November 3, 2017


OTTAWA, November 3, 2017 - VIA Rail will be distributing poppies on its trains across the country until November 11 to mark Remembrance Day and pay tribute to the military community. In addition, some VIA Rail cars will have a large poppy decal on their exterior – the flower used to commemorate soldiers who have died in war and,on Saturday, November 11, all VIA Rail trains will collectively sound their whistles at 11 a.m.This morning, Royal Canadian Legion (“Legion”) Dominion President David Flannigan and VIA Rail Canada President and Chief Executive Officer Yves Desjardins-Siciliano launched, for the fourth year running, the national poppy-on board campaign at VIA Rail’s station in Ottawa.

“This November millions of Canadians will be honouring Veterans, Canadian Armed Forces members and the brave women and men who have made incredible sacrifices in our defence over the years. One of the ways Canadians recognize this is by wearing the red poppy in remembrance of those who fell in service. It is encouraging to see companies like VIA Rail supporting and remembering Canada’s Veterans.”
— Hon. Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence

“We salute VIA Rail for their special initiative to bring the spirit of Remembrance to all Canadians. It’s an incredible visual reminder of the deep sacrifices that ensured our freedoms today. The poppy itself goes beyond the symbolic because during the National Poppy Campaign all donations made during a trip with VIA or elsewhere in our communities, have a very tangible outcome – they go towards helping Veterans and their families for crucial things like Veteran transition programs or educational bursaries for Veterans’ children. On behalf of Veterans, we thank Canadians for their generosity.”
— David Flannigan, Dominion President, Royal Canadian Legion

“Throughout the year, VIA Rail shows its gratitude to the members of the military community with more than 30 initiatives designed to support the men and women who protect us at home and abroad. The 30,000 poppies that will be given out to our passengers remind us of the sacrifices made by members of the armed forces and Veterans in the name of freedom for all Canadians. It is our duty and our pleasure to salute the work, dedication and courage of the military family.”
— Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, President and Chief Executive Officer, VIA Rail Canada


VIA Rail and the military community
Maintaining a long and proud tradition of supporting members of the military and Veteran communities, VIA Rail has worked with governments and representatives of the Canadian military community to valorize the work of those who served or are serving Canada, and contribute to their well-being and that of their families.

VIA Rail's approach is based on four pillars:

1. 25% Offer to Military, Veterans and their Families

VIA Rail offers members of the Canadian Armed Forces, as well as Veterans and their families, a 25% discount on its best fares. Since 2010, more than 200,000 members of the military community have used this offer to travel onboard VIA Rail trains.


2. Support to Military and Veteran Community Organizations

VIA Rail has entered into various partnerships with organizations such as the Canada Company Military Employment Transition Program, as well as the Commissionaire’s MISSION EMPLOI, both of which help former Canadian military members make the transition to civilian life. VIA Rail also supports the military community through partnerships with the Royal Canadian Legion’s national Poppy Campaign, True Patriot Love, Wounded Warriors Canada, Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services, and the Canadian Army Run. VIA Rail has also partnered with the Vimy Foundation, and contributed to building a new Education Centre for First World War History and the 100th anniversary of victory at the Battle of Vimy Ridge in France, which stands near the current Canadian commemorative monument.


3. Civilian Military Transition - Military / Veteran Employment

VIA Rail has a very active and disciplined approach to integrating returning Veterans into its workforce, or encourage its employees to join the reserve, to stand ready to defend the country’s rights and freedoms, or continue to support peace and freedom around the world.


4. Support for the Reservist community working at VIA Rail.

Over the past few years, VIA Rail has increased its efforts to support Canada’s Reserve Forces. The Crown Corporation has, among other initiatives, worked with its Reservist employees to implement a new leave policy allowing employees who are in the Reserves to continue their military training or participate in temporary missions during military operations in Canada and abroad.

In fact, thanks to this policy, VIA Rail was awarded the Most Supportive Employer in Canada by the Canadian Forces Liaison Council.

For more details on VIA Rail initiatives, visit its military community website at:

Official photo at Ottawa station of the National poppy campaign


Photo: This morning, Royal Canadian Legion Dominion President David Flannigan and VIA Rail Canada President and Chief Executive Officer Yves Desjardins-Siciliano launched, for the fourth year running, the national poppy-on board campaign at VIA Rail’s station in Ottawa. 


About The Royal Canadian Legion
Founded in 1925, the Legion is Canada’s largest Veteran support and community service organization. We are a non-profit organization with a national reach across Canada as well as branches in the U.S., Europe and Mexico. With more than 275,000 members, many of whom volunteer an extraordinary amount of time to their branches, our strength is in our numbers.

About VIA Rail Canada
As Canada's national rail passenger service, VIA Rail ( and its 2,700 employees are mandated to provide safe, efficient and economical passenger transportation service, in both official languages of our country. VIA Rail operates intercity, regional and transcontinental trains linking over 400 communities across Canada, and about 180 more communities through intermodal partnerships, and safely transports nearly four million passengers annually. The Corporation was awarded five Safety Awards and three Environment Awards by the Railway Association of Canada since 2007. For more information, visit: