Legion offers free memberships

Royal Canadian Legion BC/Yukon Vice President, MCpl (Retired) John Scott

Royal Canadian Legion BC/Yukon Vice President, MCpl (Retired) John Scott


Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~

The Royal Canadian Legion is encouraging eligible current-serving Canadian Armed Forces members to take advantage of a free membership for 2020.

The free membership dues are part of the Legion’s Veteran’s Welcome Program and all Canadian Armed Forces personnel are eligible, provided they are becoming first-time members.

The Welcome Program waives the annual $50 membership dues. The new promotion is also open to employees of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

Royal Canadian Legion BC/Yukon Vice President, Master Corporal (Retired) John Scott says the best time for potential new members to join is “right now” so they can reap the biggest rewards from the promotion: a full year of comradery, community leadership and volunteer opportunities, access to member benefits, and a one-year subscription to Legion Magazine.

Scott, who served 18 years in the Canadian Army, is the BC/Yukon Legion’s Membership Committee Chair. He says the free membership promotion is part of the Legion’s efforts to reverse declining membership and the closures of Legion branches across the country.

In recent years, Canada’s non-profit, ex-service organization has seen its membership drop considerably. A 2018 story by The Globe and Mail reported that membership numbers had fallen from 604,000 members in 1984 to 275,000 members.

To combat the decline, the Legion has taken a new approach to its membership criteria. Until recently, membership was restricted to those who served and their immediate families, and graduated cadets. Today, members of the general public are also eligible to become members, advocate for veterans, and find meaningful community leadership and volunteer opportunities

Scott says stronger membership numbers gives the organization a stronger voice in Ottawa when advocating for veteran’s issues with organizations such as Veteran’s Affairs Canada. 

“We advocate for improvement for veterans and their pensions, support services, the way veterans are treated, along with a host of other issues,” said Scott. “The successful delivery of this message should also be of great concern for current-serving military members who will one day be veterans.”

For more information on how to become a member of your local legion branch visit the webpage:  www.legion.ca/join-us/free-membership-caf-rcmp

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