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First 60 Canadians set to receive Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal

A composite of Diamond Jubilee Medals, honouring Queen Elizabeth's 60th year of reign.

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Wanda Bedard is a Montreal woman who was upset about the fate of young girls in Afghanistan and started a foundation to finance schools for young women and girls in developing countries.

Tom Quinn, a former elite badminton player, has long been involved with amateur sports and is the chairman the council that governs the Canada Games.

Ms. Bedard and Mr. Quinn will cross paths Monday morning in Ottawa when they will be among 60 Canadians invited to Rideau Hall to be awarded the new Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

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The Queen acceded to the throne on Feb. 6, 1952. The medal, which was created to honour her 60th year of reign, will be handed to 60,000 Canadians of all walks of life who have made significant contributions to their communities.

The inaugural medal ceremony will take place at Rideau Hall, the residence of Governor-General David Johnston, and is expected to be attended by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

While Mr. Johnston has not disclosed the identities of the first 60 recipients, Mr. Quinn and Ms. Bedard have confirmed that they are among the 60 who those will be present in Ottawa, for the event, which will launch a series of Jubilee celebrations.

Other medal ceremonies will take place the same day in Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Ontario Lieutenant-Governor David Onley has confirmed the identities of 36 people who will receive the new medal at Queen's Park on Monday afternoon, including broadcasters Lloyd Robertson and Peter Mansbridge, filmmaker David Cronenberg, ballet dancers Karen Kain and Rex Harrington, retired Supreme Court Justice Frank Iacobucci, and musicians Gordon Lightfoot and Natalie MacMaster.

All 308 members of the House of Commons have also been advised that they are recipients, a development which was greeted in lukewarm fashion by some Quebec MPs, according to Le Devoir.

The four MPs of the Bloc Québécois and at least two Quebec New Democrats – Pierre Nantel and Alain Giguère – are planning to give back the medal, the Montreal paper reports.

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About the Author
National reporter

Tu Thanh Ha is based in Toronto and writes frequently about judicial, political and security issues. He spent 12 years as a correspondent for the Globe and Mail in Montreal, reporting on Quebec politics, organized crime, terror suspects, space flights and native issues. More

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