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CO’s Message – 30 August 2020

posted Aug 30, 2020, 11:32 AM by 700Squadron Web   [ updated Aug 30, 2020, 11:36 AM ]

Hello Everyone,


Well, it is getting very close to the start of a new training year for us at 700 Sqn. It has been a long and different kind of summer to which none of us have been accustomed. There was, and still is, the constant concern over the COVID-19 situation, no Cadet summer training, and the uncertainty that this will continue for a while yet.


The staff at 700 has been busy preparing for the new reality of this coming training year. For those that may not know, the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) will not be issuing evening school use permits for the fall session (09 Sept to 31 Dec). This move has effectively left us without a home to gather, parade and perform in-person instruction. Bear in mind that we are not the only Cadet unit in this position. Many units have been affected in the same manner and all are looking for other locations to allow in-person training, albeit with the proper physical distancing and sanitization aspects.


Unfortunately, due to our size (200 plus Cadets and adult staff) it makes the job of finding a location to allow us to gather in larger numbers much more difficult. The Squadron Sponsoring Committee (SSC) along with the officer Staff are looking at ways that we can come together in large or small groups to hold in-person training. 


For the meantime, we will be holding our training via virtual means. Lt Fonseca and CV Ward have been working on the virtual training delivery platform for a while now and will be ready to have it operational before we start up at the beginning of October 2020. 


We are living in a different reality so it will take a bit of time getting used to. But the Staff, SSC and senior Cadets are committed to making this work and ensuring that no single Cadet will lose out. As always, you get what you put into it. We promise to do our best to keep every Cadet engaged and fulfill their training requirements.


There still will be planned group activities along with training days (weekends), but there will be no overnight activities until we are cleared by command. We will also not be allowed to fundraise through tagging. This will be an issue because we rely on the monies from tagging to enhance our delivery of the program.


For returning Cadets, CI Vertkas (Administration Officer) will be emailing your enrollment/validation forms to the email listed in our files. If you haven’t received them by 09 September, please contact CI Vertkas. For new recruits, the enrollment forms, along with all details, are posted on our Website (www.700sqn.com). New recruits can begin completing and sending in their forms after 09 September as well. That way we can get the proper information, and have you set up for the virtual instruction as soon as we are ready to go.


On another note, I have two announcements to make. Because we were not able to have our end of year Annual Ceremonial Review last year, I was not able to announce the recipients of the Lord Strathcona Medal and the Royal Canadian Legion Medal of Excellence. To that end I am pleased to inform all that our Lord Strathcona Medal recipient is WO1 C. Alagesan and the Royal Canadian Legion Medal of Excellence is WO2 H. Fernandes. They have both been notified in advance of their medals. Keep an eye on the squadron website to see a picture of them with their medals. Congratulations to the both of them. Their hard work and commitment to the squadron and the program is what facilitated this great honour.


As I have said in many of my past messages, this situation will pass and in time will be a memory and shared experience that all will look back on in wonderment. I hope to see all of you at least virtually shortly and hopefully in-person soon after. 


Stay Safe and Best Regards,


Maj J. Tornabene

700 Sqn

Commanding Officer

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