2020 Award Recipients (for actions in 2018)

The Minister of Justice, Sonia LeBel, with the recipients of awards for acts of good citizenship in 2018, and members of the committee on good citizenship.

On March 9, 2020, the Government of Québec paid public tribute to 8 persons in recognition of their acts of good citizenship in 2018. The Tribute to Good Citizenship ceremony was held at the Legislative Council Chamber in the main Parliament Building, presided over by the Minister of Justice, Sonia LeBel, who awarded 15 medals and 15 honourable citations.

The recipients were also given a lapel pin, which is a miniature replica of the medal. 

The acts of good citizenship recognized at the 34rh annual Tribute to Good Citizenship award ceremony have been grouped by region.

Medals for Good Citizenship

The medal for good citizenship, accompanied by a gold lapel pin, may be awarded to a person who has accomplished an act of good citizenship under dangerous circumstances. Made of bronze and engraved with the recipient’s name, the two faces on the medal symbolize both aspects of the theme based on risking one's life to save the life of another.

François-Xavier Bérubé-Dufour, Johnatan Brunet, Philippe Charbonneau and John Edward Savage

On the evening of September 21, 2018, two people decided to set sail on the Gulf of St. Lawrence despite the extreme weather, without imagining what lay ahead.

When they had to make a “Mayday” call, four volunteer members from the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary, François-Xavier Bérubé-Dufour, Johnatan Brunet, Philippe Charbonneau and John Edward Savage, launched an extremely perilous recue mission.

After three hours of rescue attempts in high winds, the four men were able to reach the two victims by forming a human chain.

 

Rémi Deroy and Éric Levasseur

At around 12:30 a.m. on May 30, 2018, Rémi and Éric were driving through the streets of Matane. They saw a strange glow coming from a house and, drawing closer, realized that the entire front of the house was on fire.

Rémi and Éric could see an elderly person inside, using a walking frame. Éric managed to enter the house through a side door. As he helped the old woman escape she told him that her daughter was asleep upstairs.

Rémi went back inside and, with Éric’s help, was able to drag the daughter from the house.

Serge Larouche

On July 7, 2018, Serge was enjoying a fishing trip with one of his friends. They had just entered a salmon pool when their canoe was swept away and hit a floating log. His friend, seated at the front, used his arm to soften the impact and ended up sprawling along the edge of the canoe, which then capsized.

He drifted away. Serge also fell into the water and was trapped beneath the capsized canoe, without a lifejacket. He was able to free himself and swam towards his friend.

Through repeated efforts, he was able to drag him back to the canoe, where he clung on. He then hauled the canoe and his friend to the riverbank.

 

Samuel Yargeau-Turcotte

On May 20, 2018, Samuel decided to go kayaking with his two younger sisters, aged 5 and 9, at the Tropical campsite. The three children put on their lifejackets, and Samuel ferried his sisters, one at a time, to a small island about 30 to 50 metres from the dock.

A few minutes later, he decided to bring both his sisters back on the kayak, but they hit a large floating tree stump and the kayak overturned.

Samuel noticed that his younger sister was trapped under the kayak and, without losing a second, removed his lifejacket, dived under water and grabbed his sister’s lifejacket to pull her from danger.

Normand Beaulieu

On November 14, 2018, Normand was in his truck when he saw flames coming from a car that had parked on the other side of the road. He stopped and ran towards the car.

The doors were locked and a frightened woman was inside. He returned to his truck to get a metal bar he could use to break the window.

After several attempts, he was at last able to pull the victim from the blazing vehicle.

 

Alexandre Boucher

At 8:30 p.m. on the evening of September 13, 2018, Alexandre and his girlfriend decided to go sailing on the St. Lawrence, with two friends. The two couples were in separate boats. It was pitch black and the group checked their lights before leaving.

Suddenly, Alexandre saw a boat heading towards them at high speed. He was able to avoid a collision, but the boat hit his friends’ vessel with a violent impact. Four people, some gravely injured, were thrown into the water, while Alexandre’s friends found themselves in a dangerous situation on a boat that was about to sink.

Without hesitating, Alexandre jumped into the water to save the victims.
 

Solange Roy

On May 16, 2018, Solange Roy noticed smoke coming from a house as she was driving past. She stopped, went into the house and searched all the rooms to alert the occupants.

The smoke was so dense she had to place her sweater over her mouth and nose. When she reached a wall that was completely ablaze, she saw a man approach. He was extremely inebriated and refused to leave the building.

Solange did not want to leave him inside and took advantage of a coughing fit to drag him out. 

Jocelyn Bordeleau

At about 5:30 p.m. on June 15, 2018, Jocelyn and his spouse were returning home on a jet ski on the St. Lawrence, after doing errands.

They spotted three men on the bank waving their arms in a distress signal and, once they got closer, they saw a body floating face-down in the water. Despite being fully dressed, Jocelyn Bordeleau jumped into the water and tried several times to drag the main to safety, but he was too heavy.

At last he was able to drag the victim onto the platform at the stern of the three men’s boat.

 

Martin Guimond

On the night of December 2, 2018, at around 2:15 a.m., Martin Guimond was driving towards Pont de la Concorde when he saw a vehicle hit a concrete divider and flip over, after skidding on the roadway.

As he got closer, Martin immediately noticed the smell of smoke. He knew that he had to get the victim out quickly, but the door on the driver’s side was wedged shut. Martin pulled with all his strength, and was able to shift the door enough to open it.

Suddenly, the bystanders began to shout “The engine’s on fire!”. With assistance from another person, Martin was able to pull the victim from the car.

Maxime Sauvé

While out on his bike on the night of July 8, 2018, Maxime Sauvé was the first person to notice smoke coming from an apartment building.

He grabbed a fire extinguisher and went up to the third floor, the location of the apartment where the fire was raging. He was unable to break the door down and went to the neighbouring apartment, where he asked the occupant if he could go outside onto her balcony. From there, he jumped over the railing to the burning apartment.

After making sure there was nobody inside, Maxime went to help the building’s other occupants. Just after he exited, a huge fireball exploded from the apartment he had searched.

Stéphane Girard

On August 19, 2018, at around 5:30 p.m., Stéphane saw a fire raging in a building close to his house. He went over immediately to see if anyone was in danger, and saw a child at a window on the second floor.

After running back home to get a ladder, he was able to climb up as far as the window. This is when he realized that the room contained two children and a pregnant woman.

He had to clamber into the smoke-filled room several times to help them descend the ladder one by one.


Honourable Citations for Good Citizenship

Honourable citations for good citizenship, accompanied by a silver lapel pin, may be awarded to an individual who has performed an act of courage or dedication under difficult circumstances. The honourable citation is a parchment certificate bearing the recipient’s name.

Mélodie Couturier

On April 6, 2018 at about 1:30 a.m., Mélodie smelled something burning, and noticed smoke coming from the attic of the apartment above her own.

She woke her children, triggered the fire alarm, and knocked on the door of the next-door apartment as well as the apartment on the ground floor to warn the residents.

After noticing that the occupants of the apartment on the third floor had not yet exited the building, she decided to go back inside to check on them.

Mélodie eventually returned, accompanied by the family from the apartment, who were safe and sound.

Katy Taschereau

On May 13, 2018, Katy was out walking near the stream leading into Rivière Bourbon. She saw a group of children playing in the water with a large tree trunk.

Suddenly, one of the children, aged 7, was hit by the trunk and trapped under water. His friends were unable to release him and cried out for help.

With the help of two of the children, Katy was able to free the boy, who had been trapped under water for two minutes and had lost consciousness.

Katy performed resuscitation manoeuvres and took care of him until the emergency services arrived. 

Gildor Fortier

As he was driving a heavy truck at fairly high speed on Highway 111 South towards Témiscamingue on April 2, 2018, Gildor noticed something in the middle of the road. He slammed the brakes on.

When he came to a stop at last, he was barely one metre from a lightly-clothed toddler about two years old. He turned on his warning lights and ran towards the child, while other vehicles raced past in both directions.

Gildor picked up the boy in his arms and carried him back to his house.

 

Jérôme Gamache

In January 2018, Jérôme was driving his tank truck, and about to take a sharp turn down a steep hill. He was worried, because the road surface was slick and no abrasives had been spread.

He reduced speed to take the turn more slowly. At the bottom of the hill a surprise awaited—a schoolbus had stopped on the side of the road to pick up children. Jérôme knew that if he used his brakes his truck would start to skid.

He had to choose between crashing into the bus, on one side, or risking crushing children on the other. He made a conscious decision to drive his heavy vehicle into the ditch, creating a spectacular crash as he lost almost all his cargo.

His courageous action had prevented a catastrophe—no-one on the bus was hurt.
 

Claude Berger and Olivier Sadones

On July 9, 2018, Claude Berger and Olivier Sadones were on a fishing expedition with their guide Aloupa. They had just gone through some dangerous rapids when they discovered that the boat in front of them had been less lucky. Six people, including four children, had been thrown into the deep, freezing water and strong currents.

Aloupa paddled skilfully to bring his canoe in closer. Two young girls were clinging to their mother, who was holding onto the capsized canoe. A man had taken refuge on a rock, while a young boy was struggling in the river, looking for his little three-year-old brother.

Olivier grabbed one of the girls and pulled her on board, while Aloupa and Claude saved the other girl and the woman. Next, Aloupa paddled the canoe towards the boy, grabbed him and hauled him aboard.

The three-year-old boy had slipped out of his lifejacket, which was too large for him. He had disappeared under water and was never found.

Jocelyn Déry and Claude Julien

On November 22, 2018, Claude and Jocelyn were driving along Route Lupien when they spotted smoke coming from a garage near a house belonging to an elderly couple, who were both in their nineties.

The two men entered the house and Jocelyn helped the man exit, while Claude carried the woman to safety.

After leaving the two victims in a safe place, the men went back inside to get their medication. 

Éric Beaudet, Jonathan Goyette-Racine and Steven Reed-Potvin

On September 21, at around 4 p.m., Éric, Jonathan and Steven were at the mall. The three men were in the parking lot when they saw a car deliberately ram into another vehicle, where an elderly woman was placing her grocery bags. The driver got out, grabbed the woman by the hair and began to beat her mercilessly.

Without hesitating, Éric ran over to try to stop the attack, and Jonathan and Steven came to help. The attacker was extremely aggressive and the three men had difficulty overpowering him and pinning him to the ground.

Once he appeared to have calmed, they let him stand up, but he resumed his attack and even made death threats against Jonathan. The fight began again, until the police finally arrived and arrested the aggressor.

 
Yvon Blouin

On December 17, 2018, Yvon was in his living-room watching TV when he saw a fireball come from a building close by.

He was considered disabled after suffering a workplace injury, but he still went over to the burning building and knocked on the door of the first apartment to warn the occupants to leave. Next, he noticed a young boy, about 10 years old and dressed only in his underwear, crying on a second-floor balcony.

He went up the outside stairs, took the boy in his arms and brought him back down to his family, who were already safe.
 

Maxence Cyr

On September 23, 2018, 16-year-old Maxence was completing his last intensive training session for his natural water diving certificate. He had to complete several stages, one of which was to dive down to a wreck at a depth of about 80 feet, in a two-diver team, and then return to the surface.

Maxence and his diving partner were completing their dive when they saw another pair of divers nearby in difficulty. The instructor was able to rescue the male diver, but his female partner remained behind and showed clear signs of distress.

Maxence activated the woman’s continuous airflow and brought her up quickly to the surface.

 

Jocelyn Savard

On April 14, 2018, Jocelyn Savard, a civilian employee providing security at the Royal Military College in Saint-Jean, was doing his night round.

Between 2:30 a.m. and 3:00 a.m., he saw a young officer cadet walk towards the river behind one of the buildings and leap into the water. Jocelyn approached quickly, and saw that the young man was sinking below the surface in one of the deepest sections of the river.

The water was cold and the young cadet began to struggle, shouting out to Jocelyn that he was going to sink. Jocelyn grabbed hold of the railings with one hand and leaning down, was able to catch hold of the young man’s coat, but did not have enough leverage to pull him out.

He let go and seized a boat ladder that was lying nearby, placing it in the water and climbing down to where he could reach the victim. He was able to bring the frozen young man back to the riverbank.

Aloupa Taqulik

On July 9, 2018, Claude Berger and Olivier Sadones were on a fishing expedition with their guide Aloupa. They had just gone through some dangerous rapids when they discovered that the boat in front of them had been less lucky. Six people, including four children, had been thrown into the deep, freezing water and strong currents.

Aloupa paddled skilfully to bring his canoe in closer. Two young girls were clinging to their mother, who was holding onto the capsized canoe. A man had taken refuge on a rock, while a young boy was struggling in the river, looking for his little three-year-old brother.

Olivier grabbed one of the girls and pulled her on board, while Aloupa and Claude saved the other girl and the woman. Next, Aloupa paddled the canoe towards the boy, grabbed him and hauled him aboard.

The three-year-old boy had slipped out of his lifejacket, which was too large for him. He had disappeared under water and was never found.

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