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99-year-old, Second World War veteran casts her ballot in Central Nova

WW2 Veteran Eileen Appleton, 99, voted in Canada's 43rd Federal election in her home riding of Central Nova.
WW2 Veteran Eileen Appleton, 99, voted in Canada's 43rd Federal election in her home riding of Central Nova. - Brendan Ahern

A 99-year-old veteran of the Second World War wants everyone to get out and exercise their civic rights.

“You must,” said Eileen Appleton of New Glasgow. “We’ve lucky to be able to do it.”

Today she cast her ballot for improved health care across the country.

“At my age what do I want? I’d like to see something that I know is impossible, which is equal access for medical services. It’s a provincial thing, and it shouldn’t be.”

Health care, while free across the country, differs in its administration and availability of services from province to province. An issue that’s been top of mind for many voters in Central Nova. Appleton says that she would want to see every Canadian getting the same quality of care.

“It shouldn’t matter how many people live in a place, they’re entitled, as Canadians, to the same benefits right across the country.”

Appleton came to Canada as a war bride in 1946 after serving her home country of England as a radar operator in the Royal Air Force. 

“I was in operations. We were below ground. We sat in front of what was then the forerunner of the television. Of course, it was very new then. You sat in front of the screen which would signal when aircraft were coming in,” she said.

"That was how I met my husband - he was a radar mechanic. He volunteered right at the beginning of the war, but he was too tall for the planes at the time, so he went into radar which was quite fascinating."

For Appleton, the decision to get out and vote was no decision at all and she had one message for anyone who hasn’t done it yet.

“Many people in the world don’t have the opportunity to vote and I think that you have to take advantage of that or it’ll be taken away from you.”


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