Today, the Honourable Rob Merrifield, Canada’s Minister of State (Transport) and Donald A. Wright, VIA Rail Canada Chairman of the Board, announced the third year of VIA Rail’s Canadian Forces Family Appreciation fares to celebrate the contribution made to the country by Canada’s military personnel and veterans. They were joined at the Ottawa Train Station by the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture); the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Marc Laliberté, VIA Rail Canada President and CEO.
Between July 1 and August 14, 2010, active or retired Canadian Forces personnel and veterans will be entitled to free Economy class rail travel on selected trains across the entire VIA network. In addition, Canadian Forces personnel and veterans will be eligible for a 25% discount off the best available fares for travel in both Business and Sleeper class. Each active or retired Canadian Forces member may also bring up to five immediate family members with them, at a 25% discount off the best available fare in any class of service. The Canadian Forces Family Appreciation fare can also be combined with VIA’s children’s’ summer travel discounts.
“This is a great chance for us to celebrate the members of the Canadian Forces personnel and their families and show them how proud we are of the work they do,” said Minister Merrifield. “Our Government is proud to support VIA as they extend this initiative for a third year.”
“We are pleased that VIA is once again honouring members of the Canadian Forces and their families by providing them with special fares,” said Minister MacKay. “We hope that many members will be able to take advantage of this opportunity.”
“VIA Rail connects communities, large and small, across Canada,” stated Minister Blackburn. “We are grateful that VIA is providing this unique opportunity to CF personnel and Veterans to visit these communities, to be reunited with their family and friends, or simply enjoy the beauty of our country. In doing so, we honour their service and contribution to our peace and freedom.”
“We at VIA are proud of the contribution and recognize the sacrifices made by the members of the Canadian Forces,” said Mr. Wright. “For a third consecutive year, we’re honoured to recognize these strong men and women for all they are doing and have done for our country. We hope that they will be able to take advantage of this offer and experience everything our great country has to offer aboard the train.”
Close to 17, 000 current or retired Canadian Forces personnel took advantage of VIA’s initiative to honour them with a special fare in 2009.