Memorial to Honour the Heroes of the War in Afghanistan - Consultation Panel Members
General (Ret'd) Rick Hillier, Chair
General Rick Hillier served in the Canadian Armed Forces for more than 35 years.
In 2003, General Hillier was appointed Commander of Canada's Army and was selected as the Commander of NATO's International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. He was promoted to General and assumed duties as the Chief of the Defence Staff for Canada in 2005, the Canadian Forces' highest rank.
The General's honours included Commander of Military Merit, the Meritorious Service Cross, the Canadian Forces' Decoration, and the U.S. Legion of Merit. He is also an appointee of the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador and an Officer of the Order of Canada.
General Hillier now serves his country through leadership and charitable endeavors to support a variety of causes, mostly centered around veterans and their families.
Major-General (Ret'd) David Fraser
Major-General David Fraser served in various command and staff positions in Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry from platoon to division during his 30-year career. Most notably, he commanded the NATO coalition in southern Afghanistan in 2006.
Major-General Fraser is the recipient of the Commander of Military Merit, the Meritorious Service Cross, the Meritorious Service Medal, the U.S. Legion of Honor and Bronze Star and various awards from the Netherlands, Poland and NATO.
Today, Major-General Fraser works with BMO on its Canadian Defence Community Banking Program. He is also the bestselling co-author of Operation Medusa, The Furious Battle that Saved Afghanistan from the Taliban.
Trevor Day is the Deputy Clerk and Executive Director of the Legislative Services Division at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.
A dedicated public servant, Trevor has worked for the Legislative Assembly of Ontario for more than 20 years. Along with his administrative duties, Trevor provides procedural advice to the Speaker and the members of the legislature.
Trevor holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from York University.
Kathy Seymour recently retired from the position of Staff Sargeant of the Investigative Liaison Unit for the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.
Prior to joining the legislative assembly, Kathy was a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, specializing in the military police. She attended the Canadian Police College, completing the Senior Police Leadership course. She is also a member of Ontario Women in Law Enforcement.
Kathy Seymour is the recipient of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal and an Exemplary Service Medal for 20 years of service.
Maureen Basnicki is the founder of Canadian National Day of Service Foundation and co-founder of Canadian Coalition Against Terror. After losing her husband in the 9/11 attacks in New York, Maureen dedicated herself to advocating for victims of violent crime and counter-terror initiatives.
Maureen contributed to the passing of the Justice for Victims of Terror Act and advocated for the passage of the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights.
Maureen received the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal for "her enduring dialogue on terrorism" and is the driving force behind Canada's National Day of Service on September 11.
Scott Maxwell is the Executive Director of Wounded Warriors Canada — a national mental health charity provider that uses clinical best practices and evidence-informed care to create an environment of compassion, resiliency and hope for Canada's ill and injured veterans, first responders and their families.
In 2007, Scott's high school friend — Trooper Darryl Caswell — was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. From that day forward, Scott made a personal pledge to find a way to give back to those who so bravely serve Canada.
Scott holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations and Canadian Public Policy from the University of Toronto.
Laura Hearn is Vice President of Corporate Partnerships, Marketing and Events for True Patriot Love Foundation, a national charity that provides critical support and resources to military and veteran families in need. In this role, she oversees all signature events, including True Patriot Love's Tribute Gala and global expedition series. She also supports all aspects of marketing, communications and public relations and is responsible for key corporate sponsorships and relationships.
Laura also acts as Vice President on the Board of Directors for Adventure Place, an agency that supports families with children with special and unique needs.
Laura holds an Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree from Queen's University School of Business.
As a teacher with the Halton Catholic District School Board, John MacPhail and his students are active in their remembrance of fallen soldiers and their families.
In 2013 and 2015, John's students were recipients of the Lieutenant Governor's Ontario Heritage Award for Youth Achievement for writing an oral history book of Oakville's veterans and creating the Bronte Veterans Garden, which honours fallen soldiers — from the world wars to modern day conflicts — and their families. John is a recipient of the 2007 Governor General's Award for Excellence in Teaching Canadian History. He holds a Master of Arts degree in history from Lakehead University.
Master Warrant Officer (Ret'd) Joel VanSnick
Master Warrant Officer Joel VanSnick served in the Canadian Armed Forces, in various branches and positions, for more than 35 years. His service saw him on tours of operation in Iran, Bosnia and Afghanistan — both in Kabul and Kandahar.
Master Warrant Officer VanSnick currently works for the Department of National Defence as an independent contractor with Director General Land Program Management and supports the Armoured Heavy Support Vehicle System. In 2007, he joined the Royal Canadian Legion and now serves as the District G Commander.
Master Warrant Officer VanSnick also contributes to his community through work with several non-profit organizations dedicated to serving seniors and veterans and is passionate about helping homeless veterans in Ottawa.