Governor General of Canada

Governor General of Canada

May 04, 2011 14:30 ET

Governor General to Present 44 Decorations for Bravery

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 4, 2011) - His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, will present two Stars of Courage and 42 Medals of Bravery at a ceremony at Rideau Hall, on
Friday, May 6, 2011, at 10:30 a.m.

The Decorations for Bravery were created in 1972, to recognize people who risked their lives to try to save or protect the lives of others. The Cross of Valour (C.V.) recognizes acts of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme peril; the Star of Courage (S.C.) recognizes acts of conspicuous courage in circumstances of great peril; and the Medal of Bravery (M.B.) recognizes acts of bravery in hazardous circumstances.

A media schedule for the presentation ceremony, a list of recipients and their citations, and a fact sheet on the Decorations for Bravery are enclosed.


Members of the media are asked to observe the following schedule:

9:45 a.m.:Media arrive at Rideau Hall
10:30 a.m.:Ceremony begins
The Governor General speaks
The Governor General presents the Bravery Decorations
12:00 p.m.:Interviews with recipients



Miranda Suggitt, S.C.Lindsay, Ont,
Michael Thomas Westwell, S.C., C.D.Winnipeg, Man.


Norman Anderson, M.B. (posthumous) Trenton, Ont.
Clermont Bélanger, M.B.Pointe-à-la-Frégate, Que.
Constable Patrick Benoit, M.B.Amherstview, Ont.
Scott Borlase, M.B.Winnipeg, Man.
Joseph Henry Roland Bouliane, M.B.Winnipeg, Man.
John Peter Chatterton, M.B.Richmond, Ont.
Jean-Louis Clavet, M.B.Cloridorme, Que.
Richard K. Colbourne, M.B.Edmonton, Alta.
Thomas James Dodd, M.B. (posthumous)Chilliwack, B.C.
Daisy Flamand, M.B.Manawan, Que.
Serge Fournier, M.B.Cloridorme, Que.
Robert Francoeur, M.B.Pointe-à-la-Frégate, Que.
Richard C. Frauley, M.B.Saint John, N.B.
Jared Douglas Gagen, M.B.Cobble Hill, B.C.
Master Corporal Julien Gauthier, M.B.Alouette, Que.
Major William Robertson Green, M.B., C.D.Caronport, Sask.
Blair William Allan Hockin, M.B.Portage la Prairie, Man.
Sergeant Joseph André Hotton, M.B., C.D.Kingston, N.S.
RCMP Constable Michelle Allison Howey, M.B.Calgary, Alta.
Ernest Jean, M.B.Montréal, Que.
John Jew, M.B.Seaforth, Ont.
Timothy Sigluk Kautaq, M.B.Hall Beach, NU
RCMP Constable Alfred Douglas Lavallee, M.B., C.D.St. Ambroise, Man.
Able Seaman Jaret A. McQueen, M.B.Hamilton, Ont.
Warren Bruce Miller, M.B.Victoria, B.C.
Sergeant Joseph Kenneth Penman, M.B.Winnipeg, Man.
Stephen Power, M.B.Charlottetown, P.E.I.
Yvan Pruneau, M.B.Cloridorme, Que.
Constable Alain Rochette, M.B.Fournier, Ont.
Warrant Officer Shaun Spence, M.B., C.D.Winnipeg, Man.
Master Warrant Officer Hamish Jackson Seggie, M.B., C.D. Winnipeg, Man.
Edward Stirling, M.B.Ladysmith, B.C.
Tami Elizabeth Strickland, M.B.Charlottetown, P.E.I.
Constable Wayne Thompson, M.B.Delta, B.C.
Michael André Toupin, M.B.St. Margarets, N.B.
Philippe Tremblay, M.B.Bathurst, N.B.
Art Unruh, M.B.Abbotsford, B.C.
Chad Verch, M.B.Victoria, B.C.
Provincial Constable of the OPP Darrell Wagner, M.B.Petawawa, Ont.
William Watt, M.B.Victoria, B.C.
Abebe Yohannes, M.B.Brandon, Man.
Hermann Zarbl, M.B.Winnipeg, Man.



Miranda Suggitt, S.C.

Lindsay, Ontario

Star of Courage

On November 22, 2005, Miranda Suggitt, then 11 years old, risked her life to prevent her mother from being shot. During the evening, Miranda's father became intoxicated and violent, threatening her mother with a rifle. The rifle went off, missing the woman, who quickly ran outside. Miranda's father followed his wife and pointed the weapon at her. Without any regard for her own life, Miranda stepped between the two and begged her father not to shoot. He yelled at her to move, but she stood her ground until others helped to take the rifle away and hold him until the police arrived. Through her actions, Miranda showed great courage and prevented a terrible tragedy.

Michael Thomas Westwell, S.C., C.D.

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Star of Courage

On March 4, 2008, missionary Michael Westwell courageously fought to protect his wife, during a home invasion in Malawi, Africa. In the early hours of the morning, Mr. Westwell was awakened by the noise of several men forcing their way into the house. Mr. Westwell charged at the men to prevent them from gaining access to the bedroom, wrestling one of the armed men to the ground before being overwhelmed by the others. As the assailants beat him with a gun and cut him with machetes, Mr. Westwell kept screaming in an attempt to alert his neighbours. After several minutes, the men left, but one returned and again beat Mr. Westwell to the floor before running away. Although suffering from a severe head wound, multiple cuts and two broken arms, Mr. Westwell told his wife to stay hidden until a friend arrived to provide assistance.


Norman Anderson, M.B. (posthumous)

Trenton, Ontario

Medal of Bravery

On April 11, 2009, Norman Anderson lost his life trying to stop a moving vehicle, the driver of which was having a heart attack, in Havelock, Ontario. Wanting to make sure his relative, who had been feeling ill, got home safely, Mr. Anderson followed him home. Before long, the man's vehicle slowed down and veered to the side of the road.

Mr. Anderson stopped his car and rushed to check on the victim, who seemed to be suffering from chest pains. As Mr. Anderson reached inside to turn off the ignition, the victim lost consciousness and his foot pressed down on the gas pedal. The car accelerated, dragging Mr. Anderson along with it, before swerving onto the road, causing him to fall and hit his head on the pavement. The out-of-control car finally came to a stop after hitting the bumper of an SUV. Sadly, neither Mr. Anderson nor the victim survived.

The decoration awarded to Mr. Anderson will be received by his wife, Ms. Minnie Anderson.

Clermont Bélanger, M.B. Pointe-à-la-Frégate, Quebec

Jean-Louis Clavet, M.B. Cloridorme, Quebec

Serge Fournier, M.B. Cloridorme, Quebec

Robert Francoeur, M.B. Pointe-à-la-Frégate, Quebec

Yvan Pruneau, M.B. Cloridorme, Quebec

Medal of Bravery

On October 3, 2008, Clermont Bélanger, Jean-Louis Clavet, Serge Fournier, Robert Francoeur and Yvan Pruneau rescued a man who was trapped under a collapsed house, in Pointe-à-la-Frégate, Quebec. Mr. Bélanger and his brother, along with Mr. Francoeur, had lifted a house to pour concrete in order to build a basement. At one point, one end of the house slid to the ground, trapping Mr. Bélanger's brother beneath debris and a heavy metal beam. Mr. Bélanger used a mechanical shovel to lift the other end of the house to ensure that it did not fall on them and then ran to help the victim. Although injured, Mr. Francoeur quickly set up several wooden towers around the victim to protect him until they could extract him from this dangerous area. Messrs. Clavet, Fournier and Pruneau, who were the first responders, helped Messrs. Bélanger and Francoeur dig out debris from around the victim. They had to work quickly but carefully as the towers were groaning under the weight of the house and dirt was falling in on them. They slid a backboard under the victim and brought him to an awaiting ambulance. Although the victim suffered damages to his spine, he survived, thanks to the brave men who risked their lives to come to his aid.

Constable Patrick Benoit, M.B.

Amherstview, Ontario

Medal of Bravery

On March 29, 2008, off-duty Constable Patrick Benoit, of the Kingston Police Force, rescued an injured man following an accident on Highway 401, in Kingston, Ontario. A tractor-trailer had hit a communications tower, crashed into a rock wall and burst into flames. Alerted by the loud noise as he drove nearby, Constable Benoit stopped to assist. The injured driver was on the rock wall above his burning rig and was in danger of falling. In complete darkness, Constable Benoit managed to climb up halfway, but fell as stones on the wall came loose. Persevering, he reached the victim and pulled him a safe distance away until help arrived.

Scott Borlase, M.B.

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Medal of Bravery

On January 31, 2009, 14-year-old Scott Borlase was instrumental in keeping his sister safe during a snowstorm on Lake Winnipeg, in Manitoba. Scott, his 11-year-old sister, and their father had started their snowmobile outing on a clear morning, but by early afternoon the weather had changed. They lost sight of the marked trail due to the severe winds and heavy snowfall. At one point, Scott's father got off the snowmobile and collapsed to the ground. Unable to find a pulse, Scott made the decision to go for help with his sister. In the blinding storm, Scott drove in a straight line hoping to eventually reach the shoreline. Once at the shore, Scott was able to use his cell phone to call 911 and provide directions to their location. He brought his sister into a bush area away from the biting wind, and used a solar blanket to keep them warm until help finally arrived several hours later. Another search party located his father who, sadly, did not survive.

Joseph Henry Roland Bouliane, M.B. Winnipeg, Manitoba

Major William Robertson Green, M.B., C.D. Caronport, Saskatchewan

Blair William Allan Hockin, M.B. Portage la Prairie, Manitoba

RCMP Constable Alfred Douglas Lavallee, M.B., C.D. St. Ambroise, Manitoba

Sergeant Joseph Kenneth Penman, M.B. Winnipeg, Manitoba

Master Warrant Officer Hamish Jackson Seggie, M.B., C.D. Winnipeg, Manitoba

Warrant Officer Shaun Spence, M.B., C.D. Winnipeg, Manitoba

Abebe Yohannes, M.B. Brandon, Manitoba

Hermann Zarbl, M.B. Winnipeg, Manitoba

Medal of Bravery

On October 12, 2007, Major William Green, Warrant Officer Shaun Spence, Sergeant Joseph Penman, Roland Bouliane and Abebe Yohannes rescued two people who were trapped inside burning vehicles, in Headingly, Manitoba. The men tried frantically to put out the fire inside one vehicle, but the flames spread quickly and the dark smoke made it difficult to see inside. Major Green broke the rear window, pulled a little girl from the back seat and brought her to safety. Constable Alfred Lavallee and the other rescuers again tried desperately to reach the two other victims inside, but were driven back by the heat and flames. Meanwhile, Blair Hockin, Hermann Zarbl and Master Warrant Officer Hamish Seggie ripped out parts of the dash on the second vehicle to pull out the driver, who was trapped beneath the debris. They removed the victim, moments before the vehicle became engulfed.

John Peter Chatterton, M.B.

Richmond, Ontario

Medal of Bravery

On February 12, 2007, Lieutenant John Chatterton, an Ottawa firefighter, risked his life to ensure that his fellow firefighters escaped a burning three-story building. As they completed the search for possible victims, Lieut. Chatterton and his two colleagues made their way back down from the third floor. They found their exit route blocked by thick, black smoke and extreme heat, leaving them no choice but to return to the third floor to find an alternate escape route. Lieut. Chatterton informed his crew that the only way out was to jump from the window. He lay on the floor and guided his crew to jump first, while the paint on his helmet blistered from the heat and his radio melted. Lieut. Chatterton then jumped to the ground below. He suffered second-degree burns and multiple fractures.

Wesley Eugene Belland, M.B. Fort St. John, British Columbia

Allan Dale Bennett, M.B. Edson, Alberta

Aaron Buffett, M.B. Eastern Passage, Nova Scotia

Richard K. Colbourne, M.B. Edmonton, Alberta

Harold Galliford, M.B. Jarvie, Alberta

Mark Timothy McKay, M.B. Calgary, Alberta

Richard K. Randall, M.B. Red Deer, Alberta

Joseph Eugene Stanley Rucchin, M.B. Enoch, Alberta

Ronald R. Savill, M.B. (deceased) High Prairie, Alberta

Eric Patrick Shaffer, M.B. St. Albert, Alberta

Medal of Bravery

On January 28, 2005, the above-mentioned men attempted to rescue a co-worker who was trapped on a burning drilling rig, near Helmut, British Columbia. While drilling a surface hole, a blow-out explosion occurred, sending large rocks flying through the air and flames shooting up the derrick rig. Once gathered in a safe location, the crew noticed that one man was missing. Braving the danger, the workers located the man, who was still on the burning platform, experiencing difficulty with his harness. Although he was able to free himself, he was unable to go down, as his route was blocked by the fire. Despite the danger, the crew remained with their co-worker to hold a guide wire on which the victim tried to descend. Sadly, the man fell to the ground and sustained fatal injuries.

Messrs. Bennett, Buffett, Galliford, McKay, Radnal, Rucchin, and Savill received their decorations at a previous ceremony.

Messrs. Belland and Shaffer will receive their decorations at a later date.

Thomas James Dodd, M.B. (posthumous)

Chilliwack, British Columbia

Medal of Bravery

On June 29, 2006, brakeman Tom Dodd lost his life trying to help two of his co-workers escape from a train that was speeding uncontrollably down a mountain track, in Lillooet, British Columbia. All three men were in the locomotive when its brakes failed as it was speeding towards a sharp curve. Mr. Dodd climbed onto the lumber car behind the engine and made his way to the wagon's manual brake. As the train rounded the curve, the lumber car broke away from the locomotive and plunged down the steep slope. The engine then derailed and went over the embankment. The engineer was the sole survivor.

The decoration awarded to Mr. Dodd will be received by his son, Mr. William Moorehead.

Daisy Flamand, M.B.

Manawan, Quebec

Medal of Bravery

On August 20, 2008, Daisy Flamand rescued three people from a burning house, in Manawan, Quebec. Hearing the smoke alarm from her basement bedroom, Ms. Flamand ran upstairs to find the kitchen in flames. She alerted her grandmother and her 10-year-old niece, who were sleeping in a bedroom on the main floor. Ms. Flamand then ran to the basement and brought her baby outside to her niece. Although the house was filling up quickly with thick, black smoke, making it difficult to breathe, Ms. Flamand re-entered the house and brought her grandmother to safety. The police prevented Ms. Flamand from entering the house again in an attempt to rescue two more family members who were trapped inside. Sadly, the two victims did not survive.

Richard C. Frauley, M.B.

Saint John, New Brunswick

Medal of Bravery

On May 30, 2008, Richard Frauley rescued two people from a burning vehicle, in Lepreau, New Brunswick. Mr. Frauley witnessed a vehicle enter the median and roll over several times. He stopped his car and ran to the vehicle, which had caught on fire.

Mr. Frauley pulled frantically at the damaged front passenger door and pried it open. The flames were spreading under the vehicle and getting more intense. Mr. Frauley grabbed the passenger under her arms and dragged her a safe distance away, while the injured driver managed to pull himself out through the sunroof. Mr. Frauley then forced open the rear passenger door, removed the baby from her car seat, and brought her to her mother. By then, the vehicle was completely engulfed in flames. Mr. Frauley provided first aid to the victims until the police arrived.

Jared Douglas Gagen, M.B. Cobble Hill, British Columbia

Warren Bruce Miller, M.B. Victoria, British Columbia

Edward Stirling, M.B. Ladysmith, British Columbia

Art Unruh, M.B. Abbotsford, British Columbia

William Watt, M.B. Victoria, British Columbia

Medal of Bravery

On September 9, 2008, Jared Gagen, Bruce Miller, Edward Stirling, Art Unruh and William Watt came to the aid of a fellow fisherman, who was being attacked by a black bear, in Port Renfrew, British Columbia. The bear climbed onto the victim's boat at the dock and charged at him, biting him in the neck and shoulder area. Seeing the attack, Messrs. Miller and Gagen ran to help, hitting the bear with fishing gaffs, but were unsuccessful in getting it to release the wounded man.

Messrs. Unruh, Watt and Stirling arrived with hammers and knives to stop the bear that thrashed at them without letting go of its victim. After they struck the bear many more times, the severely injured animal finally fell to the bottom of the boat. The victim was quickly rushed to hospital and survived the attack, thanks to the bravery and quick actions of his fellow fishermen.

Master Corporal Julien Gauthier, M.B. Alouette, Quebec

Sergeant Joseph André Hotton, M.B., C.D. Kingston, Nova Scotia

Medal of Bravery

On November 19, 2008, military search and rescue technicians Sergeant André Hotton and Master Corporal Julien Gauthier rescued three people from a sinking barge, off the coast of Nova Scotia. Responding to a distress call stating that the barge was in trouble in heavy seas, a military helicopter was sent to the site to evacuate the people on board. After several failed rescue attempts, Sergeant Hotton was lowered a distance away from the vessel where he signalled for one victim to swim out to him so that he could be hoisted up to the aircraft. Although advised by the air base that the rescue operation should cease because of low fuel and approaching darkness, the pilot and crew opted to continue with the rescue. Sergeant Hotton was again lowered and was hoisted up with one more victim. Master Corporal Gauthier was then lowered down and completed the rescue of the last victim. The entire rescue operation took approximately one hour to complete, and the barge capsized shortly afterwards.

This is the second Decoration for Bravery awarded to Sergeant Hotton.

RCMP Constable Michelle Allison Howey, M.B.

Calgary, Alberta

Medal of Bravery

On July 7, 2006, RCMP Constable Michelle Howey risked her life in an attempt to rescue two wounded colleagues, near Mildred, Saskatchewan. The three constables were in pursuit of an armed man when the lead police vehicle finally rammed into the suspect's truck. As Constable Howey caught up with them in her own vehicle, the suspect shot at her, barely missing her, and fled when she returned fire. Constable Howey then left the safety of her vehicle to check on her colleagues, who had both been shot by the man. Unsure if the gunman was still nearby, and unable to pull one of the victims to safety, she called for assistance. The fugitive was apprehended after an extensive manhunt. Sadly, the two injured constables did not survive.

Ernest Jean, M.B. Montréal, Quebec

Marjorie Jean-Baptiste, M.B. Joliette, Quebec

Medal of Bravery

On March 6, 2008, Marjorie Jean-Baptiste and Ernest Jean risked their lives to ensure that seven children escaped from a burning house, in Rivière-des-Prairies, Quebec.

Ms. Jean-Baptiste and the children were sleeping in the second-floor bedrooms, when she heard one of the children cry out. Thick, black smoke was filling the hallway as she quickly pulled the children into her room. She broke the window, screamed to alert nearby residents, and then dropped the children, one by one, onto the snowbank below. Neighbours gathered the children and brought them warm blankets, while encouraging Ms. Jean-Baptiste to escape the intensifying flames. She refused to jump until all seven children were safely outside. Meanwhile, neighbour Ernest Jean entered the house to search through the burning main floor for any missing children, but was forced out due to the smoke. He rolled in the snow to wet his clothing, re-entered and searched quickly through the raging fire before going back outside.

Ms. Jean-Baptiste received her decoration at a previous ceremony.

John Jew, M.B.

Seaforth, Ontario

Medal of Bravery

In the early hours of February 21, 2007, 75-year-old John Jew rescued his 77-year-old wife from their burning house, in Seaforth, Ontario. Awakened by the fire alarm, Mr. Jew discovered flames in the kitchen. Unable to put out the fire, he called 911 and ran upstairs to wake his wife. The fire quickly spread up into the stairway, blocking the couple's escape route. Mr. Jew jumped from a window into the snow and brought a ladder to the balcony. He then assisted his wife down to safety just as the firefighters arrived.

Timothy Sigluk Kautaq, M.B.

Hall Beach, Nunavut

Medal of Bravery

On February 26, 2009, Tim Kautaq rescued several people from a burning house, in Hall Beach, Nunavut. Mr. Kautaq was walking by the house when he heard one of the victims yelling for help. The main floor of the two-storey house was completely engulfed in flames when he entered the residence. Unable to breathe, Mr. Kautaq was forced out of the house, but re-entered when he heard a child crying inside. Although the smoke made it difficult to see and breathe, the rescuer grabbed the badly burnt boy and brought him outside. From the doorway, Mr. Kautaq called out to three more victims who were unable to find their way out and guided them towards him. Mr. Kautaq then ran inside the house, one final time, to pull the last child to safety.

Leading Seaman Robert T. Binder, M.B. (deceased) Toronto, Ontario

Master Corporal David Frederick Taylor King, M.B., C.D. Victoria, British Columbia

Able Seaman Jaret A. McQueen, M.B. Hamilton, Ontario

Medal of Bravery

On August 14, 2008, Leading Seaman Robert Binder, Master Corporal David King and Able Seaman Jaret McQueen rescued a man from a submerged vehicle, in Esquimalt, British Columbia. Upon hearing the crash of the vehicle—which was then propelled into the waters of Lang Cove, at Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt—Leading Seaman Binder and Master Corporal King entered the murky waters to reach the vehicle. After repeated efforts, they extracted the unconscious man from the vehicle, brought him back to shore and began CPR. Master Corporal King and Able Seaman McQueen dived numerous times to the vehicle to search for other possible victims. Only once the vehicle was pulled out of the water did they find a deceased woman inside.

The decorations awarded to Leading Seaman Binder and Master Corporal King were presented at a previous ceremony.

Stephen Power, M.B. Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Tami Elizabeth Strickland, M.B. Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Medal of Bravery

On November 14, 2008, Stephen Power and Tami Strickland rescued a woman with disabilities from a smoke-filled apartment, in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. A small fire inside the apartment caused the sprinkler system to be activated.

Incapacitated by the smoke, the victim became unconscious, as the water level quickly rose in the room. From the hallway, Ms. Strickland heard the water running and decided to pry the door open, only to find the residence filled with thick, black smoke. She ran to get Mr. Power to help her, and together they went inside the apartment. Unable to see because of the smoke, they had to feel their way around to find the victim. Although they had difficulty breathing, they finally located her on the bathroom floor and brought her out to safety.

Constable Sean Ralph, M.B. Ottawa, Ontario

Constable Alain Rochette, M.B. Fournier, Ontario

Medal of Bravery

On December 8, 2005, Ottawa police constables Sean Ralph and Alain Rochette risked their lives in an effort to rescue a woman who was being stabbed by a man armed with a hunting knife, in Ottawa, Ontario. When the officers arrived, the attacker grabbed the victim, dragged her inside her basement apartment and locked the door. After numerous attempts to break down the heavy door, the constables succeeded in kicking out a small opening at the bottom of it. Uncertain of what they would encounter on the other side, they crawled into the dark apartment. They spotted the aggressor, who finally responded to the officers' commands and surrendered his weapon. Sadly, the victim did not survive.

Constable Ralph received his decoration at a previous ceremony.

Constable Nicholas Bell, M.B. West Vancouver, British Columbia

Constable Wayne Thompson, M.B. Delta, British Columbia

Medal of Bravery

On October 31, 2008, West Vancouver Police constables Nick Bell and Wayne Thompson rescued two elderly people from a burning house, in Vancouver. The officers arrived at the scene to see the entire top floor ablaze. Through the open front door, the constables shouted out to the two residents, who were standing still, in utter shock. As debris fell around the victims, the fire started spreading and they were enveloped by thick smoke. Without any special equipment, the constables ran in and pulled the reluctant seniors to safety.

Constable Bell will receive his decoration at a later date.

Michael André Toupin, M.B.

St. Margarets, New Brunswick

Medal of Bravery

On June 20, 2008, Mike Toupin jumped onto a moving tractor-trailer to save its incapacitated driver, in Miramichi, New Brunswick. The driver, who had suffered a heart attack, was slumped over the wheel as his truck went off the road and through a field. Advised that the out-of-control vehicle was heading towards the highway, Mr. Toupin ran up to the tractor-trailer and jumped onto the step of the driver's side of the cab. He opened the door, reached across the victim, pulled the brake lever, and turned off the ignition. With the help of another man, Mr. Toupin then dragged the victim to the ground and began CPR. The paramedics arrived shortly after, and were able to revive the individual.

Philippe Tremblay, M.B.

Bathurst, New Brunswick

Medal of Bravery

On June 9, 2004, Philippe Tremblay, then 16 years old, rescued a friend who was injured when he fell from a cliff into the rapids below, at Tetagouche Falls, in Bathurst, New Brunswick. Philippe and his schoolmates had climbed to the top of the falls when one of the boys slipped, fell into a rocky basin below, and was pulled into the swift-moving waters. Suffering several injuries after the fall, the victim, unable to use his legs, tried desperately to swim. Without hesitation, Philippe jumped into the deep water to help his classmate, who had disappeared below the surface. Despite the strong undertow, he reached the panicked victim and pulled him up to a small platform area, where others cared for him until the paramedics arrived.

Chad Verch, M.B.

Victoria, British Columbia

Medal of Bravery

On November 12, 2008, Chad Verch rescued three people from a possible drowning, in Punta de Mita, Mexico. Mr. Verch had been surfing when someone on shore alerted him to a swimmer in trouble. Upon reaching the area, he saw an exhausted lifeguard desperately trying to get an elderly woman onto his surfboard. Struggling against the strong current and high waves, Mr. Verch towed the surfboard, with the woman and the lifeguard hanging onto it, towards shore, where others took over and cared for them. Mr. Verch, this time accompanied by another hotel lifeguard, went back into the water to rescue two more tourists, who were caught in the heavy surf. Thanks to Mr. Verch's determination, all three victims survived.

Provincial Constable of the OPP Darrell Wagner, M.B.

Petawawa, Ontario

Medal of Bravery

On July 22, 2007, Constable Darrell Wagner, of the Ontario Provincial Police, rescued a man whose boat was stranded in the rapids of the Ottawa River, near Pembroke, Ontario. Unable to grab onto a rope that was thrown to him, the victim was swept away by the strong current. He managed to grab onto a large rock to stop himself from going further downstream. Using an inner tube, Constable Wagner was able to reach the man's side, and fought against the strong current to pull him onto the flotation device. Both men were eventually rescued and brought to safety.



The Decorations for Bravery were created in 1972. They 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 (C.V.) recognizes acts of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme peril.

TheStar of Courage (S.C.) recognizes acts of conspicuous courage in circumstances of great peril.

TheMedal of Bravery (M.B.) recognizes acts of bravery in hazardous circumstances.


Anyone is free to propose the name of a person who has risked injury or death in an attempt to rescue another person. The incident need not have taken place in Canada, and the rescuer need not be Canadian, but Canadians or Canadian interests must be involved. The Decorations may be awarded posthumously.

Nominations must be made within two years of the incident, or within two years after a public entity, including a court, a quasi-judicial tribunal or a coroner, has concluded its review of the circumstances surrounding the incident or act of bravery.

For more information on the Decorations for Bravery and on the recipients of these awards, please visit

Contact Information