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Letter: Gélinas says Legions need financial support as pandemic hits bottom line

Some in the Nickel Belt area face possibility of closure, says MPP
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Editor’s note: The following is an open letter to Ontario Premier Doug Ford.

I am writing on behalf of the Royal Canadian Legions, and the many veterans, in my riding of Nickel Belt. 

Numerous Legion branches in Nickel Belt are facing financial stress due to significant revenue loss following COVID-19 directives. As not-for-profit organizations, the Legions rely on hall rentals, canteen sales, fish frys and fundraisers to sustain their day-to-day operations and to raise the funds that support our veterans, older adults and our communities. 

The Legions in Nickel Belt have expressed their worries to me that, while almost all of their income-generating activities were forced to halt due to the mandated closures, their fixed costs - hydro, utilities, insurance etc. – have not gone down. 

In addition, Legions were advised on May 20 that their insurance provider has denied their “Business Interruption Loss” claims. The branches in Nickel Belt have lost thousands of dollars over the last several months and some are concerned about the possibility of having to close permanently. 

Premier, the Legions in Nickel Belt are a very important part of our communities. They need support immediately to get through the pandemic. 

I appreciate your attention to this matter and look forward to your response.

France Gélinas, MPP, Nickel Belt