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National News

PM Harper issues brief Christmas message

OTTAWA - Prime Minister Stephen Harper has issued a brief message to mark the Christmas season.

He says it is a time for ‘‘joyful reunions with family and friends, a time to reflect on our good fortune, and a time to remember those in our midst who have less.‘‘

Harper adds that as Canadians count their ‘‘many blessings,‘‘ he asks that we also ‘‘give a moment to our brave men and women in uniform.‘‘

Harper asks that we offer a ‘‘thought and a prayer for them and their families.‘‘

In his Christmas message issued early Wednesday, Governor General David Johnston also aimed his remarks at member of the military and their families.

He said the recent deaths of Forces members are a reminder of the stresses in the military and the mental health challenges personnel can face.

At least four apparent military suicides occurred this month in different parts of the country, reigniting a debate around how Canada treats returning veterans.

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