Media Advisory - Governor General Presents 52 Meritorious Service Decorations (Civil Division)

OTTAWA, June 21, 2016 /CNW/ - His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, will present the Meritorious Service Decorations (Civil Division) to 52 recipients from various sectors across the country on Thursday, June 23, 2016, at 10:30 a.m., during a ceremony at Rideau Hall. On this occasion, the Governor General will present 17 Meritorious Service Crosses and 35 Meritorious Service Medals.

"I'm very proud to present the Meritorious Service Decorations, which gives me a chance, on behalf of all Canadians, to confer this honour on people who perform exceptional deeds and activities," said the Governor General. "Congratulations to all of the recipients, who inspire us to find our passions, to show compassion and to make this a smarter and more caring world."

About the Meritorious Service Decorations (Civil Division)
The Meritorious Service Decorations are separated into military and civil divisions, with two levels each: a cross and a medal. Created in 1991, the Civil Division recognizes individuals who have performed an exceptional deed or activity that brought honour to their community or to Canada. For more information or to nominate a deserving Canadian, visit www.merit.gg.ca.   

The ceremony schedule, the list of recipients and their citations, as well as a fact sheet on the Meritorious Service Decorations (Civil Division) are attached.

Media wishing to cover this event are requested to confirm their attendance with the
Rideau Hall Press Office, and should arrive at the Princess Anne entrance no later than
10:15 a.m. on the day of the ceremony.

Follow GGDavidJohnston and RideauHall on Facebook and Twitter #MakesCanadaProud

CEREMONY SCHEDULE

 

10:30 a.m.:

Ceremony begins


Remarks by the Governor General


Governor General presents the decorations

11:40 p.m.:

Ceremony ends

12:00 p.m.:

Interviews with recipients

 

RECIPIENTS

MERITORIOUS SERVICE CROSS

 

Michael Andrew Burns, M.S.C.

Toronto, Ont.

Chief Superintendent Craig J. Callans, O.O.M, M.S.C.

Vancouver, B.C.

Jacques Corcos, M.S.C.

Montréal, Que.

Paul Dubé, M.S.C.

Edmonton, Alta.

Edwina Jarvis Eddy, M.S.C.

Ottawa, Ont.

Andréanne Emard, M.S.C.

The Hague, Netherlands

Shaun Francis, M.S.C.

Toronto, Ont.

Mike Frastacky, M.S.C.

(posthumous)

Vancouver, B.C.

Sergeant Cristopher Gastaldo, M.S.C.

Ottawa, Ont.

Superintendent James R. D. Gresham, M.O.M., M.S.C.

Vancouver, B.C.

Janet Longmore, M.S.C.

Chelsea, Que.

Jean-Claude Mahé, M.S.C.

Montréal, Que.

Corporal Benoit J. S. Maure, M.S.C.

Ottawa, Ont.

Sergeant Major Alan Daniel McCambridge, M.S.C.

Yellowknife, N.W.T.

Inspector Trent Rolfe, M.O.M., M.S.C.

Vancouver, B.C.

James Drewry Stewart, M.S.C.

(posthumous)

Toronto, Ont.

Hannah Taylor, M.S.C.

Winnipeg, Man.

 

MERITORIOUS SERVICE MEDAL

 

Tammy Aristilde, M.S.M.

Kingston, Ont.

Martin A. E. Bergmann, M.S.M.

(posthumous)

Winnipeg, Man.

Alexandre Bilodeau, M.S.M.

Montréal, Que.

Esther Bryan, M.S.M.

Williamstown, Ont.

Gavin Buchan, M.S.M.

Ottawa, Ont.

Anthony G. Clark, M.S.M.

(posthumous)

Guelph, Ont.

Geneviève Dechêne, M.S.M.

Montréal, Que.

Ivan X. de Souza, M.S.M.

Etobicoke, Ont.

Armand Calixte Doucet, M.S.M.

Moncton, N.B.

Lee Durdon, M.S.M.

Brantford, Ont.

Elizabeth Elliott, M.S.M.

(posthumous)

Vancouver, B.C.

Angela Elster, M.S.M.

Westport, Ont.

Nicolino Frate, M.S.M.

Montréal, Que.

Lisa Glithero, M.S.M.

Chelsea, Que.

Zabeen Hirji, M.S.M.

Toronto, Ont.

Deborah Kerr, M.S.M.

Caledonia, Ont.

Allan H. Kristofferson, M.S.M.

Gimli, Man.

Pierre Legault, M.S.M.

Dorval, Que.

Barbara Ruth Marian, M.S.M.

Colborne, Ont.

Deborah Maskens, M.S.M.

Guelph, Ont.

René L. Matthey, M.S.M.

(posthumous)

Ottawa, Ont.

Brian McKeever, M.S.M.

Canmore, Alta.

Robin McKeever, M.S.M.

Canmore, Alta.

Wyatt McWilliams, M.S.M.

This is the second Meritorious Service Medal (Civil Division) awarded to Mr. McWilliams.

Navan, Ont.

Vincent Charles Pawis, O.Ont., M.S.M.

Nobel, Ont.

Ben Peterson, M.S.M.

Caledonia, Ont.

Félix Saint-Denis, M.S.M.

Ottawa, Ont.

Alexander George Salki, M.S.M.

Winnipeg, Man.

Mary Suzanne Saunders-Matthey, M.S.M. (posthumous)

Ottawa, Ont.

Ellen Schwartz, M.S.M.

Toronto, Ont.

Jeffrey Schwartz, M.S.M.

Toronto, Ont.

Alexandra Sicotte-Lévesque, M.S.M.

Montréal, Que. and Brooklyn, New York

Michael Stainton, M.S.M.

Elie, Man.

Mike Stevens, M.S.M.

Sarnia, Ont.

Anne-Marie Zajdlik, O.Ont., M.S.M.

Rockwood, Ont.

 

CITATIONS

MERITORIOUS SERVICE CROSS

Michael Andrew Burns, M.S.C.
Shaun Francis, M.S.C.
Toronto, Ontario

Co-founders of the True Patriot Love Foundation, Michael Andrew Burns and Shaun Francis developed a network of support for military members, veterans and their families. Thanks to them, True Patriot Love funds mental health care, physical rehabilitation, career transition and family services in support of those who serve.

Chief Superintendent Craig J. Callans, O.O.M, M.S.C.
Vancouver, British Columbia
Andréanne Emard, M.S.C.
The Hague, Netherlands
Sergeant Cristopher Gastaldo, M.S.C.
Ottawa, Ontario
Superintendent James R. D. Gresham, M.O.M., M.S.C.
Vancouver, British Columbia
Corporal Benoit J. S. Maure, M.S.C.
Ottawa, Ontario
Sergeant Major Alan Daniel McCambridge, M.S.C.
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
Christopher Graham Mowbray, M.S.C.
London, England
Inspector Trent Rolfe, M.O.M., M.S.C.
Vancouver, British Columbia

Within hours of learning of journalist Melissa Fung's kidnapping in Afghanistan, the RCMP assembled this multidisciplinary team of volunteers to investigate and secure her release. Despite the hostile environment, this team overcame many political and cultural obstacles, and established critical alliances with military and government organizations. They cultivated vital intelligence, processed critical leads and gathered quality evidence, which eventually pressured kidnappers into releasing Ms. Fung 28 days later.

Jacques Corcos, M.S.C.
Montréal, Quebec

Montréal-based urologist Dr. Jacques Corcos established Fondation Mères du Monde en Santé to reduce the rates of maternal mortality and post-delivery obstetric fistula in Africa. Twice a year, he organizes medical missions to Burkina Faso to perform surgical procedures on young women—often teenage mothers—who have suffered severe trauma during childbirth. He also trains local midwives and doctors.

Paul Dubé, M.S.C.
Jean-Claude Mahé, M.S.C.
Angéline Martel, M.S.C.
Edmonton, Alberta and Montréal, Quebec

Concerned parents Paul Dubé, Jean-Claude Mahé and Angéline Martel helped ensure access to quality education for minority Francophone communities across Canada. Their advocacy work set a legal precedent that resulted in parents obtaining the right to representation on school boards with the goal of improving minority language instruction and facilities. These efforts have strengthened Canada's identity as a bilingual and inclusive nation.

Edwina Jarvis Eddy, M.S.C.
Ottawa, Ontario

Following her son's death from leukemia, Edwina Jarvis Eddy launched Candlelighters Canada, an organization that developed support networks for families who have lost a child to cancer. Now known as the Childhood Cancer Canada Foundation, it also funds research into pediatric cancers and delivers education programs. Through her tireless efforts, she has helped numerous critically ill children and their families.

Mike Frastacky, M.S.C. (posthumous)
Vancouver, British Columbia

Mike Frastacky, a carpenter by trade, put his own life at great risk as he built the Maktab Hazrat Osman School in the low-literacy area of Nahrin, Afghanistan. He empowered the community to take ownership of the school and operate it themselves. Despite his death in Afghanistan, the school remains open to a thousand girls and boys from 10 nearby villages.

Janet Longmore, M.S.C.
Chelsea, Quebec

Social entrepreneur Janet Longmore is the founder, president and CEO of Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT), an organization dedicated to providing youth-led educational and leadership programs in the developing world. As much as DOT is recognized as a model of international social enterprise, Ms. Longmore also sets a shining example of Canadian social leadership for women around the world.

James Drewry Stewart, M.S.C. (posthumous)
Toronto, Ontario

Dr. James Drewry Stewart was a brilliant mathematician, a gifted violinist and an influential philanthropist. He turned his home, the Integral House, into a hosting venue that has launched artists' careers, and ensured funding for arts and scientific organizations. His generous perpetual gift of the space will ensure ongoing support for architecture students, renowned artists and aspiring musicians alike.

Hannah Taylor, M.S.C.
Winnipeg, Manitoba

At the age of eight, Hannah Taylor created The Ladybug Foundation to encourage others to treat homeless people with dignity and to raise funds for groups providing food and shelter to the needy. Through her "Big Boss" lunches, where she addresses members of the business community, and through educational curriculum-based programs for teachers, she continues to inspire Canadians of all ages to get involved and make a difference.

MERITORIOUS SERVICE MEDAL

Tammy Aristilde, M.S.M.
Kingston, Ontario

In 2008, Tammy Aristilde founded Helping Haiti, an organization dedicated to supporting development projects in Cité Soleil, Port-au-Prince's poorest and most dangerous neighbourhood. Through her tireless efforts, the volunteer-run group dedicates 100 per cent of donations to funding such programs as the construction of a water tower and a medical clinic, first aid training for young men in gangs, and self-defence training for young women.

Martin A. E. Bergmann, M.S.M. (posthumous)
Winnipeg, Manitoba

A tireless ambassador of Arctic studies and a leader in rejuvenating research infrastructure in the North, Martin Bergmann excelled as director of Natural Resources Canada's Polar Continental Shelf Program. A scientist and administrator, he also shared the northern experience with Canadians through groundbreaking documentaries of the Northwest Passage. His efforts helped to bring Canada's North to greater prominence, both at home and abroad.

Alexandre Bilodeau, M.S.M.
Montréal, Quebec

Alexandre Bilodeau is an accomplished freestyle skier with 19 World Cup medals and the first Olympic gold medal won by a Canadian on Canadian soil. He is also a national spokesperson for youth with disabilities who contributes time and money to the Canadian Association of Paediatric Health Centres. In 2012, he and his brother served as Canada's ambassadors for World Cerebral Palsy Day.

Esther Bryan, M.S.M.
Williamstown, Ontario

Esther Bryan has been the driving force behind the Quilt of Belonging, a work of art consisting of 263 unique, 11-inch fabric squares that represent the Indigenous peoples and immigrant cultures woven into Canada's heritage. Handcrafted by hundreds of volunteers, the Quilt has travelled from coast to coast to coast, delivering its message of diversity and belonging.

Gavin Buchan, M.S.M.
Ottawa, Ontario

Despite the sensitive political and cultural atmosphere in Afghanistan in 2006, Gavin Buchan expertly navigated the shifting political landscape as Canada's political director of the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team. In this role, he fostered effective partnerships with international organizations, militaries, governments and village elders. His efforts in establishing democratic structures laid the groundwork for security and development in the region.

Anthony G. Clark, M.S.M. (posthumous)
Deborah Maskens, M.S.M.
Guelph, Ontario

Anthony G. Clark and Deborah Maskens founded Kidney Cancer Canada, the country's first patient-led advocacy and survivorship organization for kidney cancer patients. Despite suffering from the disease themselves, they not only helped overwhelmed patients access information, support and treatments, but also played a crucial role in the approval of and funding for life-extending drugs, saving hundreds of lives throughout the country.

Geneviève Dechêne, M.S.M.
Montréal, Quebec

Dedicated to helping patients on their last journey, Dr. Geneviève Dechêne established a medical team that provides on-call, 24-hour-a-day, in-home palliative care services in Verdun. Thanks to this unique program, individuals nearing the end stages of their lives can remain in the comfort of their own homes, surrounded by loved ones and a familiar medical team.

Ivan X. de Souza, M.S.M.
Etobicoke, Ontario

Committed to standardizing and improving oncology care, Ivan de Souza was instrumental in the creation of the de Souza Institute, which provides professional development and career counselling to Ontario nurses treating cancer patients. Since the Institute opened its doors in 2008, there has been such a phenomenal increase in the number of nurses certified as specialized in oncology in Ontario that other provinces have started sending nurses there for training.

Armand Calixte Doucet, M.S.M.
Moncton, New Brunswick

Armand Calixte Doucet's foundation, Ironwill, promotes a healthy lifestyle as a means of improving health, school performance, self-confidence and happiness. Leading by example, he ran 30 km a day for 29 consecutive days and 90 km on the 30th day to challenge others to be active for 30 extra minutes a day. Ironwill also organizes youth expeditions and community runs to raise funds for local programs and to promote physical activity.

Lee Durdon, M.S.M.
Brantford, Ontario

After receiving a diagnosis of Sjögren's syndrome, an autoimmune disorder that affects over
400 000 Canadians, Lee Durdon started the Sjögren's Society of Canada to support other patients and increase awareness of this often-misdiagnosed condition. Her determination and organizational skills have resulted in an annual educational conference, research grants and greater access to health care for those affected by the disorder.

Elizabeth Elliott, M.S.M. (posthumous)
Vancouver, British Columbia

As a founding co-director of the Centre for Restorative Justice at Simon Fraser University,
Dr. Elizabeth Elliott expanded public knowledge and awareness of restorative justice across Canada. She brought together academics, justice officers, prisoners, victims and community members in their restorative journeys, and nurtured community healing and capacity building.

Angela Elster, M.S.M.
Westport, Ontario

Angela Elster founded the Learning Through The Arts program with the Royal Conservatory of Music to help educators integrate arts-based activities into core subjects like math, science and social studies. As vice-president, she has fostered the program's growth by partnering with countless teachers and reaching over 350 000 students in the past 10 years.

Nicolino Frate, M.S.M.
Montréal, Quebec

After volunteering with Gay Line for two years, Nicolino Frate identified gaps in service for the English-speaking LGBTQ community in Montréal. Assuming the role of president in 2007, he developed several programs to raise awareness of sexual health and identity, and to combat homophobia. Notably, he consolidated these offerings by creating the Canadian Association for Education and Outreach, and secured corporate partners to ensure the sustainability of this new organization.

Lisa Glithero, M.S.M.
Chelsea, Quebec

A lifelong educator, Lisa Glithero has a passion for sustainable living and the environment. In 2004, she founded Education Youth Environment Sustainability to promote and integrate environmental education across Canada and to encourage youth to become "stewards of the world." Additionally, she has developed programs for educators, symposia for the United Nations' Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, and several youth-based organizations.

Zabeen Hirji, M.S.M.
Toronto, Ontario

A champion of diversity and inclusivity in the workplace, Zabeen Hirji was the lead strategist in developing a business case for inclusive hiring at the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). Over the course of 10 years, this program doubled the representation of visible minorities and women in executive roles at RBC. Ms. Hirji now devotes her time to educating other organizations on how to achieve diversity in their boardrooms.

Deborah Kerr, M.S.M.
Caledonia, Ontario

Deborah Kerr, an officer with the Canada Border Services Agency, uncovered 20 human trafficking victims in the Hamilton area. Through her tenacious work, she was instrumental in setting the victims free and bringing the largest human trafficking case in Canada's history to justice.

Allan H. Kristofferson, M.S.M.
Gimli, Manitoba
Alexander George Salki, M.S.M.
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Michael Stainton, M.S.M.
Elie, Manitoba

As the founders of the grassroots Lake Winnipeg Research Consortium (LWRC),
Allan Kristofferson, Alexander George Salki and Michael Stainton are dedicated to restoring Lake Winnipeg to its former health through scientific research and public involvement. Their volunteer efforts enabled the LWRC to acquire a retired Canadian Coast Guard ship for use as a research vessel to monitor water quality and collect data in order to reduce toxic algae in the lake. LWRC also provides scholarships to students and knowledge-sharing for those wishing to invest in their own conservation projects.

Pierre Legault, M.S.M.
Dorval, Quebec

In 1994, Pierre Legault had a vision to provide a means for disadvantaged and unemployed Montréalers to reintegrate themselves into the workforce. As founder of the thrift store Renaissance, he has expanded the chain from a single shop into 10 locations including a distribution and sorting centre, as well as a mobile collection trailer. He now provides retail skills training and employment to over 200 people per year.

Barbara Ruth Marian, M.S.M.
Colborne, Ontario

As an internationally accredited referee for the sport of taekwondo, Barbara Marian has broken barriers for women and girls in a male-dominated sport. Highly respected in the worldwide taekwondo community for her knowledge and fairness, she has served as a role model to athletes and as a mentor to Canadian and international referees.

René L. Matthey, M.S.M. (posthumous)
Mary Suzanne Saunders-Matthey, M.S.M. (posthumous)
Ottawa, Ontario

Following the death of their daughter, René L. Matthey and Mary Suzanne Saunders-Matthey initiated the Saunders-Matthey Foundation for Breast Cancer Research to fund patient access to complementary treatment options. When breast cancer claimed his wife as well, Mr. Matthey renewed his commitment by teaming up with the Breast Cancer Prevention Coalition, all while waging his own battle with cancer. Their legacy lives on through the generous donation of his estate to fund research grants aimed at finding a cure.

Brian McKeever, M.S.M.
Robin McKeever, M.S.M.
Canmore, Alberta

Skiing together since childhood, brothers Brian and Robin McKeever achieved a hard-won synchronicity—Brian as a visually impaired Nordic skier and Robin as his sighted guide—which brought them triple gold medals at the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games. Together, they pushed the boundaries of both the Paralympic and Olympic games and altered the lines which had segregated able-bodied and disabled athletes.

Wyatt McWilliams, M.S.M.
Navan, Ontario

In partnership with the Ottawa Food Bank, farmer Wyatt McWilliams established the Food Aid program, which uses financial donations to purchase fresh beef for those in need. He founded the Food Bank's annual Food Aid Day, a major source of funding that has enabled the group to distribute more than 800 000 pounds of locally raised beef to members of the community.

This is the second Meritorious Service Medal (Civil Division) awarded to Mr. McWilliams.

Vincent Charles Pawis, O.Ont., M.S.M.
Nobel, Ontario

An Elder from the Shawanaga First Nation, Vincent Charles Pawis established the White Buffalo Road Healing Lodge where at-risk Aboriginal youth engage in counselling sessions, workshops, healing circles and sweat lodge ceremonies. This Indigenous-led, non-profit organization instills pride and self-confidence in the community and promotes positive lifestyle changes through connection with cultural heritage.

Ben Peterson, M.S.M.
Caledonia, Ontario
Alexandra Sicotte-Lévesque, M.S.M.
Montréal, Quebec and Brooklyn, New York

In 2002, Ben Peterson and Alexandra Sicotte-Lévesque created Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) to build the capacity of African media to report objectively and effectively on human rights issues. JHR has since worked in 23 countries, including Canada, and has trained more than
13 000 journalists and students to cover human rights stories and governance issues in their communities.

Félix Saint-Denis, M.S.M.
Ottawa, Ontario

An advocate of Francophone culture and history, Félix Saint-Denis is the creator and artistic director of L'Echo d'un peuple. This unique stage show depicted 400 years of Francophone history in Canada and involved more than 1 500 volunteers. Mini-productions are still presented in Francophone schools and communities throughout Ontario, preserving this important part of Canadian heritage.

Ellen Schwartz, M.S.M.
Jeffrey Schwartz, M.S.M.
Toronto, Ontario

Ellen and Jeffrey Schwartz's son, Jacob, was born with Canavan disease, a rare inherited neurodegenerative condition. They set out to educate themselves about the disease and went on to start Jacob's Ladder, also known as the Canadian Foundation for Control of Neurodegenerative Disease. It now provides research funding, education to the public, support for affected families, and adult genetic screening to reduce the occurrence of eight neurodegenerative conditions.

Mike Stevens, M.S.M.
Sarnia, Ontario

Mike Stevens, an internationally renowned harmonica player, founded ArtsCan Circle on the premise that self-expression builds self-esteem. Through this innovative program, volunteer musicians and artists travel to isolated Indigenous communities in northern Ontario and Labrador to deliver musical instruments and to engage children and youth in workshops on the arts, fostering self-expression and strengthening their connection with the larger community.

Anne-Marie Zajdlik, O.Ont., M.S.M.
Rockwood, Ontario

Family physician Anne-Marie Zajdlik spearheaded Bracelet of Hope, an initiative designed to support people and communities in Lesotho who have been affected by HIV/AIDS. Funds raised through sales of handmade red-and-white bracelets not only provide a source of income for the artisans themselves, but also support ongoing health care for patients, a foster home program for orphans, and mentorship opportunities between Canadian business owners and their counterparts in Lesotho.

MERITORIOUS SERVICE DECORATIONS (CIVIL DIVISION) FACT SHEET

Background

Meritorious Service Decorations recognize individuals who have performed an exceptional deed or activity over a limited period of time that has brought honour to their community or to Canada.

Eligibility and Nomination

Any Canadian or non-Canadian whose accomplishments or activities over a limited period of time have demonstrated an outstanding level of service or set an exemplary standard of achievement and have brought honour or benefit to Canada can be recognized.

Anyone may nominate an individual for the Civil Division of the Meritorious Service Decorations. Nominations and awards may be made posthumously, but nominations for activities that occurred prior to June 1984, the year in which the honour was first created, are not accepted.

Members of the public are invited to submit nominations throughout the year at www.gg.ca/msd. Nominations will be received by the Chancellery of Honours and reviewed by the MSD (Civil Division) Advisory Committee, which will then make recommendations to the governor general. All nominations are kept confidential to respect privacy and to avoid disappointment if the nominee is not selected. Nominators and others involved in the process are asked to respect this policy.

Description

Created by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Meritorious Service Decorations recognize Canadians for exceptional deeds that bring honour to our country. The cross was originally created in 1984, for members of the military. In 1991, a medal was added to the military division, and both the cross and medal were introduced for civilians.

The Meritorious Service Cross is a silver Greek cross, ends splayed and convexed, bearing the Royal Crown: on one side appears a maple leaf within a circle and a laurel wreath between the arms, and on the other appears the Royal Cypher, and within a double circle the inscription MERITORIOUS SERVICE MÉRITOIRE.

The Meritorious Service Medal is a circular silver medal bearing the Royal Crown: on one side of which appears the design of the Cross, and on the other appears the Royal Cypher, and within a double circle the inscription MERITORIOUS SERVICE MÉRITOIRE.

 

SOURCE Governor General of Canada

For further information: Media information: Emily Keogh, Rideau Hall Press Office, 613-993-2569, emily.keogh@gg.ca


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