for veterans and their family.

I look forward to working with Councillor Luloff, the Task Force and our strategic partners in the years ahead to deliver projects, facilitate access to resources and promote opportunities for those who have served, and continue to serve our great country. I firmly believe that the creation of this Task Force will help foster the inclusive environment that active members, veterans and their families truly deserve.

P.S. Every year on November 11, Canadians gather around the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa and across the country to honour the men and women who have sacrificed so much for the freedom we enjoy today – some giving the ultimate sacrifice. This year, on the 75th anniversary of Armistice Day, the Royal Canadian Legion has planned a more intimate ceremony due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Legion’s Poppy Campaign continues to run this year from October 30 to November 11. Visit www.legion.ca/contact-us/find-a-branch to find poppies near you. Finally, as a small gesture to honour their sacrifice, veterans in uniform or wearing medals can ride transit November 5 to 11 for no charge. Transit will also be at no charge for everyone on Remembrance Day.

For more information on the Task Force and the Liaison’s role, please visit www.ottawa.ca