$4 million upgrade at Veterans Cemetery in Esquimalt nears completion

News release

4 March 2020—Esquimalt, British Columbia—Veterans Affairs Canada

Canada’s Veterans and those who gave their lives in service deserve our greatest recognition and appreciation. Their grave sites—maintained in perpetuity by the Government of Canada—serve as a lasting symbol of remembrance for future generations.

Today, the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, visited the Veterans Cemetery—commonly known as God’s Acre—in Esquimalt to highlight the recent expansion and upgrades made to the Veteran grave sites, cemetery grounds and surrounding area. The project is expected to be completed this spring.

Over the last five years, Veterans Affairs Canada has invested close to $4 million to improve and expand Veterans Cemetery. The expansion and improvements allow for an additional 1,400 internment spaces—both in‑ground and columbariums.

In addition to the new interment spaces, a new building was built for the caretaker and their equipment, along with office space for department employees responsible for grave marker inspection and maintenance. The work also included upgrades to the roads and pathways, along with a new drainage system.

Veterans Affairs Canada owns and operates the Veterans Cemetery in Esquimalt, British Columbia. The cemetery—an honoured final resting place for more than 2,500 military personnel—was projected to reach its capacity by the end of 2016. In response, Veterans Affairs Canada acquired a parcel of land from the Gorge Vale Golf Course. The acquisition and expansion ensured that the cemetery would remain a burial option for Veterans and their families for years to come.

Quotes

“Years of hard work and dedication has led to the incredible transformation here at God’s Acre—a reflection of Canada’s pride and respect for Veterans. As future generations walk through these rows and read the inscriptions on the grave markers, I hope that they will understand what Canadians have achieved and sacrificed in the cause of peace and freedom.”

The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence

Quick facts

  • Veterans Affairs Canada owns and operates the Veterans Cemetery in Esquimalt, British Columbia—an honoured final resting place for more than 2,500 military personnel.

  • Veterans Affairs Canada has invested close to $4 million over the past five years to improve and complete the expansion at Veterans Cemetery.

  • The Veterans Cemetery expansion provides approximately 1,400 new interment spaces for both Veterans and their spouses.

  • If you know of a Veteran gravesite that requires maintenance or is unmarked, please contact Grave Marker Maintenance at Veterans Affairs Canada.

  • The Government of Canada’s investments in God’s Acre come from two sources.

    • From 2015 to 2019, the Department invested $1.9 million of its own operational funding for the expansion of the cemetery for both in-ground and niche interments (columbarium project).
    • Budget 2018 provided $24.4 million for Grave and Cemetery Maintenance across Canada including major projects such as the renovations and upgrades to the Veteran’s Cemetery in Esquimalt. About $1.88 million of this was used for the upgrades and renovations to the Veteran’s Cemetery in Esquimalt

Associated links

Contacts

Media Relations
Veterans Affairs Canada
613-992-7468
vac.media-medias.acc@canada.ca

John Embury
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
john.embury@canada.ca


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