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e-3935 (Foreign affairs)

E-petition
Initiated by Quincy Ross from St-Lazare, Quebec

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Government of Canada

Whereas:
  • 14,000 Canadians landed on D-Day on June 6th, 1944. There were 1,096 Canadian casualties that day, including 381 killed;
  • Foncim is building a 70-unit condominium just east of the Juno Beach Center (JBC) between the museum and Seulles River;
  • The JBC was not consulted on the project by the previous mayor who granted the development permit or the developer;
  • Foncim’s Dunes property is encircled, and the developer was legally granted access to their build site through the sole road to the JBC;
  • The JBC paid for the construction of this road on land leased to them for 99 years by the town of Courseulles-sur-Mer for the sole purpose of providing visitors with access to the JBC;
  • A bailiff could arrive any day to request access to the road. An estimated 850 construction vehicles will access the road over the 22 months of the project. The road was not built for the excess weight of construction vehicles; and
  • This construction project will create accessibility restraints for the museum and disrupt the museum’s abilities to run day-to-day activities and annual international ceremonies; and
  • Above all, building luxury seaside condos undermines the duty of memory we owe to those soldiers, and it insults their sacrifice.
We, the undersigned, Canadians, call upon the Government of Canada to oppose the proposed condo development at the Juno Beach D-Day site and intervene in the development with French property developer Foncim by contacting the French government on a diplomatic level.

Response by the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay

The Normandy coast of France is sacred ground for Canada, France, and the Allied countries who helped liberate it. D-Day and the Battle of Normandy saw some of Canada’s most important military engagements of the Second World War, and where so many Canadians made the ultimate sacrifice in the defence of France.

Many thousands of Canadian soldiers, sailors and aircrew participated in the D-Day invasion. Among the Canadians who went into action on 6 June 1944, more than 1,000 were injured, and 359 lost their lives. This is of immense historical and reverent significance for Veterans, their families and all those who visit the D-Day landing sites, particularly Juno Beach, the 10-kilometre stretch of shore along the Normandy coast where the Canadians landed. 

This strong commitment to remember, to never forget, is what inspired the late founder Garth S. Webb, a Canadian Second World War and D-Day Veteran himself, to engage other Veterans and their families in the creation of the Juno Beach Centre. They had the vision and perseverance to create the memorial and to proudly pass the torch of remembrance to the younger generation.

As one of the most important monuments and museums outside of Canada dedicated to Canadians who served during the Second World War, the Juno Beach Centre is a beacon proudly highlighting sacrifices and achievements.

The Government of Canada has been committed to the Juno Beach Centre from its beginning and remains committed to the important work to remember the contributions Canadians made to liberate Europe during the Second World War. Veterans Affairs Canada provides funding to the Juno Beach Centre on an annual basis and as of March 31, 2022 has provided contributions totalling $13.185 million.

In April 2022, the Minister of Veterans Affairs Canada visited Juno Beach with House of Commons colleagues to see first-hand the impacts the proposed condominium project would have on the Juno Beach Centre. While there, the Minister of Veterans Affairs met with members of the Juno Beach Centre Association, the Mayor of Courseulles-sur-Mer, les amis du Centre Juno Beach and officials representing Canada in France. The Minister of Veterans Affairs also met with the Minister Delegate to the Minister for the Armed Forces in charge of Remembrance and Veterans in the French Government. All agreed on the importance for Canada and France to honour the sacrifice of Canadian soldiers who fell at Juno Beach in 1944.

Veterans Affairs Canada is working closely with all parties, including French government officials at the national, regional and local levels towards a solution.

Open for signature
March 29, 2022, at 10:44 a.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
May 28, 2022, at 10:44 a.m. (EDT)
Presented to the House of Commons
Peter Schiefke (Vaudreuil—Soulanges)
June 6, 2022 (Petition No. 441-00516)
Government response tabled
September 20, 2022
Photo - Peter Schiefke
Vaudreuil—Soulanges
Liberal Caucus
Quebec
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