Governor General to Honour Remarkable Canadians in Regina

October 18, 2018
UPDATED - October 20, 2018

OTTAWA—Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, will present honours to Canadians in celebration of their incredible achievements and contributions. The ceremony will take place on Saturday, October 20, 2018, at 10:30 a.m. (CST), at the RCMP Academy “Depot” Division, in Regina, Saskatchewan.

Close to 40 remarkable Canadians will be recognized for their excellence, courage or exceptional dedication to service with one of the following honours: the Order of Merit of the Police Forces, a Meritorious Service Decoration (Civil Division), a Canadian Bravery Decoration, the Polar Medal or the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers.

The Governor General presents honours on behalf of all Canadians in communities across the country to help share inspiring stories, celebrate tremendous contributions to our society and connect with Canadians. From community volunteers to scientists, from actors to members of the military, from scholars to everyday citizens, Canadians earn our applause and gratitude. For more information about honours or to nominate someone who inspires you, visit www.gg.ca/en/honours. The ceremony will be streamed live online at www.gg.ca/en/live, starting at 10:30 a.m. CST.

A schedule of the ceremony, the list of recipients and their citations, and background information on the types of honours that will be presented are attached.

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Media wishing to cover the ceremony are asked to confirm their attendance with the
Rideau Hall Press Office and must arrive at the RCMP Academy “Depot” Division,
no later than 10:15 a.m.
Media should first present themselves at Fort Dufferin where they will be met by a staff member, 
receive their media passes and be escorted to the Drill Hall for the ceremony.

Media information:

Sara Régnier-McKellar
Rideau Hall Press Office
613-993-2569 (office)
613-301-2465 (cell)
sara.regnier-mckellar@gg.ca

 

CEREMONY SCHEDULE

Media are asked to observe the following schedule:

9:45 a.m.:        Media start to arrive at the RCMP Academy “Depot” Division
10:30 a.m.:      Ceremony begins
                         The Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan offers welcoming remarks
                         The Governor General speaks
                         The Governor General presents the honours; musical interlude by Kal Hourde
11:45 a.m.:      Interviews with recipients

Please note that the information in this news release reflects the rank of the recipients at the time of the event for which they are being recognized.

 

RECIPIENTS AND CITATIONS

ORDER OF MERIT OF THE POLICE FORCES

Sergeant Marc Searle, M.O.M. (posthumous)
Surrey, British Columbia

Sergeant Marc Searle was a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for over 15 years. An avid and tenacious volunteer, he spent hundreds of hours doing research to identify unmarked veterans’ graves in a Surrey cemetery. He then ensured these graves were honoured with appropriate markers. Sergeant Marc Searle passed away on May 17, 2016.                                     

The Order of Merit of the Police Forces awarded to the late Sergeant Marc Searle will be received by his son, Dax Searle.

MERITORIOUS SERVICE DECORATIONS (CIVIL DIVISION)

Murad Al-Katib, M.S.C.
White City, Saskatchewan

Murad Al-Katib has built AGT Food and Ingredients into one of the largest suppliers in the world of pulses, like lentils, chickpeas and beans, and has helped to develop this agricultural sector in Saskatchewan. Thanks to his business acumen and leadership, more prairie farmers have incorporated the soil-enriching crops into their rotations and Canada has become a leading exporter of these protein-rich, affordable and sustainable food staples.

Shaun Loney, M.S.C.
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Shaun Loney is a social entrepreneur with an innovative approach to solving problems. His initiatives have led to greater job security and skills training for people with barriers to employment, renewable energy opportunities in remote Indigenous communities, and community gardens that reduce food insecurity in remote communities. His book, An Army of Problem Solvers, encourages Canadians to find their own solutions to local challenges.

Janice Eisenhauer, A.O.E., M.S.C.
Carolyn J. Reicher, M.S.C.
Calgary, Alberta

Janice Eisenhauer and Carolyn Reicher, founders of Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan, started their Breaking Bread Dinners almost two decades ago to raise funds for programs that empower Afghan women and their families through education. Working with regional and international partners, the organization funds schools, libraries, community literacy courses and training for thousands of local teachers, improving the quality of education for students of all ages.

The Meritorious Service Cross awarded to Ms. Janice Eisenhauer will be presented to her at a later date.

Sandra Muir Reilly, M.S.C.
Calgary, Alberta

Sandra Reilly founded the Calgary Children’s Cottage Society in 1986 to provide a safe place for parents to leave their children during times of crisis. For over three decades, she provided critical information to educators and policy makers in support of changes to social services in her community. Her innovative approach to child welfare has helped more than 60 000 children, strengthened family ties, and set the model for other crisis nurseries in Canada.

Ellen Remai, M.S.C.
Frank Remai, M.S.C. (posthumous)
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Ellen and the late Frank Remai created a charitable foundation that has shown unparalleled commitment to the arts sector in Saskatchewan through long-standing support for local theatre, symphony and education programs. Visionary contributions to the new Remai Modern Art Gallery have ensured stable financing for its future, brought a unique collection of Picassos to Saskatoon and delighted art lovers from across the city, the province and the entire country.

The Meritorious Service Cross awarded to the late Frank Remai will be received by Ellen Remai.

Derek Crowe, M.S.M.
Justin A. J. Ferbey, M.S.M.
Jane Koepke, M.S.M.
Whitehorse, Yukon

Derek Crowe, Justin Ferbey and Jane Koepke started Singletrack to Success, a network of mountain biking trails on Montana Mountain near Carcross, Yukon. The project’s 65 kilometres of trails have attracted thousands of tourists to the area. In addition, youth from the Carcross/Tagish First Nation have been engaged in building and maintaining the trail system, gaining valuable life skills and a sense of pride through their work.

Keith Fitzpatrick, M.S.M.
Christopher Doran Godsall, M.S.M.
North Vancouver, British Columbia

Keith Fitzpatrick and Chris Godsall founded Santropol Roulant to provide Meals-on-Wheels services to individuals experiencing social isolation and a loss of autonomy in Montréal. With the help of thousands of young volunteers, the Roulant has expanded both its offerings and the number of neighbourhoods it serves. More than 25 000 meals are prepared and delivered to vulnerable people every year.

Kirby Fontaine, M.S.M.
Marie Fontaine, M.S.M.
Sagkeeng First Nation, Manitoba

After winning the lottery, Kirby and Marie Fontaine chose to enrich the lives of others in their home province. Through their generous donations, they have fed the hungry, put gifts under the Christmas trees of less fortunate children, and supported programs for at-risk youth. Gracious and humble, they further financed revitalization projects that have provided meaningful employment and a reinvigorated a sense of pride in their community.

Daniel Gaudet, M.S.M.
Déline, Northwest Territories

Danny Gaudet negotiated the Déline Final Self-Government Agreement, the first of its kind in Canada. The model has provided the remote Indigenous community with independence, while empowering it to tackle alcoholism, violence and economic development. His efforts in leading the establishment of the government’s constitution, electoral processes and financial administration stand as a shining example for other communities to follow on their path towards greater self-determination.

Bob Kayseas, M.S.M.
Regina, Saskatchewan

Bob Kayseas, of Fishing Lake First Nation, is renowned for his research into Indigenous economic development and entrepreneurship in Canada. As a scholar, teacher, community leader and mentor, he has helped organizations develop solid strategic plans, promoted economic diversification and shaped future generations of business leaders with the goal of furthering Indigenous self-determination and financial prosperity.

Frank Korvemaker, M.S.M.
Regina, Saskatchewan

Archivist and construction historian Frank Korvemaker has been instrumental in preserving and documenting Saskatchewan’s architectural history. Among his many projects, he spearheaded a campaign to save the Claybank Brick Plant, now a National Historic Site. His passion for conservation of the region’s stone and brick buildings ensures that future generations have the opportunity to experience significant aspects of the province’s rich industrial and agricultural heritage.

Irene C. Kroeker, M.S.M.
Steinbach, Manitoba

Irene Kroeker is the founder of Steinbach Community Outreach, an organization that supports people who are homeless or vulnerably housed by providing food, basic necessities, shelter and help accessing other services. As one of the first to raise the issue of homelessness in her community, she has worked tirelessly to seek out and help those in need, giving generously of her time and personal resources and ensuring no one is ever turned away.

 Jane Rivest, M.S.M.
Calgary, Alberta

After losing a loved one to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Jane Rivest founded Betty’s Run in 1997, now the ALS Society of Alberta’s signature fundraising event. The event draws awareness to the disease, while providing funds for research and specialized equipment that allows patients to remain in their own homes. Ms. Rivest’s support for patients and their families aims to provide compassionate care during their most challenging times.

Leonard Gordon Zebedee, M.S.M.
High River, Alberta

High River Fire Chief Leonard Zebedee demonstrated outstanding leadership by coordinating the emergency response to the June 2013 flood. In this unprecedented crisis situation, Mr. Zebedee made appropriate decisions to enable those affected by the flood to return to their homes safely.

DECORATIONS FOR BRAVERY

Dennis Becker, M.B. (posthumous)
Burstall, Saskatchewan
Derrick Kozinski, M.B.
Cut Knife, Saskatchewan
Nelson Langridge, M.B.
Burstall, Saskatchewan

On August 31, 2015, Dennis Becker, Derrick Kozinski and Nelson Langridge attempted to rescue Mr. Langridge’s son, who was trapped in a grain hopper near Burstall, Saskatchewan. Without any hesitation, the three jumped into the grain hopper in an attempt to pull out the victim and to keep the grain away from his face. Unfortunately, Mr. Becker, the victim’s grandfather, also became trapped by the grain and, despite the best efforts of Mr. Kozinski and Mr. Langridge, was quickly buried. Sadly, Mr. Becker and the victim both lost their lives during the incident.

The Medal for Bravery awarded to the late Dennis Becker will be received by his wife, Mrs. Barbara Marlene Becker.

Darcy Fisher, M.B.
Balcarres, Saskatchewan

On December 3, 2015, Darcy Fisher stopped an armed home intruder in Balcarres, Saskatchewan. After forcing his way into the house, the man took two knives from the kitchen and moved towards the bedrooms, where Mr. Fisher’s children were sleeping. Confronting the intruder in the hallway, Mr. Fisher avoided the man’s attempts to stab him and wrestled him to the floor. Mr. Fisher then gathered his children and fled to a neighbour’s home to call the police.

James Edward Giles, M.B.
Terrace, British Columbia

On October 18, 2016, James Giles saved a family from a burning house in Terrace, British Columbia. After trying to alert the occupants to the fire, he rushed inside the smoke-filled house and located a boy on the lower floor. He brought him to safety before re-entering the dwelling, where he found the mother and her daughter in shock by the stairs. Protecting them from the smoke, he led the daughter out of the building first, before returning for her mother. Thanks to his efforts, all three family members survived.

Angela Irvine, M.B.
Medicine Hat, Alberta
Cole Marshall, M.B.
Redcliff, Alberta

Dr. Angela Irvine and Cole Marshall rescued Dr. Irvine’s young sons who were in danger of drowning in the South Saskatchewan River, in Medicine Hat, Alberta. As the boys were carried off by the water, Dr. Irvine dove in and fought against the current until she was able to reach one of the boys, pulling him to shore. After her unsuccessful attempt to rescue the second child, Mr. Marshall used a tree branch to pull the young victim to safety.

Stephen Baliski, M.B.
Glenn Wozniak, M.B.
Prince Albert, Saskatchewan

On June 1, 2012, Stephen Baliski and Glenn Wozniak rescued a woman from a car that was sinking in a slough near Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Mr. Baliski arrived first, wading into the freezing, four-metre-deep water to reach the vehicle, but was unable to gain access to the car. Mr. Wozniak joined him and the two men were then able to break the window with a hammer and pull the victim to safety.

The Medal for Bravery awarded to Mr. Stephen Baliski will be presented to him at a later date.

POLAR MEDAL

Jerry Kobalenko
Canmore, Alberta

Jerry Kobalenko has skied, hiked, sledded and kayaked more than 16 000 kilometres through the High Arctic over the course of 30 separate expeditions. A professional writer, photographer and ardent Arctic adventurer, he has brought his love, passion and knowledge of Canada’s North to a broad national and international audience through his many publications and lectures.

SOVEREIGN’S MEDAL FOR VOLUNTEERS

Constable Garrett Dove
North Battleford, Saskatchewan

Constable Garrett Dove has gone above and beyond in mentoring and guiding First Nations youth in the communities of Pelican Narrows and Battleford, particularly by offering valuable options for Indigenous programming during and after school.

Lieutenant Patrick Duclos
Montréal, Quebec

Since 2003, Lieutenant Patrick Duclos has been involved with the Randonnée du Harfang, a fundraiser supporting various community organizations. In 2013, he agreed to take the lead as chair; subsequently, several new sponsors and partners joined the cause, which led to an increase in the amount of funds collected.

Cynthia Macie
Coquitlam, British Columbia

For more than 25 years, Cynthia Macie has contributed to the education of youth through her involvement with Girl Guides of Canada, Scouts Canada, and the District Parent Advisory Committees. She and her family are the founders of the Viaduct Foundation, which supports the education of young students in developing regions of Africa.

Chief Coreen Sayazie
Black Lake, Saskatchewan

Chief Coreen Sayazie has been with the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program for over two decades, serving as the main volunteer tax preparer for Saskatchewan’s northernmost communities. She was elected chief of her band in 2016, but continued to fulfill her volunteer commitment regardless of her busy schedule.

Sandra E. Skibo
Brandon, Manitoba

Considered the backbone of the Special Olympics in her region, Sandra Skibo has served in numerous roles with the organization over the past 10 years. As a coach, volunteer recruiter and administrative officer, she is an ardent promoter of Special Olympics values.

 

BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON CANADIAN HONOURS PRESENTED IN REGINA

About the Order of Merit of the Police Forces

Established in October 2000, the Order of Merit of the Police Forces honours the leadership and exceptional service or distinctive merit displayed by the men and women of the Canadian police services, and recognizes their commitment to this country. The primary focus is on exceptional merit, contributions to policing and community development. There are three categories of membership: Commander, Officer and Member.

About the Meritorious Service Decorations (Civil Division)

The Meritorious Service Decorations (Civil Division) celebrate individuals who have performed an exceptional deed or activity over a limited period of time that has brought honour to a community or to Canada as a whole. This activity or deed is often innovative, sets an example or model for others to follow, or improves the quality of life in a community. MSD (Civil Division) recognize remarkable contributions in many different fields of endeavour, from advocacy initiatives and health care services, to research and humanitarian efforts. There are two levels: a cross and a medal. For more information or to nominate a deserving Canadian, visit merit.gg.ca.

About the Decorations for Bravery

Created in 1972, Decorations for Bravery recognize people who risk their lives and choose to defy their own instinct of survival to try to save a loved one or a perfect stranger whose life is in immediate danger. The three levels of the Decorations for Bravery reflect the degree to which the recipients put themselves at risk: the Cross of Valour recognizes acts of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme peril; the Star of Courage recognizes acts of conspicuous courage in circumstances of great peril; and the Medal of Bravery recognizes acts of bravery in hazardous circumstances. For more information or to nominate a deserving Canadian, visit bravery.gg.ca.

About the Polar Medal

The Polar Medal celebrates Canada’s northern heritage and recognizes persons who render extraordinary services in the polar regions and in Canada’s North. As an official honour created by the Crown, the Polar Medal incorporated and replaced the Governor General’s Northern Medal, created in 2005 by then-Governor General the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson. For more information or to nominate a deserving Canadian, visit polar.gg.ca.

About the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers

The Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers recognizes the remarkable volunteer achievements of Canadians from across the country in a wide range of fields. As an official Canadian honour, the Medal pays tribute to the dedication and exemplary commitment of volunteers. For more information or to nominate a deserving volunteer, visit caring.gg.ca.