Canada invests in five projects commemorating No. 2 Construction Battalion in Nova Scotia

HALIFAX, NS, July 6, 2024 /CNW/ – Members of No. 2 Construction Battalion showed resilience, determination and strength in the face of adversity. Overcoming racism both at home and overseas, their commitment to the war effort was unwavering. They deserve recognition for the sacrifices they made to serve Canada.

Today, at the annual No. 2 Construction Battalion Remembrance Ceremony in Nova Scotia, Minister Fraser, on behalf of Ministers Petitpas Taylor and Blair, announced an investment for five new projects based in Nova Scotia, totaling over $124,000 to support education, remembrance and honouring of No. 2 Construction Battalion and their families.

This funding supports projects such as a new memorial, exhibits, community events and research projects to honour the memory and legacy of No. 2 Construction Battalion—the first and only all-Black battalion-sized formation in Canadian military history. 

This announcement follows the historic apology to the descendants of the battalion by the Prime Minister and the Minister of National Defence in July 2022. In preparation for the apology, DND/CAF worked with the NAAC, who issued a report outlining eight recommendations to make the apology meaningful for No. 2 Construction Battalion descendants.

Another call for applications will open later this fall.


“At home and overseas, in times of war, military conflict and peace, Canadians stepped up to serve their country when it was needed most. For members of No.2 Construction Battalion, the service and sacrifices they and their families made have never been properly honoured. Through this program, our government is supporting the recognition and understanding of the experiences of many Black Canadians who endured discrimination even as they served our country during the First World War.”

The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence

“Members of No. 2 Construction Battalion, their families and their descendants deserve recognition and acknowledgement for the sacrifices they made to serve Canada. Despite their commitment to fighting for Canada, they unfairly faced discrimination, but they showed immense resilience and continued to serve their country. The Government of Canada remains committed to providing funding for educational events and remembrance activities of No. 2 Construction Battalion, so that Canadians can learn and commemorate the legacy of these brave men.”

The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence

“Those who served in No. 2 Construction Battalion were determined to serve their country, no matter the obstacles they faced. Many individuals who served in the battalion were from Nova Scotia, the province where the battalion was formed. Today, I am proud to help announce the funding for these five projects that will help commemorate those brave Canadians, their service and sacrifices.”

The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities of Canada

Quick facts

  • No. 2 Construction Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF), also known as the Black Battalion, was created on 5 July 1916, during the First World War.
  • Following the end of the First World War, the unit was officially disbanded on 15 September 1920, without ceremony or recognition for their service or sacrifices on behalf of Canada.
  • The investment was announced in November 2023, at an event hosted by the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia, a long-standing champion of the legacy of No. 2 Construction Battalion.
  • In 2024-25, the Department of National Defence (DND)/Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) is allocating $250,000 in dedicated funding to address one of the recommendations outlined by the National Apology Advisory Committee (NAAC) by creating opportunities for education, remembrance and honouring of No. 2 Construction Battalion. The funding is provided through Veterans Affairs Canada’s Commemorative Partnership Program (CPP).
  • An additional two million dollars will be provided to the CPP by DND/CAF, over the next four years, to invest in commemorative projects honouring No. 2 Construction Battalion.
  • The CPP provides funding to organizations that honour the contributions and sacrifices of Canadian Veterans and those who died in service.

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SOURCE Veterans Affairs Canada – Ottawa

Canada invests in five projects commemorating No. 2 Construction Battalion in Nova Scotia WeeklyReviewer

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