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Memorials and Cemetery Maintenance
(VAC PPU 255)

Description: This bank describes information related to individuals who died in service to Canada in times of war, military conflict and peace; the maintenance of 14 memorials and their sites, where applicable, in Europe; as well as grave markers/cemeteries of Canadian Veterans and war dead world-wide. As well, the graves of Veterans buried by the Government of Canada are maintained by Veterans Affairs Canada. Personal information may include name of Veteran; biographical information; dates and places of birth and death; employee identification number(s); military service information, including service number, military branch, rank and unit; religion; language; contact information; signature; digital information/photos/ memorabilia; and information from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Note: Revised in 2019. This PIB incorporates elements from National and International Memorials – Veterans Affairs Canada European Operations VAC PPU 250. Information may be stored in VAC's physical and electronic systems.

Information on Commonwealth war dead, including Canadians, has been collected since 1917 by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, under the authority of the 1917 Royal Charter. The Commemoration Division began tracking the graves of those Veterans who were buried at the expense of Canada in approximately 2003. It uses the Canada Remembers Grave Tracking (CRGT) system, an application that monitors the location, condition and maintenance of the graves for which VAC is responsible.

Some documents received in Veterans Affairs Canada from the Department of National Defence may contain the Social Insurance Number because Department of National Defence personnel were required to use it as their personal identification number between 1960 and 1990.

Class of Individuals: Veterans, family members, next of kin, former colleagues and friends of Veterans, third party service providers, the general public, and/or their representatives.

Purpose: The personal information is used to create and maintain inscriptions on memorials and markers all over the world to recognize those who died in service to Canada in times of war and peace. The personal information is collected pursuant to Order in Council P.C. 1965-688 which assigns the Minister of Veterans Affairs the responsibility for “the care and maintenance of the graves of former members of the armed forces of Canada who rendered outstanding service to Canada” and “the maintenance of graves and grave markers of former members of the armed forces who because of their military service were buried at the expense of Canada or whose grave markers were erected at the expense of Canada;” and “for providing, maintaining and replacing grave markers in respect of eligible Veterans” by virtue of Section 5 of the Department of Veterans Affairs Act; for the care and maintenance of the overseas memorials formerly entrusted to the Canadian Battle Fields Memorials Commission via Order in Council P.C. Order 1955-709; and for the marking and maintenance of certain Veterans’ graves under the Veterans Burial Regulations 2005. The information is used to maintain memorials, including the Books of Remembrance and the Canadian Virtual War Memorial, cemeteries and grave markers erected to honour the memory and sacrifice of those who served Canada in war, military conflict and peace.

Consistent Uses: The information may be used and disclosed for planning, research, development, evaluation and/or reporting of programs, policies and services. The use and disclosure is limited to VAC areas that are involved in the identified program, service and policy, and may also be shared with senior management.

Information such as name; date of death; military service information, including service number, military branch, rank and unit may be shared with cemetery maintenance contractors and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission for the purpose of maintaining inscriptions on grave markers in cemeteries, grave sites and monuments. Additional information, including photographs and memorabilia submitted by next of kin, community groups, museums, etc., may also be published on the VAC Web site and the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.

Retention and Disposal Standards: Information on memorials, grave markers, Books of Remembrance and the Canadian Virtual War Memorial is permanently displayed to the public. The Books of Remembrance, if ever removed from permanent display at Parliament Hill, will be transferred immediately to Library and Archives Canada for archival preservation.

Memorials and Books of Remembrance: Retention standards for the supporting documentation for memorials is under development.

Cemetery Maintenance (Grave Markers): Grave marker information is a permanent record of VAC and will never be destroyed.

Canadian Virtual War Memorial: Retention standards for the supporting documentation and the electronic publication are under development.

RDA Number: 2017/002

Related Records: Memorials and Cemetery Maintenance Class of Record VAC MVA 735

TBS Registration Number: 20091695

Bank Number: VAC PPU 255

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