Governor General of Canada

Governor General of Canada

May 22, 2009 14:55 ET

Jeffrey Hopkins to Receive the Medal of Bravery

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 22, 2009) - Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaelle Jean, Governor General of Canada, today announced the awarding for a Medal of Bravery to Jeffrey Hopkins. Mr Hopkins will be invited to receive his decoration at a ceremony to be held on May 31, 2009, at 10:15 a.m. at the Frobisher Inn Hotel in Iqaluit, Nunavut.

Jeffrey Hopkins, M.B., Iqaluit, Nunavut

Medal of Bravery

On October 28, 2007, Jeffrey Hopkins attempted to rescue his wife after their snowmobile broke through the ice on the Coppermine River, in Kugluktuk, Nunavut. After struggling in the water for approximately 10 minutes, Mr. Hopkins got himself out and grabbed his wife's hand to keep her from being pulled under. He managed to hold onto her for a while, but had to leave her to get help at the nearest village, two kilometres away, knowing this was the only way to save her life. Although suffering from hypothermia and severe frostbite, Mr. Hopkins crawled for approximately five hours, shouting out as he approached the village where a resident found him and brought him to a nearby health clinic. Sadly, Mr. Hopkins' wife did not survive the ordeal.

A fact sheet on the Decorations for Bravery (Annex A) is attached



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. Every year, countless incidents occur, fraught with a great deal of danger for the potential victims and rescuers.

The three levels of bravery decorations 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; the Star of Courage (S.C.), acts of conspicuous courage in circumstances of great peril; the Medal of Bravery (M.B.), 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

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