Defence Secretary visits Canada
This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
During a visit to Ottawa and Halifax, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has paid tribute to the sacrifices made by Canada’s military.
On his first official visit to the country, Mr Fallon laid a wreath at the National War Memorial to mark the contribution of Canadian service personnel, who have stood shoulder to shoulder with the UK from the First World War to today’s coalition operations against ISIL.
The ceremony had particular poignancy as the wreath was laid close to the site where Corporal Nathan Cirillo was murdered on 22 October, while standing guard at the memorial.
The Defence Secretary also visited a recently unveiled plaque to commemorate Victoria Cross winners who reside in Canada.
Later Mr Fallon will be flying to Halifax in Nova Scotia where he will meet the Canadian Minister for National Defence, Robert Nicholson, at the International Security Forum.
Discussions will cover the campaign against ISIL, follow up action arising from September’s NATO Summit in Newport and the international effort to contain and tackle Ebola.
Mr Fallon will conclude his visit with a tour of IMP Aerospace where he will see first-hand the significant cooperation between the UK and Canadian defence industries – IMP Aerospace works with AgustaWestland to support the Royal Canadian Air Force’s Cormorant search and rescue helicopter fleet.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:
During the First World War, the UK and Canada stood shoulder-to-shoulder in facing down aggression. In the centenary year of that conflict, I pay tribute to the 60,661 Canadian service personnel who lost their lives.
One hundred years later, I am proud that our two countries continue to stand together to confront threats to global stability from ISIL.
Our 2 countries share an immensely strong bond based upon our common heritage and unshakeable commitment to security around the world. It was therefore particularly poignant to lay a wreath where Corporal Cirillo died.
During a period of considerable global instability, let there be no doubt that the UK remains absolutely dedicated to maintaining and strengthening our deep and longstanding relationship with Canada.