Governor General to Honour Remarkable Canadians at Rideau Hall

November 8, 2019 

OTTAWA—Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, will present honours to 41 recipients during a ceremony at Rideau Hall on Tuesday, November 12, 2019, at 9:30 a.m.

Recipients will be recognized for their excellence or exceptional dedication to service with one of the following honours: a Meritorious Service Decoration (Military and Civil Divisions) 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 to arrive at the Princess Anne Entrance no later than
9:15 a.m. on the day of the ceremony.

Media information:

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


9 a.m.:              Media start to arrive at Rideau Hall

9:30 a.m.:         Ceremony begins

              The Governor General speaks

              The Governor General presents the honours

10:45 a.m.:       Interviews with recipients




Commander Todd William Bonnar, M.S.C., C.D.
Norfolk, Virginia, United States of America
Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)

Commander Bonnar was instrumental in shaping the largest NATO task group assembled in more than two decades. As chief of staff and deputy commander of Standing NATO Maritime Task Group One from July to December 2017, he exemplified outstanding leadership and remarkable planning and communications skills. Commander Bonnar’s tremendous efforts reflected positively on Canada’s steadfast commitment to NATO’s military and strategic objectives in the Mediterranean.

Brigadier-General Trevor John Cadieu, O.M.M., M.S.C., M.S.M., C.D.
Ottawa, Ontario
Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)

Brigadier-General Cadieu served as commander of Task Force Jerusalem and as inaugural commander of Task Force Middle East from July 2016 to July 2017. His eloquence and in-depth knowledge of the challenges facing the region led him to play an active role in advancing the priority objectives of the US Security Coordinator and to establish the regional command post in Amman, Jordan. His initiatives had a positive impact on efforts to strengthen the armed forces of Jordan and Lebanon and helped to maintain strong relations with partners in the region.

Sergeant Jeffery Theodore Oshanyk, M.S.C., C.D.
Ottawa, Ontario
Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)

Sergeant Oshanyk was deployed to Kuwait from July 2017 to January 2018. Tasked with identifying targets within Joint Task Force Iraq, he contributed directly to the fight against Daesh in the region through his innovative initiatives and outstanding dedication. Sergeant Oshanyk also used his knowledge and skills to mentor his colleagues and develop a checklist that will be essential to future operations, thereby helping to enhance the long-term impact of Canada’s presence in the region.

Brigadier-General Alain Joseph Paul Pelletier, O.M.M., M.S.C., M.S.M., C.D.
Headingley, Manitoba
Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)

Brigadier-General Pelletier was deployed to Qatar from June 2016 to January 2017 as director of the Combined Aerospace Operations Centre. Thanks to his expertise and ability to put together highly skilled teams, he expertly coordinated combat air operations in a complex multinational environment. An outstanding ambassador for Canada, Brigadier-General Pelletier played a key role in the international coalition’s efforts to defeat Daesh in Iraq and Syria.

Susan Jane Pond, M.S.C.
Kingsburg, Nova Scotia
Meritorious Service Cross (Civil Division)

Susan Pond’s dedication, professionalism and innovative thinking have greatly enhanced Canada’s contribution to NATO. In her role as a senior officer, she has strengthened partnerships and developed practical tools that support good governance across the globe. Her leadership in pioneering the idea of using a trust fund to finance special projects like the destruction of landmines and small arms has bolstered Canada’s commitment to building peace and stability around the world.

Brigadier-General Steven Joseph Russel Whelan, O.M.M., M.S.C., M.S.M., C.D.
Ottawa, Ontario
Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)

Brigadier-General Whelan was deployed to Bagdad, Iraq, from July 2017 to July 2018. As director of the Ministerial Liaison Team for the Combined Joint Task Force, he assembled a 60-member team representing 14 different countries. He also distinguished himself by his analytical and visionary thinking in developing a transition plan to deal with Daesh’s impending decline. Brigadier-General Whelan greatly earned the respect of the Iraqi government, the United States and the international coalition, having been at the heart of several initiatives to support Iraq’s armed forces.


Chief Warrant Officer Michael Patrick Forest, M.M.M., M.S.M., C.D.
Petawawa, Ontario

Chief Warrant Officer Forest was deployed to Latvia from June 2017 to January 2018 as part of Canada’s contribution to NATO deterrence in Central and Eastern Europe. As the sergeant major of the enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group, he shaped a disparate team into a cohesive unit and maintained discipline and morale in a complex and multinational environment. Recognized as a superb role model and “force multiplier,” Chief Warrant Officer Forest left an enduring legacy of the battle group’s operational effectiveness and a positive reflection on Canada.

Colonel Mark Anthony Gasparotto, M.S.M., C.D.
Ottawa, Ontario

Colonel Gasparotto was deployed from July 2016 to July 2017 as the commander of Task Force Port-au-Prince and as chief of staff of the United Nations (UN) Stabilization Mission in Haiti. He masterfully orchestrated the crisis response efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew in October 2016, coordinated UN support for the Haitian national elections in January 2017, and championed the transition to a new UN mission to help maintain security in Haiti, a continuing priority for Canada.


Colonel Joseph Antoine Dave Abboud, M.S.C., M.M.V., M.S.M., C.D.
Montréal, Quebec

Colonel Abboud served as deputy commander of Task Force Middle East from July 2017 to July 2018 while deployed to Jordan. He successfully assembled a team to implement a program to strengthen the capacities of the armed forces of Jordan and Lebanon, two countries facing security challenges compounded by the context of the civil war in Syria. Through his proven skills and forward-thinking leadership, he has contributed to the success of Canada’s overall strategy in the Middle East and has strengthened co-operation with allied nations.

Sergeant Gary Barrett, M.S.M.
Petawawa, Ontario

Sergeant Barrett was deployed to Ukraine from September 2017 to March 2018 as part of NATO’s program to build the capabilities of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. A master sniper, he played a leading role in reforming and standardizing the sniper training programs across the Ukrainian Armed Forces and in proposing tangible solutions to Ukraine-specific challenges. Thanks to Sergeant Barrett’s initiative and organizational skills, the Ukrainian army now has the necessary tools to train its snipers independently and consistently.

Petty Officer 1st Class Jason William Bode, M.S.M., C.D.
Victoria, British Columbia

From March to August 2017, Petty Officer 1st Class Bode was deployed as coxswain aboard HMCS Oriole on its journey from Esquimalt, British Columbia, to Halifax, Nova Scotia. His professional acumen and expert seamanship were evident throughout the 13 000-nautical-mile voyage marking Canada’s 150th anniversary. As the tall ship visited 25 ports in 8 different countries over the span of 111 days, he served as an excellent leader and representative of the Canadian Armed Forces.

Captain(N) Daniel Joseph Jacques Bouchard, M.S.M., C.D.
Ottawa, Ontario

From July 2017 to July 2018, Captain(N) Bouchard was deployed to Jerusalem as Canadian deputy task force commander and director of operational support to the US Security Coordinator for Israel and Palestine. The pairing of these two positions enabled him to join the multinational efforts to build the capacity of the Palestinian Authority Security Forces. His leadership and expertise enabled him to improve security programs in the West Bank, making them more viable in a tense and unpredictable environment.

Commander Ramona Lynn Burke, M.S.M., C.D.
Orléans, Ontario

From 2014 to 2018, Commander Burke was employed with the Chief of Naval Staff Strategic Personnel Policy directorate. Her leadership was instrumental to the development of the Naval Ethical Compass and What Right Looks Like campaigns adopted by the Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal New Zealand Navy. Her work in modernizing the Canadian Armed Forces pregnancy regulations directly led to a more equitable environment for female members. Her outstanding efforts considerably enhanced Canadian Armed Forces employment equity and ethical conduct.

Chief Warrant Officer Robert Joseph Clarke, M.M.M., M.S.M., C.D.
Edmonton, Alberta

Chief Warrant Officer Clarke was deployed to Ukraine from March to August 2017 as the joint task force sergeant major. In this role, he demonstrated exceptional leadership in the development and implementation of the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ Non-Commissioned Officer Corps, as well as the establishment of a permanent Canadian Armed Forces mentorship program at key training sites in Ukraine. Throughout his deployment, Chief Warrant Officer Clarke endeavoured to strengthen the unity of collective NATO training programs, subsequently benefiting Canada’s multinational allies and partners.

Warrant Officer Nicolas Robin Côté, M.S.M., C.D.
Kingston, Ontario

From June to August 2018, Warrant Officer Côté contributed to the UN mission in Mali. As camp sergeant major of the Joint Task Force Support Component, he ensured that new team members were welcomed and integrated smoothly to ensure the effectiveness of the mission in collaboration with the German and Dutch forces. Typical of his commitment, Warrant Officer Côté did not hesitate to travel urgently to Dakar, Senegal, to temporarily assume the role of sergeant major to maintain the continuous flow of equipment in the region.

Lieutenant-Colonel Sean Martin French, M.S.M., C.D.
Oromocto, New Brunswick

From January to July 2018, Lieutenant-Colonel French displayed remarkable leadership and vision as the commanding officer of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group in Latvia. Displaying profound insight, he worked tirelessly to refine processes and procedures in a wide range of areas, from combat readiness to the mess, thereby ensuring the effectiveness and efficiency of the multinational battle group. Lieutenant-Colonel French’s outstanding efforts and focus on all aspects of the tour directly contributed to the tremendous success of Canada’s mission in Latvia.

Sergeant Nicholas Shawn Hancock, M.S.M., C.D.
Ottawa, Ontario

From February to September 2017, Sergeant Hancock was deployed to Baghdad, Iraq, as part of Canada’s mission to defeat Daesh and develop the capacity of Iraqi security forces. Assuming command of the operation’s close protection team early in his tour, he directly contributed to operational success by safely and securely executing well over 150 missions within Baghdad’s high-threat areas. Sergeant Hancock’s exemplary performance and resolute leadership reflected the highest level of military professionalism and were a credit to Canada.

Commander Jon Jeffrey Hutchinson, M.S.M., C.D.
Victoria, British Columbia

Commander Hutchinson displayed exceptional leadership and professionalism as captain of HMCS Winnipeg and as task force commander of Operation PROJECTION while deployed to the Indo-Pacific region from March to August 2017. After navigating the busy, volatile and contested South China Sea, he successfully led an international engagement program spanning two oceans and nine countries. In addition, he helped develop and maintain critical diplomatic, military and economic partnerships, enhancing Canada’s presence and involvement in the region.

Chief Petty Officer 1st Class Sylvain Joseph François Jean Claude Jaquemot, M.S.M., C.D.
Victoria, British Columbia

Chief Petty Officer 1st Class Jaquemot served as coxswain on board HMCS Winnipeg during a mission in the Indo-Pacific region from March to August 2017. He distinguished himself within the command team by his methodical approach and great attention to detail, from the preparation phase to deployment, including creating a competent and coherent team. He proved to be a pillar of this mission, paving the way for the Canadian Armed Forces’ involvement in the region and increased multinational engagement.

Colonel Andrew Ronald Jayne, M.S.M., C.D.
Ottawa, Ontario

Colonel Jayne served as commander of Joint Task Force Iraq from December 2017 to October 2018 as part of Canada’s mission to defeat Daesh. He skilfully and confidently led a 700-member team to build the capacity of the Iraqi armed forces, which earned him praise from the members of the international coalition. Through his initiatives, Colonel Jayne exceptionally represented Canada’s strategies and commitments within the coalition and enabled Canada to strengthen its ties with allied nations.

Captain(N) Steve Jorgensen, M.S.M., C.D.
Victoria, British Columbia

From July to September 2017, Captain(N) Jorgensen led the Canadian Armed Forces’ response to forest fires in British Columbia. Synchronizing federal and provincial relief efforts, he coordinated an air task force that transported hundreds of first responders and facilitated the provision of essential aid to isolated communities. Through his outstanding leadership, Captain(N) Jorgensen helped contain the most devastating forest fires in British Columbia’s history, thereby saving the lives of many Canadians.

Lieutenant-Colonel Erik Antony Liebert, M.S.M., C.D.
Ottawa, Ontario

From August 2015 until June 2018, Lieutenant-Colonel Liebert made significant contributions to the military’s operational effectiveness as a respected member of the Chief of the Defence Staff’s Commander’s Initiative Group. As part of this internal strategic working group, he managed a broad range of complex defence issues and helped shape key military policy. Notably, his efforts helped address harassment and gender inequality in the Canadian Armed Forces. He also drafted recommendations to counter the global issue of child soldiers, a Canadian strategic objective.

Major Alan Anderson Lockerby, M.S.M., C.D.
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Renowned as a highly valued strategist and speaker, Major Lockerby has shared his in-depth knowledge of air-land integration operations and tactics with armed forces around the world. Notably, from 2008 to 2015, he developed air combat manoeuvre capabilities that have impacted military tactics on both the national and international stages. His operational experience and expertise relating to air action has contributed to numerous successful counter-insurgency operations in Afghanistan and Libya.

Major Michael MacKillop, M.M.V., M.S.M., C.D.
Calgary, Alberta

From June to December 2017, Major MacKillop was deployed as part of the first rotation of a Canadian-led multinational battle group in Latvia. As the staff lead planner for this battle group, he demonstrated exceptional strategic judgment in successfully integrating members from six countries into a cohesive fighting force, bolstering NATO’s presence in the Baltic region. Major MacKillop’s exceptional leadership and unwavering dedication were instrumental in advancing Canada’s commitment to NATO. 

Chief Warrant Officer Robert McCann, M.M.M., M.S.M., C.D.
Ottawa, Ontario

Chief Warrant Officer McCann was deployed to Kuwait from December 2017 to October 2018 as sergeant major of Joint Task Force Iraq. A dedicated member of the command team, he unified 650 members in 3 countries to form an effective team and has distinguished himself by his positive approach to challenges and changes. He was heavily involved in the international coalition’s efforts to ensure security in Iraq, support the local government and fight Daesh in the region.

Lieutenant-Colonel Kristopher Michael Reeves, M.S.M., C.D.
Petawawa, Ontario

Lieutenant-Colonel Reeves served as commanding officer of Joint Task Force Ukraine from September 2017 to March 2018. Known for his diplomacy and personal touch, he played a key role in expanding the training program offered to the Ukrainian Armed Forces to include sniper, medical and leadership skills development. In addition, he endeavoured to connect strategic, operational and tactical groups, earning the respect of superiors and subordinates alike, which contributed greatly to mission success and helped achieve Canada’s objectives in Ukraine.

Commander Michael Scott Shortridge, M.S.M., C.D.
Ottawa, Ontario

From 2013 to 2018, Commander Shortridge served as project director responsible for procuring new vessels for the Royal Canadian Navy. As the lead naval representative for this important project, he played an integral role in managing the program under intense scrutiny in order to safeguard the Navy’s continued capability. His direction and unwavering commitment helped ensure that the Canadian Armed Forces remained an effective and flexible instrument of national policy and a vital contributor to international engagements with Canada’s allies.

Commander Michael Edward Thomson, M.S.M., C.D.
Borden, Ontario

From June 2017 to June 2018, Commander Thomson was deployed to Baghdad, Iraq, as part of Canada’s mission to defeat Daesh and develop the capacity of Iraqi security forces. As medical liaison officer for the coalition forces, he implemented a plan that focused on combat first aid, mental health care, medical evacuation and logistics, which greatly benefited the Iraqi forces. Renowned for his patient diplomacy, Commander Thomson played an integral role in achieving theatre-wide operational success.

Major Michael Veitch, M.S.M., C.D.
Carleton Place, Ontario

From July 2016 to March 2017, Major Veitch was deployed to Kuwait as part of Canada’s Middle East Stabilization Force. As the engineer planner of the Combined Joint Task Force, he synchronized engineering units across a multinational coalition in the fight against Daesh. Renowned for his technical acumen, esprit de corps and dedication, Major Veitch directly contributed to the success of multiple operations in both Iraq and Syria, bringing credit to Canada in the process.

Major Wayne Terence Wong, M.S.M., C.D.
Toronto, Ontario

Major Wong has demonstrated outstanding leadership and compassion through Operation HO HO HO, an annual fundraising program he created in 2003 to purchase Christmas gifts for sick children in Toronto. His dedication and enthusiasm in canvassing military and civilian communities have led to annual donations reaching close to a quarter of a million dollars. Major Wong’s contributions have positively impacted the lives of thousands of sick children and their families, as well as those of many injured soldiers of the Canadian Armed Forces, who now participate annually in the initiative.

Master Corporal Alexander Yu, M.S.M.
Toronto, Ontario

Master Corporal Yu demonstrated outstanding dedication and team spirit during his deployment from May to November 2018 as an analyst with Operation JUTE. His ability to rigorously analyze digital data from equipment seized from the enemy led him to develop a new report showing how this information can improve a mission’s capabilities and identify targets. His advances in intelligence have greatly benefitted the Canadian Armed Forces and Canada as a whole.


Joan Bray
Carleton Place, Ontario

Joan Bray is a lifelong volunteer who has given of her time to hospitals, animal shelters, schools, churches and the Royal Canadian Legion in her community. In 2017, Willis College in Arnprior officially named its learning centre after her to honour her service in the Second World War.

Corporal Romeo Daley (Ret’d)
Fort Erie, Ontario

Korean War veteran Romeo Daley has spent more than four decades assisting other veterans and teaching youth about the sacrifices made by Canadian soldiers. He is a founding member of the Fort Erie Legion, has held leadership positions with the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Association of Canada, and helps keep members in touch with one another through his local branch of the Korea Veterans Association of Canada.

Gilles Déry
Chicoutimi, Quebec

Gilles Déry has been involved in the cadet movement for 25 years and has held executive positions at the local, provincial and national levels. He served an unprecedented eight years as national president of the Army Cadet League of Canada and is credited with modernizing the organization’s structure and strengthening its ties with military and federal government partners.

Michael Giles
Toronto, Ontario

Michael Giles has served as a civilian volunteer with pipe bands across the country for more than three decades. He was the youngest cadet to be appointed pipe major of the Vernon Army Cadet Camp, and he is credited with transforming the Calgary Highlander Regiment pipe band into one of the best in the Canadian Armed Forces. He currently performs as a member of the York Regional Police pipe band.

Captain John Helms (Ret’d)
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

A relentless advocate on behalf of veterans, John Helms has volunteered much of his time in support of retiring military and RCMP members looking for meaningful employment. He has also worked tirelessly to ensure veterans have access to essential services and programs offered by the Last Post Fund and the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires.

Major Donald Kennedy (Ret’d)
Hamilton, Ontario

As the founding president and current secretary of the Clear Waters Métis Council, Donald Kennedy has been advocating on behalf of Métis people in Ontario over the past 20 years. He has also helped honour war veterans through the Korea Veterans Association of Canada, where he participates in fundraising initiatives, events and memorial services.

Master Corporal Joeseph Kyle Olaski
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Joeseph Olaski has been involved with the Military Family Resource Centre since he was six years old, volunteering at a number of its branches across Canada. He supports military families by promoting and participating in fundraisers, assisting with various community events, and supervising youth at the drop-in centre.

Major Lee-Anne Quinn (Ret’d)
Peterborough, Ontario

Since 2008, Lee-Anne Quinn has held several leadership roles with the Peterborough chapter of the Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping and currently serves as its president. She also co-founded Salaam Peterborough and has helped sponsor several Syrian refugee families in Canada.

Lieutenant-Colonel Yvon Roberge (Ret’d)
Trois-Rivières, Quebec

Yvon Roberge has been a leader in the Association du 12e Régiment blindé du Canada (RBC) in Trois-Rivières, serving as secretary-treasurer for the past 40 years, and was instrumental in the creation of the association’s museum. He has also been an active member of the Royal Canadian Legion for the past decade, serving on the Wellness Committee and with the annual Poppy Campaign.

Christopher Varley
Amherstview, Ontario

For more than three decades, naval historian Christopher Varley has been involved with the HMCS Cataraqui Association, serving as president, chairing memorial projects, preparing exhibits and publishing the newsletter. He has also promoted the history of the Royal Canadian Navy through his contributions to the Royal Canadian Legion and the Navy League of Canada.


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 Military Division recognizes a military deed or activity that has been performed in a highly professional manner or of a very high standard that brings benefit or honour to the Canadian Armed Forces and to Canada.

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