Purpose : Canada’s Largest Veterans Organization
There are many veterans’ organizations in Canada but the largest by far is The Royal Canadian Legion with 400,000 members and affiliates. The members belong to the following membership categories:
In addition, there are approximately 40,000 registered members of the Ladies Auxiliary who provide invaluable support to the Branches of the Legion and their fundraising activities. Serving members of the Canadian Forces may also join the “Military Member-At-Large” branch or a regular active branch.
The Legion is a non-profit, dues-supported, fraternal organization with approximately 1,600 branches in Canada, the United States, Germany and The Netherlands. The Legion receives no financial assistance from any outside agency and membership is open to all Canadian citizens and Commonwealth subjects who subscribe to the purposes and objects of the organization.
From the time of its formation in 1926, the Legion has focussed its efforts on the fight to secure adequate pensions and other well-earned benefits for veterans and their dependants. Acting as an advocacy agency on veterans’ behalf, the Legion deals directly with the Federal Government to ensure ex-military personnel and their dependants are treated fairly.
The Royal Canadian Legion has also assumed a major responsibility for perpetuating the tradition of Remembrance in Canada. Each year the Legion organizes and runs the National Poppy and Remembrance Campaign to remind Canadians of the tremendous debt we owe to the 117,000 men and women who have given their lives in the defence of Canada during two world wars, the Korean War and other military missions around the world. Contributions made during the campaign are used to assist needy veterans, ex-service members and their families.
The Legion also supports programs for seniors, particularly through direct community-level activities, the Legion Long term care Surveyor Program and a housing program. The Legion’s Youth program provides scholarships and bursaries, sports programs and support to activities such as cadets, scouts and guides.