Governor General of Canada

Governor General of Canada

June 30, 2014 09:28 ET

Governor General Presents the Meritorious Service Cross (Civil Division) to Olympic Medallist and Mental Health Champion Clara Hughes

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 30, 2014) - His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, will present the Meritorious Service Cross (Civil Division) to Canadian Olympic medallist Clara Hughes, during a special presentation at Robert Simpson Park, in Arnprior, today at approximately 6:20 p.m. The event will take place following Their Excellencies' cycling with Ms. Hughes as part of Clara's Big Ride for Bell Let's Talk. The presentation will conclude Their Excellencies' half-day visit to Arnprior.

Ms. Hughes's citation is as follows:

Clara Hughes, O.C., O.M., M.S.C.
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Meritorious Service Cross (Civil Division)

Since January 2011, Clara Hughes has worked tirelessly to help raise national awareness in support of mental health initiatives. In March 2014, the six-time summer and winter Olympic medallist and national spokesperson for the Bell Let's Talk campaign embarked on an epic cycling journey across Canada. Over the course of 110 days, Clara's Big Ride travelled through 95 communities in every Canadian province and territory to promote mental health and to encourage Canadians to end the stigma attached to mental illness. Along the way, Ms. Hughes took part in 235 public events, including more than 80 school and youth events where she delivered a resounding message to break down the barriers surrounding mental health. She is to be commended for her accomplishments, which have greatly contributed to changing social perceptions of mental health issues across Canada.

About the Meritorious Service Decorations

The Meritorious Service Decorations are part of the Canadian Honours System and include a military and a civil division. The civil division recognizes individuals who have performed an exceptional deed or activity over a limited period of time, which brought honour to their community or to Canada. Additional information on this honour is available online at www.gg.ca/msd. A fact sheet on the Meritorious Service Decorations (Civil Division) is also attached.

Follow GGDavidJohnston and RideauHall on Facebook and Twitter

The Meritorious Service Decorations (Civil Division)

Outstanding achievements are always worth celebrating. The civil division of the Meritorious Service Decorations (MSD) enables the governor general, on behalf of all Canadians, to recognize an individual for a remarkable feat accomplished over a limited period of time.

The Meritorious Service Cross, which was the first Meritorious Service Decoration, was created for the military in 1984. In 1991, a Meritorious Service Medal was added to the military division. At the same time, the Cross and Medal were introduced for civilians. The Meritorious Service Decorations are part of the Canadian Honours System.

An individual is eligible to receive this honour when his or her recent and specific deed or activity demonstrates outstanding personal commitment, brings benefit or honour to Canada, and sets an exemplary standard of achievement. This honour does not recognize lifetime achievements; rather, it highlights an individual's recent contribution that has brought great honour to Canada. Non-Canadians may be honoured as long as their accomplishment relates to Canada. The Meritorious Service Decorations can be awarded posthumously.

The Meritorious Service Decorations are given for contributions in any field of endeavour. From advocacy activities to health care services or research, and from public service to humanitarian achievements, MSD recipients excel in a broad range of activities. For example, some have helped prevent suicide, reduced violence towards women and children, or raised awareness of worthwhile causes, both in Canada and abroad.

The Meritorious Service Cross (M.S.C)

The Civil Division Cross recognizes a deed or an activity that has been performed in an outstandingly professional manner, or according to uncommonly high standards; the activity is often innovative, sets an example for others to follow, improves the quality of life of a community and brings considerable benefit or honour to Canada.

The Meritorious Service Medal (M.S.M.)

The Civil Division Medal recognizes a deed or an activity that has been performed in a highly professional manner, or according to a very high standard; often innovative, this deed or activity sets an example for others to follow, improves the quality of life of a community and brings benefit or honour to Canada.

Any person or group is welcome to nominate a deserving individual for the Meritorious Service Decorations (Civil Division). For more information, please visit www.gg.ca/msd.

Contact Information