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  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
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Meritorious Service Decorations (civilian division)

Colette Roy Laroche, C.S.M.

Lac-Mégantic Quebec, [Canada]

Meritorious Service Cross

Decoration awarded on May 22, 2014

Colette Roy Laroche showed remarkable leadership in her role as the town’s mayor after the devastating train derailment that occurred on July 6, 2013, in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec. Always ready to act for the good of her community, in the hours following the unprecedented catastrophe, she coordinated the efforts of emergency services and first responders, led evacuation and housing operations, and provided strong support to victims and all those affected by the disaster. She has worked tirelessly ever since to implement concrete measures to improve emergency response actions; these measures range from prevention to reconstruction after a tragedy. Through her strength of character, her ability to mobilize her fellow citizens, and her determination to rebuild Lac-Mégantic’s downtown and make it a model of sustainable development, she has proven to be an exemplary leader and has redefined the notion of public service.