Mr. Speaker, every year on the first Sunday of May Canadians remember and salute those who lost their lives in the Battle of the Atlantic. Canada played a significant role in the battle, which ran from September 1939 until the end of the second world war.
Starting from a tiny base of ships, aircraft and personnel, Canada grew into one of the foremost allied powers. While Canadian warships and aircraft sank and shared in the destruction of 50 U-boats, the main objective of Canada's Atlantic forces was protection of shipping. The outcome of the war was dependent on the Atlantic convoys reaching the United Kingdom.
However, participation came at a high cost. More than 2,000 members of the Royal Canadian Navy were killed during the war, the vast majority in the Battle of the Atlantic, and 750 members of the Royal Canadian Air Force died in maritime operations. The Book of Remembrance for the Merchant Navy lists over 1,600 Canadians and Newfoundlanders who served.
This Sunday I encourage all Canadians to remember those who lost their lives and to salute the veterans of the Battle of the Atlantic.