Governor General to Present Honours

June 1, 2018

Governor General to Present Honours at Rideau Hall

OTTAWA—Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, will present honours to 43 recipients during a ceremony on Tuesday, June 5, 2018, at 10:30 a.m. at Rideau Hall.                                                   

Recipients 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 Decoration for Bravery, a Meritorious Service Decoration (Civil Division), or the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers. 

A schedule of the ceremony, the recipients’ citations, and background information on the types of honours being presented are attached.


Media interested in covering the ceremony are asked to confirm
their attendance with the  
Rideau Hall Press Office and are asked
to arrive at the Princess Anne Entrance no later than
10:15 a.m. on the day of the ceremony. 

Media information:

Josephine Laframboise
Rideau Hall Press Office
613-668-1929 (cell)


10:00 a.m.:
Media start to arrive at Rideau Hall

10:30 a.m.:     
Ceremony begins
The Governor General speaks
The Governor General presents the honours

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.



Assistant Commissioner Joseph Peter Byron Boucher, O.O.M.
Ottawa, Ontario

Assistant Commissioner Joseph Peter Byron Boucher has been a distinguished member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for over 32 years. As the national leader for Contract and Aboriginal Policing, he collaborates with the Department of Public Safety and with victims’ families on the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

Inspector Thomas Brent McCluskie, O.O.M. (Retired)
Vancouver, British Columbia

Inspector Thomas Brent McCluskie has been a renowned member of the Vancouver Police Department for 30 years. An international leader, he assisted The Equality Effect in reviewing flawed investigations into sexual abuse against girls in Kenya, leading to a constitutional change in policing in that country.

Superintendent Cita Carmen Airth, M.O.M.
Vancouver, British Columbia

Superintendent Cita Carmen Airth has been a distinguished member of the Vancouver Police Department for over 20 years. A natural leader and mentor, she has developed innovative strategies to promote women’s rights within her community. 

Deputy Chief Officer Barry Richard Kross, M.O.M.
New Westminster, British Columbia 

Deputy Chief Officer Barry Richard Kross has over 25 years of policing experience. An expert in transit safety and security, he created and launched a Community Police Academy that focused on fostering stakeholder relationships and a greater understanding of transit police work.   

Superintendent Douglas Maynard, M.O.M. (Retired)
Surrey, British Columbia 

Superintendent Douglas Maynard has been a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for over 30 years. An expert in emergency management, he amalgamated individual emergency response teams across the Lower Mainland of B.C. to create the first and largest full-time team in Canada.   

Chief Marlo Dean Pritchard, M.O.M.
Weyburn, Saskatchewan

Chief Marlo Dean Pritchard has over 30 years of policing experience. Known for his teamwork and high level of community engagement, he is the chair of the South-East Community Mobilization Steering Committee, which aims to help at-risk individuals, and to understand and address root causes of crime through a multi-sectorial and multi-agency approach.

Deputy Chief Constable Laurence John Rankin, M.O.M.
Vancouver, British Columbia

Deputy Chief Constable Laurence John Rankin has been a member of the Vancouver Police Department for 30 years. An advocate for transparency and legitimacy in policing, he has forged strong relationships between his department and other law enforcement agencies. 


Constable Sheldon Rayad Shah, S.C.
Innisfil, Ontario
Constable Sidney Gaudette, M.B.
Lethbridge, Alberta
Sergeant Gregory John Gerbrandt, M.B.
Lac du Bonnet, Manitoba

On February 7, 2012, RCMP constables Sidney Gaudette and Sheldon Shah, along with Sergeant Gregory Gerbrandt, came under fire while executing a search warrant at a farmhouse near Sedgewick, Alberta. Despite being struck by several bullets, Constable Shah provided cover for an injured Constable Gaudette and continued to defend himself against the gunman until both officers were outside, whereupon he collapsed. Covered by Constable Gaudette, Sergeant Gerbrandt exposed himself to fire and pulled Constable Shah to safety, before taking his wounded colleagues to a nearby hospital.

Marco Berardinucci, M.B.
Montréal, Quebec

On June 23, 2015, Marco Berardinucci saved a young swimmer who had been overwhelmed by the wake of a passing ferry in the St. Lawrence River, in Montréal, Quebec. Hearing the victim’s cries for help, Mr. Berardinucci swam out to the sinking man and dove down to retrieve him from beneath the surface. He then towed the unconscious man through rough waters until he reached the shore, where bystanders helped pull the victim to safety.

Guy Carrier, M.B.
Québec, Quebec

On June 13, 2016, Guy Carrier rescued a girl from her burning house in the City of Québec. Spotting a fire on his neighbour’s roof, Mr. Carrier first alerted his neighbours, but upon realizing that their young daughter had limited mobility, he quickly went inside the house. He lifted the girl in his arms and brought her down the stairs and outside to safety just as the roof collapsed behind him.

Kevin Hoking Chau, M.B.
Campbell River, British Columbia

On March 22, 2017, Kevin Chau rescued a co-worker from a grizzly bear attack in the Great Bear Rainforest, near Rivers Inlet, British Columbia. Mr. Chau ran up to the 225-kilogram bear that was mauling the victim and broke up the attack by spraying the animal several times in the face. Mr. Chau yelled at the bear until it retreated and continued to stand guard over the victim until fellow workers were able to move the victim from the scene.

Alexandr Diaz-Papkovich, M.B.
Montréal, Quebec

On December 9, 2014, Alexandr Diaz-Papkovich intervened in a hammer attack on an unarmed man in Ottawa, Ontario. Hearing a loud banging sound, he witnessed the assailant swinging a hammer at the victim’s head. Approaching the man from behind, Mr. Diaz-Papkovich confronted the attacker and took hold of his right arm before the man could take a fourth swing at the victim. The assailant turned to face him before retreating, leaving Mr. Diaz-Papkovich with the wounded victim until emergency services arrived.

Jessica Dicks, M.B.
Perryvale, Alberta

On July 3, 2016, Jessica Dicks deflected a falling tree from hitting four children in Lawrence Lake Provincial Park, near Athabasca, Alberta. While camping, Ms. Dicks heard a loud cracking noise and quickly realized that a nine-metre-tall tree segment on her campsite was about to fall on the children’s tent. Without hesitation, she sprinted to the tent and used her body to absorb and deflect the impact from the trunk. Ms. Dicks suffered severe injuries that left her permanently paralyzed, but she managed to keep the children safe.

Paul Ehni, M.B.
Lillooet, British Columbia

On January 17, 2013, Paul Ehni risked his life in an attempt to rescue a woman whose car had fallen down a mountainside near Lillooet, British Columbia. Mr. Ehni descended the steep slope to reach the victim’s partially submerged car. After placing a bag between the victim’s head and the steering wheel to keep her head above water, he made several attempts to free the woman from the vehicle. He remained by the victim’s side for more than two hours, administering first aid to her until emergency services arrived. Sadly, the woman did not survive.

Riza Kasikcioglu, M.B.
Edmonton, Alberta

On January 19, 2017, Riza Kasikcioglu was instrumental in evacuating a burning residential high-rise building in Edmonton, Alberta. Although he first tried to warn residents from the outside, Mr. Kasikcioglu was forced to run inside to clear the first floor. He then made his way up to the seventh floor, where the fire was located. Going from unit to unit, floor to floor, he escorted residents through the smoke-filled corridors until he reached the third floor where, finally overwhelmed by the smoke, he was helped to safety by firefighters.

Christopher Lang, M.B.
New Westminster, British Columbia

On October 8, 2016, Christopher Lang saved two people from their burning car in Surrey, British Columbia. Mr. Lang managed to unbuckle the semi-conscious driver and, after forcing the door open, pulled him out of the car. He then proceeded to the passenger side and rescued the second victim from the smoke-filled vehicle, moments before it was completely engulfed in flames. 

Ronald Alan Minter, M.B.
Prince Albert, Saskatchewan
Constable Elmer Russell, M.B.
Saltcoats, Saskatchewan

On May 31, 2013, Ronald Minter and RCMP Constable Elmer Russell rescued a man from his burning vehicle in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The SUV had rolled off an overpass, landed on its roof and caught fire with the driver trapped inside. The two rescuers crawled in through a broken side window to reach the victim, who was hanging upside down in his seat. They successfully released him from his seat belt, but discovered his legs were still stuck beneath the steering wheel.  Racing against time, they tugged the man free and pulled him to safety.

David Nelson, M.B.
Drumbo, Ontario

On November 4, 2015, off-duty firefighter David Nelson tried to rescue two people from their burning truck, following a collision in North Dumfries, Ontario. Racing against time, Mr. Nelson attempted to open the truck’s door, but found it jammed. He managed to climb inside the cab through the rear window and pulled the first victim out. With the help of bystanders, he brought the man across the road and into the care of emergency services. Sadly, the second victim did not survive.

Constable Evan Taylor, M.B.
Fort Mcmurray, Alberta

On July 19, 2015, off-duty RCMP Constable Evan Taylor rescued two boys from drowning after their canoe capsized in Waterton National Park, Alberta. Constable Taylor entered the frigid water and swam over 250 metres to grasp the first victim and tow him to shore. He then retrieved the second victim, who was moments from exhaustion, and brought him to safety.

Taylor White, M.B.
New Harbour, Newfoundland and Labrador

On June 24, 2017, Taylor White rescued a woman from drowning in New Harbour, Newfoundland and Labrador. Spotting someone floating by the side of a submerged SUV, he jumped into the water without hesitation and swam to the unconscious victim. He pulled her to shore and stayed by her side until the local volunteer fire department arrived.

Clark Whitecalf, M.B.
Gallivan, Saskatchewan

On August 31, 2015, Clark Whitecalf rescued a woman from her burning home in Gallivan, Saskatchewan. After trying to enter the residence several times, Mr. Whitecalf was forced back by the collapsing roof. Undeterred, he finally crawled inside and followed the sound of the victim’s coughs until he found her. Despite the spreading flames and thick smoke, he managed to pull her out of the house to safety.

Travis Wolfe, M.B.
Port Joli, Nova Scotia

On February 14, 2017, Travis Wolfe rescued his elderly neighbour from her burning home in Port Joli, Nova Scotia. After an overheated generator exploded, Mr. Wolfe ran to the house, kicking open the front door when he failed to receive a response to his calls. Spotting a woman lying on the floor, Mr. Wolfe picked her up and carried her outside where he was met by his grandfather, who helped transport the victim to safety. Sadly, a second victim did not survive.

Justin Yaassoub, M.B.
Edmonton, Alberta

On March 6, 2015, then-Corporal Justin Yaassoub risked his life to assist an injured colleague during an incident in northern Iraq. After coming under fire from partner forces who mistook them for the enemy, Corporal Yaassoub was wounded and forced to seek cover with his team. Seeing an injured comrade nearby, Corporal Yaassoub put down his weapon and attempted to reach him, but was forced back by a hail of bullets. Once the confusion cleared, Corporal Yaassoub retrieved the man and the team withdrew.


Garry Janz, M.S.C.
Carleton Place, Ontario

Garry Janz is the founding president of Ride For Dad, which raises funds and awareness for prostate cancer research through large-scale, one-day ride events. Under his leadership, the organization has expanded to 44 chapters, involving thousands of volunteers and participants across Canada. To date, over $20 million has been donated to biomedical research communities, resulting in the development of new treatment strategies and more personalized care for patients.

Luke Richardson, M.S.C.
Stephanie Richardson, M.S.C.
Ottawa, Ontario

Following the tragic loss of their daughter, former professional hockey player Luke Richardson and his wife, Stephanie, courageously shared their story to help youth suffering from mental illness. Partnering with their daughter’s friends and with various community organizations, they created the Do It For Daron Foundation to fund youth mental health initiatives and to inspire discussions on the topics of depression and suicide across the National Capital Region.

Michelle Marie-Paule Bonneau, M.S.M.
Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac, Quebec

In 2005, Michelle Bonneau founded Her International to promote the education and development of marginalized women in Canada and elsewhere in the world. Through various programs supporting education in Nepal, as well as through the establishment of micro-credit groups, Ms. Bonneau has helped numerous Nepalese women to become self-reliant and achieve financial independence.

Sydney Adam Goldenberg, M.S.M.
Kyle Hill, M.S.M.
Toronto, Ontario

Mark W. Podlasly, M.S.M.
Vancouver, British Columbia

Sydney Adam Goldenberg, Kyle Hill and Mark W. Podlasly founded Teach For Canada to recruit teachers for northern First Nations communities and to develop culturally appropriate training programs. In addition, they have coordinated visits to a large number of Ontario’s isolated Indigenous communities for prospective teachers. Careful matching of teachers to vacant positions has resulted in long-term contracts and increased student attendance, engagement and achievement.

The Meritorious Service Medal awarded to Mr. Podlasly will be presented to him at a later date.

Les Hagen, M.S.M.
Edmonton, Alberta 

Under Les Hagen’s leadership, the Action on Smoking and Health agency has been researching and developing strategies to inform Canadians of the risks associated with smoking. For over 20 years, he has encouraged smokers to butt out, helped implement reforms to tobacco laws and packaging regulations, and fought to discourage youth from taking up the habit.

Waneek Horn-Miller, M.S.M.
Ottawa, Ontario 

A champion for Indigenous arts, culture and sport, Olympian Waneek Horn-Miller has lent her leadership skills to various causes. She promotes active and healthy lifestyles among Indigenous youth, advocates on behalf of the families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, and promotes the preservation of traditional arts. She is a wonderful role model and continues to work with the Canadian Olympic Committee to build lasting relationships with Indigenous athletes.

Natalie Mackie, M.S.M.
Vancouver, British Columbia

Dedicated musician Natalie Mackie was a key figure in founding the Pacific Baroque Orchestra, a Vancouver ensemble that performs early music for modern ears.  Accomplished at playing period instruments like the cello and viola da gamba, she also provides leadership onstage and behind the scenes. Her efforts have cemented the group’s status as one of North America’s foremost period-instrument orchestras and ensured its ongoing success.

Nathalie Maione, M.S.M.
Ottawa, Ontario

Nathalie Maione is the driving force behind Helping with Furniture, a registered charity that delivers donated furniture and other household items to refugees, new immigrants and low-income citizens in the National Capital Region. Since its creation over a decade ago, the organization has helped over a thousand families start anew by providing both basic necessities and the comfort of a real home.

Farhat Rehman, M.S.M.
Ottawa, Ontario

Farhat Rehman has drawn from her own experiences to help others. With a loved one in prison, she discovered a lack of support and resources for prisoners suffering from mental illness. As the driving force behind Mothers Offering Mutual Support, she has become a leading advocate for improved mental health care for inmates to encourage their rehabilitation and reintegration as contributing members of society.


Jean-Louis Blais
Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Quebec

A Korean War veteran, Jean-Louis Blais joined the Royal Canadian Legion in 2002 to help his fellow citizens and to contribute to the Poppy Campaign, which he runs each year by organizing fundraisers and coordinating the team of volunteers. For 10 years, he visited schools to talk about veterans, and he continues to attend funerals for veterans.

Patrick Richard Bradley
London, Ontario

For more than 15 years, Patrick Bradley has generously given of his time and efforts to the evolution and success of GlobalFire, an organization that provides training and material aid to first responders in developing countries and offers assistance to those affected by natural disasters and complex human emergencies.

Kellyann Meloche
Kahnawake, Quebec

Kellyann Meloche travels across the province of Quebec to provide free emergency management training to First Nations communities. She trains an average of 300 students a year, and pays for their course materials and books out of her own pocket. She has made an invaluable contribution to and impact on Indigenous youth by teaching them essential skills.

Josée Parent
Sherbrooke, Quebec

In addition to being a journalist, Josée Parent has been an active, involved citizen who has devoted countless hours to various causes, including those related to mental health, Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts, and humanitarian projects.

Mathieu G. Ravignat
Cantley, Quebec

Passionate about karate, Mathieu Ravignat, who holds a sixth-degree black belt, founded the not-for-profit Daijiken Karate-Kobudo Dojo to give children the opportunity to develop strong bodies and minds based on mutual respect and compassion. For the past 10 years, he has volunteered thousands of hours to teaching martial arts.

Denis Roy
Sainte-Perpétue, Quebec

Denis Roy has been volunteering with the Fondation médicale Jean-Pierre Despins, m.d., since its creation in 2002, and with the COOP de Solidarité Santé Jean-Pierre Despins for the past seven years. He donates his time to developing health services within his municipality and surrounding areas.



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 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. 

About the Meritorious Service Decorations
The Meritorious Service Decorations celebrate Canadians who have performed an exceptional deed or activity that brings honour to Canada. The decorations are separated into military and civil divisions, with two levels each: a cross and a medal. 

The Civil Division recognizes remarkable contributions in many different fields of endeavour, from advocacy initiatives and health care services, to research and humanitarian efforts. The contributions can be innovative, set an example for others to follow, or improve the quality of life of a community. For more information or to nominate a deserving Canadian, visit

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