Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

June 09, 2007 16:00 ET

Canadian Employers Honoured for Supporting Canadian Forces Reservists

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 9, 2007) - John Craig Eaton, National Chair of the Canadian Forces Liaison Council (CFLC) and Lieutenant-General Walter Natynczyk, the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, presented national, provincial and special awards to 17 Canadian employers and educational institutions in recognition of their exceptional support to members of the Reserve Force. The ceremony took place today at the National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa.

Award recipients have provided exceptional support to reservists, granting time off without penalty from their civilian occupation to participate in military training and operations. Some award winners' support went even further to include assistance to reservists' families while the reservist was overseas.

Mr. Eaton praised the award recipients' efforts, stating they are "mission-critical" actions that directly impact Canada's ability to fulfill its role on the world stage: "Every year, more and more reservists are being asked to volunteer to serve on overseas operations. Without their employer's or educator's support, they simply could not serve - and that could make a huge impact on the success of our missions. The industry leaders here today recognize how crucial their support is for both the reservists and Canada as a whole."

Most members of the Reserve Force serve part-time in the Canadian Forces, usually evenings and weekends, but they also serve full-time for defined periods, especially overseas on operational deployments. Reserve Force members have participated in missions in Afghanistan, Haiti, Bosnia, the Middle East and Africa. At home, they have helped their fellow citizens in times of trouble, for example, during floods in Manitoba and Quebec, the ice storm in eastern Canada, and forest fires in British Columbia. Naval reservists also serve operationally year-round on Canada's 10 maritime coastal defence vessels.

Lt.-Gen. Natynczyk says that the Reserve Force will continue to play a vital role in Canada's defence: "The CF is a cohesive, dedicated team of personnel able to respond quickly and professionally when called upon. The willingness of Canadian employers to grant Reservists time to train and prepare enables the team to remain 'fighting fit', and allows us to send a seamless force wherever it's needed. We applaud these employers for their steadfast support of the Canadian Forces."

The recipients of the 2007 CFLC Supportive Employer Awards are:

Most Supportive Employer in Canada: Bell Aliant

Nominated by: Warrant Officer Peter Sinnott, 728 (St John's) Communication Squadron, St John's, NL

Support to Canadian Forces Operations - International: Vancouver Police Department

Nominated by: Major Harjit Sajjan, The British Columbia Regiment (Duke of Connaught's Own), Vancouver, BC

Support to Canadian Forces Operations - Domestic: Vanoostrum Farm Equipment Ltd.

Nominated by: Corporal Gary Maddison, the West Nova Scotia Regiment, Kentville, NS

Special Award for Support to the Reserve Force: Retail Wholesale and Department Store Union

Nominated by: Master Corporal Robert Sloan, 4 Wing (Cold Lake), Cold Lake, AB

Support to Student Reservists: Universite du Quebec a Trois-Rivieres

Nominated by: Lieutenant(Navy) Caroline Lupien, Navire canadien de Sa Majeste Radisson, Trois-Rivieres, QC

Special Award for Support to the Reserve Force: London International Airport

Nominated by: Lieutenant Colonel Gerald Holden, CFLC, Ottawa

Special Award for Support to the Reserve Force: The Government of Nova Scotia

Nominated by: CFLC Nova Scotia Provincial Awards Committee

Most Supportive Employer, British Columbia: Lewkowich Geotechnical Engineering Ltd.

Nominated by: Captain Iain Stewart, 748 (Nanaimo) Communication Squadron, Nanaimo, BC

Most Supportive Employer, Alberta: Ideaca Knowledge Services Ltd.

Nominated by: Major Chris Coupal, 746 (Calgary) Communications Squadron, Calgary, AB

Most Supportive Employer, Saskatchewan: Saskatoon Co-operative Association

Nominated by: Corporal Ciara Phelps, 737 (Saskatoon) Communications Squadron, Saskatoon, SK

Most Supportive Employer, Manitoba: Simplot Canada II

Nominated by: Master Bombardier W. Adam Pankratz, 13th Field Battery, 26 Field Artillery Regiment (RCA), Portage La Prairie, MB

Most Supportive Employer, Ontario: WestJet

Nominated by: Captain Edie Tomaso, Canadian Special Operations Forces Command Headquarters, Ottawa

Most Supportive Employer, Quebec : Cooperative des techniciens ambulanciers du Quebec

Nominated by : Captain Yannick Sevigny, 55e Ambulance de Campagne, Quebec, QC

Most Supportive Employer, New Brunswick: City of Moncton - Moncton Fire Department

Nominated by: Captain Stephen Woodworth, 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise's), Moncton, NB

Most Supportive Employer, Nova Scotia: Chignecto-Central Regional School Board

Nominated by: Master Corporal Ron Lalonde, 723 (Halifax) Communications Squadron, Halifax, NS

Most Supportive Employer, Prince Edward Island:

PEI Area Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Conservation and Protection

Nominated by: Captain T. Kent MacRae, The Prince Edward Island Regiment (RCAC),

Charlottetown, PE

Most Supportive Employer, Newfoundland and Labrador: Bell Aliant

Nominated by: Warrant Officer Peter Sinnott, 728 (St John's) Communication Squadron, St John's, NL

For more information on the award winners, contact Major Richard Gower at (613) 992-3284 or 1-800-567-9908, or by e-mail at Further details on the Council, the ceremony including copyright-free, JPEG photos can be found at

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