Le Lézard
Subjects: VET, CFG

Ministers of Veterans Affairs and National Defence mark 25th anniversary of 1998 Ice Storm and Operation RECUPERATION

OTTAWA, ON, Jan. 8, 2023 /CNW/ - The largest domestic military deployment in Canadian history was launched 25 years ago today when Canadian Armed Forces members began deploying in eastern Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick in the wake of a devastating ice storm that pummelled the region.

For several days in early January 1998, a prolonged period of freezing rain and ice pellets toppled thousands of trees, snapped power lines, and turned roads into skating rinks. With power grids devastated, millions were without lights, central heating, running water, refrigeration and hot meals during one of the coldest months of the year. Approximately 35 people died as a result of the storm, almost 1,000 were injured, and more than 600,000 were temporarily displaced.

Through Operation RECUPERATION, some 15,000 regular and reserve force personnel from approximately 200 different military units from coast to coast helped those who had been affected by the storm. Soldiers cleared debris, rescued stranded people and animals, sheltered and fed tens of thousands of people who had been forced out of their homes, and supported farms that had been impacted by the storm. They also shared their specialized expertise, with military engineers and technicians working around the clock to help crews repair downed power and telephone lines. 

The troops who took part in this operation carried on a proud military tradition of helping maintain order and ensure the safety and security of their fellow citizens. A quarter century later, Canadians remain grateful to them for the heavy work they did to help communities recover from the Ice Storm of 1998. 


"In January 1998, Canada's women and men in uniform stepped up to help right here at home during the ice storm that devastated eastern Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick. Working day and night in harsh winter conditions, our troops played a vital role in the disaster relief operation. Twenty five years later, we thank them for keeping our people safe and helping our communities recover." 

The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence

"Whether at home or abroad, our Canadian Armed Forces are always ready to answer the call when their assistance is needed. Such was the case 25 years ago in the largest deployment since the Korean War, when more than 15,000 CAF members left their homes and families over the holidays to help their fellow Canadians during a crisis. We will always remember their tireless dedication, and we thank them for their service."

The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence

Associated links:

1998 Ice Storms

25th anniversary of the 1998 Ice Storm

SOURCE Veterans Affairs Canada

News published on and distributed by: