Montreal QC – Friday, January 10, 2014 Today in Montreal, the True Patriot Love Foundation announced that the organization has assembled the largest expedition team in history to ski to the North Magnetic Pole. The team will be comprised of twelve Canadian soldiers who were injured while serving and twenty-four prominent Canadian business leaders. The goal of the expedition is to raise awareness of the physical and mental injuries that continue to impact Canadian soldiers even though Canada’s role in Afghanistan is winding down.
Led by renowned Canadian Arctic expert Richard Weber, the two-week cross-country ski expedition, presented by Scotiabank, will depart from Resolute Bay on April 21, 2014, and will be filmed for national coverage. The wounded soldiers and business leaders will be paired up to test their respective limits as they cross the perilous terrain in frigid temperatures. The True Patriot Love expedition will strive to inspire hope by highlighting the soldiers’ courage and determination post injury.
It is estimated that approximately 30% of the men and women who have deployed are suffering from an Operational Stress Injury, like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or depression. It is often years before veterans seek treatment, either because it takes time for the symptoms to progress or because of the stigma of mental illness.
“The recent troubling news of the four Canadian soldier suicides brings a special significance to this expedition. Canadians across the country will have the opportunity to get to know some of the veterans who are struggling and we are confident that their compelling stories will have a lasting impact,” said Paul Desmarais III, Chair of the TPL Expedition.
The civilian team will be led by True Patriot Love co-founder and Chair, Shaun Francis, Tim Hodgson, former Special Advisor to Governor Mark Carney of the Bank of Canada and current Managing Partner of Alignvest Capital Management, and Paul Desmarais III of Great-West Lifeco. Sponsors in addition to Scotiabank include Canada Goose, Power Corporation of Canada, Barclays, Bruce Etherington & Associates, Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP, Greensoil Investments, and Kruger Products.
The soldier team will be led by Lieutenant-Colonel David Quick and supervised by the team doctor, Lieutenant-Colonel Markus Besemann, and will meet for the first time on February 7, 2014 for an Arctic training camp in the Gatineau region.
“I am injured, but not broken. As a veteran, joining my peers under the support and guidance of Canada’s Top Civilian Leaders, I will be facing the challenges of the North Pole, hoping to find the path to recovery and healing.” said retired Leading Seaman Bruno Guvremont of the 2014 Soldier Team.
“Through the True Patriot Love Expedition and our newly launched Wounded Veterans Fund, Scotiabank is proud to support the brave, injured men and women who continue to serve our country each day. As a national corporation, we recognize the important of caring for our own military members, veterans, and families.” said Carole Chapdelaine, Scotiabank’s Senior Vice-President, Quebec and Eastern Ontario Region.
Soldier Team Members
Ron Cleroux, NS
Shauna Davies, QC
Adam de Bartok, ON
Bruno Guevremont, QC
Tim Haveman, BC
Dominique Kowlesaar ON
Andrew Knisley, ON
Daniel Lee, BC
Mathieu Levesque, QC
Annette Lockstein, ON
Jeremy Meyer, QC
Bjarne Nielsen, ON
Daniel Scott, BC
Sarah Travis, MB
Civilian Team Members
Peter Aghar, President, Crux Capital
Peter Bethlenfalvy formerly Manulife Financial Senior Vice-President
Eric Boyko, CEO, Stingray Digital
Philip Deck, CEO, Extuple
Paul Desmarais III , Vice-President, Risk Management, Great-West Life
Paul Desmarais Jr., CEO, Power Corp
Jim Fasano, Vice-President, CPPIB
Charles Field-Marsham, President, Kestrel Management
Shaun Francis, CEO, Medcan Health Management
Claudia Hepburn, Executive Director, Next 36
Tim Hodgson, Managing Partner, Alignvest
Daniel Labrecque, CEO, DNA Capital
Jim Leech, retired President and CEO of Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan
Andy Lennox, Senior Vice President, Scotiabank
Susan McArthur, Managing Partner, GreenSoil Investments
Dougal Macdonald, President, Morgan Stanley Canada
Francois Olivier, President and CEO, Transcontinental
Aaron Regent, Managing Partner, Magris Capital
Bruce Rothney, CEO, Barclays Canada
Sandy Skotnicki Medical Director, Bay Dermatology Centre
David Vickerman, Executive Director, Greystone Managed Investments
Bernard Voyer, Canadian Explorer and Mountaineer
Hayley Wickenheiser, Canada’s National Hockey Team Player
Geordie Young, Vice-President, Gluskin Sheff
About True Patriot Love Foundation:
True Patriot Love is a national not-for-profit organization that honours the sacrifices of members of the Canadian Forces, Veterans and their families by stepping in where government is unable to fund programs in family health and support, physical health and rehabilitation, and mental health and wellbeing. True Patriot Love’s first expedition was to the Himalayas where a team of injured soldiers and business leaders successfully summited Island Peak at 20,305 ft.
Scotiabank is committed to supporting the communities in which we live and work, both in Canada and abroad, through our global philanthropic program, Scotiabank Bright Future. Recognized as a leader internationally and among Canadian corporations for our charitable donations and philanthropic activities, Scotiabank has provided on average approximately $47 million annually to community causes around the world over each of the last five years. Visit www.scotiabank.com.
Hilary Coles, Expedition Director
True Patriot Love Foundation