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Eight Honourees Presented with the Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship

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Eight Honourees Presented with the Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship

Ontario recognizing the life-time contributions of eight outstanding citizens

Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport

The Ontario government is honouring eight distinguished individuals for their contributions to their communities and the province, with the Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship, the province's second-highest civilian honour.

The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, joined by Vincent Ke, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, invested the recipients with their medals at a ceremony at Queen's Park today.

"I am honoured to invest this year's recipients of the Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship, all of whom have demonstrated a common devotion to Ontario," said the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. "Good citizenship is the foundation of a society that aspires to be resilient. It is fundamentally about how we live together and what we can expect from one another. The civic leadership of these awardees is helping to shape our future as well as our present."

"Congratulations to the honourees of the Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship," said Michael Tibollo, Minister of Culture, Tourism and Sport. "These individuals have devoted their time, passion, expertise and efforts to make positive change and a lasting impact in their communities and the province. They stand as model Ontarians who exemplify civic-mindedness, integrity and community leadership."

The following are recipients of the 2018 Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship:

Vivian Hould of Aurora knows all about the calming effects animals have on people. With dedication and compassion through the St. John Ambulance York Region Therapy Dog program, she has assisted thousands of people, including those living with Alzheimer's, and has helped bring happiness and joy to so many - people and dogs alike.

Albert Roland Kowalenko of Toronto is an inspiration to many, and his all-round volunteer efforts are influential in the success of many non-profit and charitable organizations. As a volunteer and advocate for a whole generation of deafblind Canadians through the Canadian Helen Keller Centre and the Deafblind Association of Toronto, he has raised awareness and promoted change for them to live fuller lives.

Jim McGregor of Birch Island, former Chief of Whitefish River First Nation, works untiringly as a community leader and advocate to advance Indigenous rights. Channelling his love of hockey, education and community service, he co-founded the Little Native Hockey League, promoting sports in First Nation communities. Integral to his character is spirituality as he remains a devoted volunteer in his church as respected council member and president.

David (Dave) Money of Scarborough, a passionate horticulturalist for over 40 years, has been a source of inspiration and guidance to many horticultural societies he founded and revitalized. The creation of the Todmorden Mills Wildflower Preserve in Toronto has enabled future generations to enjoy. His influence can be felt across the province.

Maryam Nazemi of Toronto turned a personal workplace tragedy into a driving force for change. A community builder, she is helping many from many cultural backgrounds deal with the pain and disruption of a work injury. She is the recipient of the Willowdale 150 Commemorative medal for outstanding contributions to the community.

Frank Perissinotti of Tecumseh says, "No child or family should be left behind." His many and generous community efforts are with a deep sense of compassion and belief in giving back, essential to a well-balanced community.

E. Jean Polak of Bracebridge can be described as a gift to her community. Whether defending the most vulnerable, assisting those in difficult times, protecting the environment or enriching the community, it is done with enthusiasm and compassion.

Olga (Ollie) Sawchuk of Thunder Bay has been a leader in the advancement of culture and heritage and life enhancement for Thunder Bay for over 60 years. Her every role is taken on with gusto and with a sense of making a difference in her community and beyond.

Quick Facts

  • Created in 1973, the Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship recognizes people who have made exceptional long-term contributions to the quality of life in the province.
  • Approximately 4.9 million people volunteer in communities across Ontario, leading and supporting more than 55,000 not-for-profit organizations.

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