March 18 2019 QUEEN’S PARK — Today in the legislature, MPP for Windsor-Tecumseh Percy Hatfield called on the Ontario Government to support the Highway of Heroes Tree Campaign. The initiative would pay tribute to all Canadians who have served in the military during a Canadian war by planting two million trees along the 401 Highway of Heroes. This living memorial would run along the 170-kilometre stretch of highway between Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Trenton and Toronto’s Don Valley Parkway.
Hatfield read the following statement in the House:
“Speaker, as you know I’m an army brat. I grew up on military bases. My dad, a career soldier, also served in the Second World War. I’ve been a member of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 255 for more than 30 years.
Today, it is an honour to tell you about an initiative along the 401 Highway of Heroes, which hopes to become the world’s largest living memorial. Canada has lost 117,000 men and women in military battles since Confederation. We had 159 killed in the war in Afghanistan, including Andrew Grenon, who was from Windsor. The bodies of these soldiers were flown home, repatriated at CFB Trenton, and driven to the coroner’s office in Toronto. That 170-kilometre trip became known as the Highway of Heroes.
The Highway of Heroes Tree Campaign will honour the women and men who have served our country while helping to clean the air, cool the environment and provide an inspired drive along an otherwise somewhat boring stretch of highway. A $10-million dollar fundraising campaign is already underway to help pay for this special project, and the organizers are about halfway to their target.
I hope the senior levels of government at both the federal and provincial level will support the campaign and kick in a good chunk of the money that’s left to be raised. Charitable tax receipts are given to all donors, and more information is available at HOHtribute.ca.
The Highway of Heroes Tree Campaign is unique, and I wish the organizers every success in achieving this remarkable goal.”