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The Late Sergeant James Patrick MacNeil


Hon. Michael L. MacDonald: Honourable senators, another Canadian was killed today in Afghanistan. Sergeant James MacNeil, a 28-year-old soldier from Glace Bay, Nova Scotia was murdered by an improvised explosive device, IED, not far from the Canadian base in Kandahar. It was not far from where another one of our brave soldiers, Sergeant Martin Goudreault, was killed only a few weeks ago.

Sergeant MacNeil joined the military right out of high school, was a 10-year veteran, and was on his fourth tour helping the people of Afghanistan. He was a member of 2 Combat Engineer Regiment based at CFB Petawawa and was serving in the 1st Battalion, the Royal Canadian Regiment Battlegroup.

"Jimmy," as he was known by his comrades, was not only an experienced and professional soldier but also a man with a big heart and an even bigger smile. Like many of his fellow Cape Bretoners, he would never say no to a social gathering, and usually ended up being the life of the party.

Like 147 of his fellow soldiers, Sergeant MacNeil paid the ultimate price to free the people of Afghanistan and to give them the security and stability they need to grow into a safe and thriving country. Improvised explosive devices, like the ones that killed Sergeant MacNeil and so many of our soldiers, are planted to terrify innocent civilians and to maim and murder those who would help them.

On behalf of the people of Cape Breton, I can say that we are all proud of Sergeant MacNeil's sacrifice. We extend our deepest condolences to his parents, Jim and Thelma; to the rest of his family; and to his many friends, both at home in Glace Bay and at the base in Petawawa. He will be sadly missed. God rest his soul and God bless his family. May perpetual light shine upon him.