"As police and peace officers do in Canada every day, these fallen officers stood for us against elements that threaten the safety and security of our communities" — Canada's Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney.
Ottawa (29 Sept. 2014) — Under beautiful sunny skies thousands of peace and police officers, from coast-to-coast-to-coast, gathered for a sombre service in memory of their comrades who had died while in the line of duty. Family members flew in from as far away as France to participate in the service.
"There's nothing we can say and there's nothing we can do that will ease the pain of your loss," said an emotional Dennis Brock, president of the Canadian Peace Officers' Memorial Association, as he spoke to the families of the fallen officers.
"All of us in the law enforcement family share your sorrow."
Nine names added to the memorial in 2014
The names of nine officers were added to the memorial this year.
• RCMP Const. Douglas Larche
• RCMP Const. Dave Ross
• RCMP Const. Fabrice Gevaudan
• Toronto Police Const. John Zivcic
• Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment conservation officer Justin Knackstedt
• Guelph Police Const. Jennifer Kovach
• Kativik Regional Police Const. Steve Dery
• Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Justice wildlife officer Howard Lavers
• RCMP Const. Adrian Oliver.
Speakers at the memorial noted that officers have been killed on duty at an alarming rate — six to eight officers a year for the last twenty-three years.
In 1978, the first Memorial honoured 14 officers. By 2014, the names of over 840 peace and police officers were engraved on the Honour Roll along the perimeter wall on Parliament Hill, overlooking the Ottawa River and the Supreme Court of Canada. The glass panels provide a lasting tribute to our heroes and ensure that future generations are reminded of the supreme sacrifices of fallen officers.
Strong contingent from National Union
As in the past, correctional officers and youth facility workers, members of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), met on September 25 and 26, prior to the memorial service. Across the country, reports of the dangerous situation are developing in provincial adult corrections due to over-crowding and the rise of inmates with mental health problems.
NUPGE's members marched in honour of their fallen comrades but also in hope that future tragedies could be prevented.
The day's ceremony began at 9 a.m. as officers read aloud the names of each of the police and peace officers who have died onduty over the years. There was then a march to Parliament Hill where officers were greeted by dignitaries and the general public.
In 1998, the federal government proclaimed the last Sunday in September as Police and Peace Officers' National Memorial Day. The Canadian Police and Peace Officers' Memorial Service gives Canadians an opportunity each year to formally express appreciation for the dedication of police and peace officers, who have contributed so much to our country.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE