Visit of the French Junior Minister for Veterans [fr]
Kader Arif, French Junior Minister for Veterans at the Ministry of Defence, conducted an official visit to Canada on September 3rd to 6th, 2013.
He visited Ottawa, Montreal, and Quebec City. While in Ottawa, Mr. Arif met with his counterpart, the honourable Julian Fantino, and laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Visit to Canada and Quebec by Kader Arif, Minister for Veterans at the Ministry of Defense (September 3–6, 2013)
As one of France’s friend and ally nations, Canada contributed to ground war efforts on French soil during global conflicts. As we commemorate the centenary of the First World War and the 70th anniversary of the liberation of France, France would like to fully include Canada in the ceremonies to be organized in France.
With this in mind, Minister Arif will meet with his counterpart, the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs in Ottawa. After this meeting, the two ministers will take part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. They will then attend a preview screening of the documentary Apocalypse, the First World War [Apocalypse, la 1ere Guerre Mondiale] at the Residence of France.
In Montreal, at a ceremony attended by veterans at La Place du Souvenir Français, Minister Arif will pay tribute to fallen Franco-Canadian soldiers. Afterwards, he will meet with heads of various associations at La Maison du Combattant. The Minister will conclude his visit at the Residence of France for a reception that will be attended by veterans and representatives of the French community.
In Quebec City, the Minister will be greeted at La Citadelle by Lt. Colonel Laforest, Commander of the 2nd battalion, Royal 22e Régiment (2 R22eR). They will visit the Vimy Cross, where they will be met by an R22eR honour guard and by representatives of French and Canadian veterans. After a ceremony commemorating soldiers fallen in combat, the Minister will go to the Residence of France where he will meet with the presidents and other members of the French veterans’ associations in Quebec, as well as with Robert Zonda, Deputy Minister for Le Souvenir Français.