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Record of Discussion – Commemoration Advisory Group Teleconference

December 18, 2018
1300-1430 (EST)

The purpose of the teleconference on December 18, 2018, and the face-to-face meeting on February 20, 2019 was to consult with the Commemoration Advisory Group members on two new site options for the National Monument to Canada’s Mission in Afghanistan.

In Attendance

Commemoration Advisory Group Members

  • Mike Bessette, Veterans United Nations-North Atlantic Treaty Organization Canada
  • Dr. Steve Harris, Directorate of History and Heritage, Department of National Defence, (member co-chair)
  • Derrill Henderson, National Council of Veteran Associations in Canada & Hong Kong Veterans Association of Canada
  • Ray Kokkonen, Canadian Peacekeeping Veterans Association
  • Gerry Wharton, Army, Navy, Air Force Veterans in Canada
  • Lieutenant Colonel Jim Mills, Team Lead National Commemorations, Canadian Joint Operations Command, Canadian Armed Forces


  • Charles Cue, Office of the Veterans Ombudsman

Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs

  • John Embury, Director of Communications
  • Sarah Cozzi, Legislative Assistant and Issues Management

Veterans Affairs Canada Officials

  • Bernard Butler, Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategic Policy and Commemoration
  • Patsy Bolger-Gallant, Director General, Commemoration Division (Veterans Affairs Canada co-chair)
  • Michel Bourque, Director, Policy and Planning, Commemoration Division
  • Karen Rose, Senior Analyst, Stakeholder Engagement and Outreach


Canadian Heritage

  • Chaouki Dakdouki, Director, Capital Interpretation and Commemoration
  • Rachel Bériault, A/Senior Manager, Monuments and Public Art

National Capital Commission

  • Yoland Charrette, Chief, Landscape Architecture and Industrial Design
  • Jason Hutchison, Landscape Architect, Design & Land Use. National Capital Commission

Record of Discussion

Canadian Heritage and the National Capital Commission delivered a presentation, followed by a group discussion.

  • The intent of the monument—to recognize the commitment and sacrifice of Canadians who served in Afghanistan, as well as the support provided to them by Canadians at home—was highlighted.
  • The two Ottawa sites were presented – Option 1) LeBreton Riverfront north east of the Canadian War Museum and Option 2) LeBreton Riverfront east of the Canadian War Museum.
  • Considerations associated with each site were presented and discussed. This included accessibility, proximity to public transit, parking, environmental impacts, assembly space, noise levels, presence of other monuments, as well as future plans for the sites.

There were pros and cons raised about both sites and it was agreed that a site visit would be organized in early 2019. This would allow the group to make a recommendation to the Minister of Veterans Affairs for consideration.

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