The Garrison Community Council (GCC) – A Brief History
In 2000, a group of concerned citizens from the London, Ontario area came together to examine the effects of military force reduction and base closures on the local community. They discovered that, despite the longevity of the military presence within their communities, there was a lack of connection with and awareness of the overall contribution that the military community made to their local area and the important role the Canadian Forces played in representing Canadian values and interests at home and abroad. In addition to the obvious loss in payroll revenues and operating expenses, they noted the loss of significant intangibles from the community; all of which affected the leadership, expertise and dedication to community service exposed by the military community.
To bridge this disconnect, they brought together community leaders and professionals from various service groups, associations, educational institutions, government, emergency services, as well as interested individuals and the military community, to form Canada’s first Garrison Community Council. The Community Council concept originated with Honorary Colonel Tom Lawson. Commanding Officers, Honorary Colonels and Senate members from HMCS Prevost, 1st Hussars, The Elgin Regiment, 4th Battalion The Royal Canadian Regiment and the 22nd (London) Service Battalion. All contributed to the process that created the Garrison Community Council.
To keep up with the times, the GCC has refined its purpose, objectives and approach while still maintaining its mission statement.
GCC Mission Statement:
To build greater understanding and support of the Canadian Forces within the civilian community.