Governor General to Present Honours in London, Ontario-March 9, 2017

Posted by Chris Parnell on

Governor General to Present Honours in London, Ontario

OTTAWA—His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, will present honours during a ceremony on Thursday, March 9, 2017, at 2 p.m. at the London Convention Centre, in London, Ontario.

More than 45 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, the Meritorious Service Decoration, the Decoration for Bravery, the Polar Medal or the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers. The ceremony will be streamed live online at, starting at 2 p.m. EST.



Daniel J. Bowman, M.O.M.
Hamilton, Ontario
Member of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces

For his progressive and innovative management of police resources within the Hamilton Police Services, and for his long-term community leadership.


Lieutenant-Colonel Jason Christopher Guiney, M.S.C., C.D.
Toronto, Ontario
Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)

From August 2015 to January 2016, Lieutenant-Colonel Jason Christopher Guiney deployed to Ukraine as the inaugural task force commander. His exceptional leadership, professionalism and dedication shaped the structure of the task force, while the outstanding relationships he developed with the Canadian Embassy and the Armed Forces of Ukraine proved pivotal to creating a sustainable mission. Lieutenant-Colonel Guiney greatly contributed to strengthening Ukraine’s capacity for maintaining its sovereignty, security and stability.

Major Robert Paul Joseph Tremblay, M.S.C., C.D.
Hamilton, Ontario
Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)

While serving in Haiti from March to September 2015 as United Nations and Haitian National Police (HNP) team leader, Major Robert Paul Joseph Tremblay played a key role in developing electoral security measures. Through his leadership, he helped to establish a command and control structure for operations by the HNP under complex and difficult circumstances. During this deployment, Major Tremblay forged an effective civilian-military team that advanced governance in the region, bringing great honour to the Canadian Armed Forces and to Canada.

Jessica DiSabatino, M.S.C.
Calgary, Alberta
Robert David Ellis, M.S.C.
Paris, Ontario
Meritorious Service Cross (Civil Division)

After losing a family member in a preventable workplace accident, Robert David Ellis and Jessica DiSabatino founded MySafeWork so that other young workers would know how to deal with unsafe situations in the workplace. Each year, they deliver presentations to over 100 000 students, employers and policy makers, empowering them to build a culture of safety in their industries.

Michael Kaufman, M.S.C.
The Honourable Jack Layton, P.C., M.S.C. (posthumous)
Ronald Sluser, M.S.C.
Toronto, Ontario
Meritorious Service Cross (Civil Division)

Michael Kaufman, Jack Layton and Ron Sluser challenged negative concepts of masculinity by getting men to talk about gender equality. Their efforts sparked the White Ribbon Campaign, which encourages men and boys to pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women and girls. Today, the movement has spread to 60 countries, and continues to promote a safe and equitable future by having fathers and other male role models talk to boys about respect and healthy relationships.

The Meritorious Service Cross awarded to Dr. Kaufman will be presented to him at a later date.
The Meritorious Service Cross awarded to the late Honourable Jack Layton will be presented to his spouse, Ms. Olivia Chow.

Ting Yim Lee, M.S.C.
London, Ontario
Meritorious Service Cross (Civil Division)

Ting Yim Lee developed an algorithm to measure blood flow in people who have suffered a stroke or heart attack, or who are living with cancer. Marketed as software by General Electric, this major medical advancement has now been integrated into more than 8 000 medical imaging devices worldwide.

Mark Wafer, M.S.C.
Collingwood, Ontario
Meritorious Service Cross (Civil Division)

Mark Wafer has tackled the issue of high unemployment rates among disabled Canadians head-on. Since opening the first of seven Tim Hortons stores, he has employed over 150 Canadians with disabilities in both management and customer service positions. His business model has proven fruitful in helping both his community and his bottom line. He now encourages other businesses to implement the same practices and to tap into this incredible talent pool.

Patricia S. Adachi, M.S.M.
Scarborough, Ontario
Meritorious Service Medal (Civil Division)

Pat Adachi wrote Asahi: A Baseball Legend, the true story of a Japanese-Canadian team that took the Pacific Northwest Baseball League by storm from 1914 to 1941. By shedding light on the challenges these players overcame during World War II and the dark period of Japanese-Canadian internment, she has not only preserved the history of a talented team, but also illuminated the healing power of sport.

Paul Finkelstein, M.S.M.
Stratford, Ontario
Meritorious Service Medal (Civil Division)

With his organic gardens and experiential teaching approach, Paul Finkelstein is the backbone of the Screaming Avocado Café. This alternative, student-run cafeteria, located inside Stratford Northwestern Secondary School, teaches students the ins and outs of running a business as they develop healthy eating habits.

Ian Scott Graham, M.S.M.
Puslinch, Ontario
Meritorious Service Medal (Civil Division)

Long before the issue of bullying became headline news, Scott Graham started Kids 4 Kids, a leadership and anti-bullying program, in 1993. His sense of fun and his belief in celebrating our differences permeate his after-school sessions, summer camps and school assembly presentations. Through co-operative games, team-building exercises, music and frank discussions, he has instilled into thousands of youngsters a positive outlook and a lifelong sense of confidence.

Claire Hopkinson, M.S.M.
Toronto, Ontario
Meritorious Service Medal (Civil Division)

Claire Hopkinson realized her vision of connecting the city’s neighbourhoods through the arts as the head of the Toronto Arts Council and Toronto Arts Foundation. Her transformative, street-level arts programming, her support for emerging artists, and her dedicated advocacy and outreach efforts have had a broad impact on the city’s arts community and beyond.

Hal Johnson, M.S.M.
Joanne McLeod, M.S.M.
Oakville, Ontario
Meritorious Service Medal (Civil Division)

Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod initiated BodyBreak, a series of 90-second television segments that inspired viewers to “keep fit and have fun” through healthy nutrition and active living. Twenty-five years later, they remain active in community outreach and speaking engagements, positively impacting the health of Canadians across the country.

Michael Landsberg, M.S.M.
Toronto, Ontario
Meritorious Service Medal (Civil Division)

In 2009, television personality Michael Landsberg publicly disclosed his struggles with mental illness during an interview on his program “Off The Record.” Since his candid disclosure, he has worked passionately to shatter the stigma associated with mental illness as an ambassador for the Bell Let’s Talk initiative and by mounting his own social media campaign, Sick Not Weak. His frank, honest and fearless dialogue has inspired countless Canadians to speak up and seek the help they need.

Narendra Chetram Singh, M.S.M.
Toronto, Ontario
Meritorious Service Medal (Civil Division)

Toronto-based pediatrician Narendra Chetram Singh founded Guyana Help the Kids in 2009 to address neonatal and infant mortality rates in his country of birth. He raised funds to procure essential equipment, then went on to establish a residency program in collaboration with Canadian universities to train Guyanese pediatricians and nurses. Thanks to his efforts, the infant mortality rate in Guyana’s largest hospital has decreased by nearly 40 per cent.

Dave Sopha, M.S.M.
Cambridge, Ontario
Meritorious Service Medal (Civil Division)

With the desire to honour the Canadian soldiers who lost their lives in combat in Afghanistan, Dave Sopha created a memorial painting entitled Portraits of Honour. In 2011, the mural went on a cross-Canada tour dedicated to the families who had lost a loved one, visiting the hometowns of the fallen and communities housing a military base, helping the families to move through their grief.



John Allison, M.B.
John McDonald, M.B.
Robert Stokes, M.B.
Petrolia, Ontario
Medal of Bravery

On April 22, 2015, John Allison, John McDonald and Robert Stokes rescued an elderly woman from her burning car in Petrolia, Ontario. The injured victim tried exiting through the window, but her legs became stuck beneath the steering wheel. Mr. Allison reached inside the car and, after several attempts, managed to free the trapped victim. Messrs. McDonald and Stokes then assisted Mr. Allison in pulling her out of the vehicle and carrying her across the road to safety.

Special Constable Joshua Ford, M.B.
Barrie, Ontario
Constable Blake Pyatt, M.B.
Angus, Ontario
Medal of Bravery

On September 12, 2015, Special Constable Joshua Ford and Constable Blake Pyatt, of the Barrie Police Service, rescued a man who was trapped in his car following an accident in Barrie, Ontario. As the officers entered the overturned vehicle, they found fuel leaking past exposed wires and into the cabin, soaking their clothes. Racing against time, the two officers quickly cut the victim free from his seatbelt and pulled him from the wreck.

Barry Gateman, M.B.
Elmwood, Ontario
James Sylvest, M.B.
South Bruce Peninsula, Ontario
Medal of Bravery

On October 1, 2015, Barry Gateman and James Sylvest rescued a woman from a burning vehicle in South Bruce Peninsula, Ontario. The victim’s car had rolled and collided with a hydro pole, causing live wires to fall on her vehicle as it caught fire. Despite the danger, Messrs. Gateman and Sylvest reached inside the wreck, pulled the woman out and brought her a safe distance away.

Constable Zoran Ivkovic, M.B.
Toronto, Ontario
Medal of Bravery

On March 31, 2015, Constable Zoran Ivkovic, of the Toronto Police Service, rescued a young boy from a burning apartment in Toronto, Ontario. Advised that the child was trapped inside the unit, Constable Ivkovic ran into the smoke-filled building. Crawling on his stomach, he banged on doors to alert tenants to the fire until he reached the victim’s unit at the end of the hallway. He then forced open the apartment door, and called for the boy. After hearing a faint moan, he located the child close by and pulled him to safety.

Darren Life, M.B.
Peterborough, Ontario
Medal of Bravery

On June 29, 2015, Darren Life rescued four people who were in danger of drowning in the Otonabee River, in Peterborough, Ontario. When two children fell into the river, three adult family members jumped in after them, but became distressed. Hearing the commotion, Mr. Life swam towards the victims. He gave a life ring to the adults before swimming to the children, who had been swept away by the current, and brought them one by one to the ring. He then attempted to tow them all to shore but, tiring from the effort, had to grab onto another life ring thrown at him by bystanders, who then pulled the group to safety. Sadly, one of the adults could not be rescued.


Jill Heinerth
Mississauga, Ontario

Jill Heinerth is an expert technical diver, writer, photographer, filmmaker and the inaugural explorer-in-residence for the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. Considered one of the most accomplished explorers and underwater cave divers in the world, she has excelled at this high-risk activity with unparalleled skill. Her work has helped researchers unlock the history of climate change while broadening our understanding of the underwater ecosystems present in both the Arctic and the Antarctic.


Bryan Beattie
Grand Bend, Ontario

A volunteer with the Rotary Club of Grand Bend for the past 24 years, Bryan Beattie has contributed to the success of initiatives to eradicate polio, promote global literacy, enhance the community and support local charitable organizations. His dedication, his involvement in various causes, and his advice and expertise have brought success to many projects, including the Huron Country Playhouse, for which he has been a champion of artistic and cultural opportunities.

Richard Cadilha
Kitchener, Ontario

Richard Cadilha seeks to promote healthy living among young people through the Ontario Hockey Association and the Waterloo Regional Boxing Academy, where he has coached for over two decades. He has also served on sports committees, most notably the Organizing Committee for the Special Hockey International Tournament for Autistic Children.

Aslam Daud
Maple, Ontario

Since founding the Canadian chapter of Humanity First in 2004, Aslam Daud has divided his volunteer time between local and international projects, from disaster relief assistance to supporting a food bank that delivers food to the doorsteps of the needy in the Greater Toronto Area. He recently undertook the challenge of raising an additional $4 million to complete the Humanity First Community Centre in his home community of Maple, Ontario.

Miranda Germani
Toronto, Ontario

For over a decade, Miranda Germani has raised funds for several health-related organizations, ranging from Crohn’s and Colitis Canada to the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. She has also been a long-standing volunteer with the Canadian Public Relations Society, and recently participated in a toy drive for Syrian refugees being resettled in the Toronto area.

Cathy Gerrow
Acton, Ontario

Cathy Gerrow has been the face of the Acton branch of the Canadian Cancer Society for nearly 30 years and has maintained her unwavering commitment to its aims and mission. She has served in a broad range of roles, including Daffodil Month organizer, fundraising volunteer and canvasser, branch president and organizer of the Society’s fashion shows. She has also helped coordinate and mentor new volunteers.

Doug Gough
Toronto, Ontario

For more than 50 years, Doug Gough has been volunteering in various capacities with Scouts Canada, most recently as registrar of the Greater Toronto Council, where he helps administer the No One Left Behind program. Since 2011, he has been working with the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto to help young patients register for modified scouting programs.

Denis Hoban
Toronto, Ontario

For over 50 years, Denis Hoban has been dedicating his time to help improve the quality of life of the sick, elderly and underprivileged in his community through various charitable organizations and initiatives. He has been the minister of communion at the Immaculate Conception Parish, an active member of the Knights of Columbus, grand prior of the Order of St. Stanislas for Canada, and a volunteer with the Learning Enrichment Foundation, where he has been helping newcomers to Canada for nearly four decades.

Suzanne Holmes
London, Ontario

Suzanne Holmes has been volunteering in her community since 2002 and served as president of the Cercle des copains de London for 14 years. Her leadership and vision have had a significant impact on the Francophone and Francophile community.

John Hunt
Woodstock, Ontario

Since 2004, John Hunt has been volunteering with the Canadian Cancer Society, where he promotes awareness, facilitates community partnerships, co-chairs Woodstock’s annual Relay for Life and serves as chair of the Regional Advisory Committee. His efforts have made a significant contribution to the fight against cancer.

Raymond Knight
Brantford, Ontario

Raymond Knight has supported his community through a broad spectrum of charitable organizations for nearly 20 years, helping the underprivileged, parents, children, seniors and those affected by serious medical conditions. He has donated hundreds of hours to organizations like the Brantford Food Bank, Help a Child Reach for Tomorrow, and the Church of Christ, always going out of his way to help others in need.

Duncan LeBlanc
Scarborough, Ontario

In addition to coaching several high school sports teams, Duncan LeBlanc has been involved with Special Olympics Ontario for the past decade, most recently as part of the coaching staff at the 2016 National Winter Games. Since 2005, he has been serving as a representative for Autism Ontario on the local school board’s Special Education Advisory Committee.

John Leitch
London, Ontario

Through his leadership, John Leitch has pushed for a more open and caring Canada for over 30 years. He has served on the boards of such organizations as the Kidney Foundation of Canada, the Thames Valley Education Foundation, and United Way London & Middlesex.

Pat Palmer
Shedden, Ontario

For over 25 years, Pat Palmer has served as president and secretary of the Shedden Women’s Institute and of 4-H, where she has coordinated such initiatives as the annual Go for the Gold competition. Her dedication has brought innumerable opportunities for both young and old in Elgin County.

Dennis Sauve
LaSalle, Ontario

As a director of Windsor Lifeline Outreach, Dennis Sauve manages the food bank and the clothing distribution centre. He builds partnerships and volunteers on a daily basis to help the charity assist some 600 families per month, as well as individuals affected by natural disasters, both locally and internationally.

John D. Scott
Fergus, Ontario

Since 1990, John D. Scott has been involved with Lyme Ontario, where he has served as president for 17 years. Throughout this period, he has raised awareness of Lyme disease by organizing international conferences, distributing written material, establishing support groups and conducting his own research, which has been recognized by the scientific community.

Benny Kwok Man Tam
Markham, Ontario

As a volunteer with the 11th Toronto Scout Group since its founding in 1990, Benny Tam has been assisting with the delivery of the youth program, coordinating fundraisers and developing training programs. From 1990 to 1994, he was also part of a network that helped new Hong Kong immigrants integrate into the Toronto community.

Matthew Wakem
St. Mary’s, Ontario

Over the course of 12 years, Matthew Wakem has accrued 15 000 community service hours for St. John Ambulance. He also volunteers with physically challenged individuals and is the founder of the St. Mary’s Leo Club, a youth-run component of the St. Mary’s Lions Club.

David G. Ward
Caledon, Ontario

Since joining the Trans Canada Trail’s (TCT) board of directors in 2000, David Ward has provided valuable leadership and dedication to the organization. Thanks to his creativity and discipline, the TCT overcame financial challenges following the completion of the Millennium Relay, which allowed for the continued expansion of the Trail.

George Wilkinson
London, Ontario

For over 10 years, George Wilkinson has proven himself to be a devoted humanitarian and goodwill ambassador by donating his time locally and internationally to those in need. He has travelled to post-Katrina New Orleans and Mississippi, as well as to Nicaragua in 2013, helping people there rebuild their lives; he has also aided in the recovery and return of Second World War German and Russian remains in Latvia and is active in his own community as a coach for the Special Olympics.

Kathryn Zador
Kitchener, Ontario

After being diagnosed with fibromyalgia, Kathryn Zador founded FibroMoves 10 years ago, a warm-water pool rehabilitation program intended to help fibromyalgia sufferers. Dedicated to public health and well-being, she is also a supporter of the Kitchener-Waterloo Fibromyalgia Support Group and the Canadian Aqua-fitness Leadership Alliance.


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, the 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 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 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.

About the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers

The Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers recognizes the exceptional volunteer achievements of individuals 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.

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