Jubilee medal cut upsets Legion
Legions across Canada are complaining that they'll be able to honour far fewer veterans with Jubilee medals this year than they did 10 years ago.
Sixty thousand Jubilee medals are being minted to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee this year . That's up from 43,000 minted 10 years ago when the Queen’s fiftieth year on the throne was commemorated.
Despite the increased mint run, the Royal Canadian Legion's share of those medals has been dramatically cut back. In 2002, the Legion was allocated 950 Jubilee medals to hand out. This year, it has been offered only 80 medals to distribute across the country.
"We were quite surprised and taken aback," said Bruce Poulin, at the Royal Canadian Legion Dominion Command in Ottawa.
"We were still doing the same outstanding work in our community and our province and our country."
Legions on P.E.I. were particularly hard hit by the allocation cut. In 2002, they handed out 18 Jubilee medals. This year, only one is being handed out.
"I was kind of disappointed," said Charlottetown Legion president John Yeo.
"These people need some recognition for all the hard years of work they put in to both the military and the Legion."
Veterans organizations receiving medals
Canadian Peacekeeping Veterans Association
Friends of the Canadian War Museum
The Naval Officers Association of Canada
Hong Kong Veterans Commemorative Association.
Annabelle Cloutier, a spokeswoman for the Governor General's office, said while Legions aren't getting as many medals this time, that doesn't mean veterans are being forgotten. She says 30 of the 150 organizations that have so far agreed to distribute medals advocate for veterans.
"Two thousand five hundred veterans will be recognized through those organizations," said Cloutier.
"This year, we built the program in a different way. We wanted to have more organizations in various sectors."
There could still be more medals coming for the Legion. The Governor General's office has not yet heard from 100 other organizations that have been offered medals. Cloutier said any leftover medals not claimed by other organizations may be given to Legions.