Raising awareness, changing attitudes and removing barriers for people with disabilities in the built environment

26 Rick Hansen Foundation Difference Makers awarded QEII Diamond Jubilee Medals for creating exceptional change nationwide

Published: February 06 2013

(Richmond, BC) – The Rick Hansen Foundation (RHF) is thrilled to announce that 26 of their Difference Makers havebeen awarded the Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal for outstanding and significant community work. 

Hailing from across the country – from Vancouver, BC to Tizzards Harbour, NL – RHF is recognizing each of these individuals who stand out for their efforts in endeavors such as overcoming spinal cord injury (SCI), fundraising, advocating for people living with disabilities, and for their work in scientific and research fields in our country.  

“Canada has been shaped and defined by a variety of people who have contributed many different things to their country,” noted Rick Hansen. “Our medal winners have moved forward to maximize their potential, contribute to the country for the good of all Canadians, and offer hope and encouragement to many others. Each of these recipients is well-deserving of this very special award.”

Rick and the Foundation thanks each Difference Maker for the incomparable work that they have done for their community and for Canada as a whole, and congratulates them wholeheartedly for receiving this prestigious award.      

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal program was created to celebrate Her Majesty’s ascension to the Throne in 1952.  This year, to commemorate 60 years on the throne, medals have been awarded to 60,000 Canadians whose achievements have benefited their fellow citizens, their communities, their organizations,and the country.  The medal is administered by The Chancellery of Honours, which is part of the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General.


For further details about Rick and RHF, contact Dan Enjo, Communications Specialistat 778-296-1571, or by email at denjo@rickhansen.ca. 


For further details about the Diamond Jubilee Medal, please contact the Chancellery of Honours, Rideau Hall, at 613-998-6790or 1-800-465-6890, or by email at diamondjubilee@gg.ca. 

QEII Diamond Jubilee medal winners nominated by RHF

RHF is proud to recognize the following Difference Makers for the outstanding service they have provided in working towards the foundation’s vision of a healthy planet where healthy people live in an inclusive society:

·   Dr. Garth Bray (Ottawa, ON) - for over 30 years of excellence in neurological research at McGill University and the Montreal General Hospital Research Institute.

·   Walt Lawrence (Delta, BC) – for his work at GF Strong helping those paralyzed rediscover value, and his work on a City Hall committee to make Vancouver more accessible.

·   Andrea Muir (Saskatoon, SK) – for supporting initiatives in sport & recreation for persons with disabilities in Saskatchewan, to enhance the quality of life for people with disabilities.

·   Vance Milligan, Q.C. (Calgary, AB) – for his role in the community as Chair of the Alberta Paraplegic  Foundation, Calgary YMCA, CPA, & Calgary Handi-Bus Association.

·   Dr. Robert Leckey (Fredericton, NB) – for his achievements over 18 years as a Medical Director of the Stan Cassidy Centre for Rehabilitation.

·   Daryl Rock (Vancouver, BC) – for his efforts to create a better world for those, like himself, who have sustained SCI.

·   Cathy Cadieux (Ottawa, ON) – for her strong leadership in the wheelchair sport community through advocacy and involvement in many disability committees.

·   Eric Boyd (Tizzards Harbour, NL) – for his role advocating role for people with disabilities: Executive Director of CPA, Head of Premier’s Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities

·   Leanne Sqair (Calgary, AB) – for developing her passion to make Calgary more accessible, and her work with local volunteer organizations.

·   Barry Munro (Markham, ON) – for his advocacy for increased consumer focus and participation in the field of neurotrauma research.

·   Julie Macdonald (Calgary, AB) – for her fundraising work after a friend was paralyzed in a ski accident. Julie has raised over $72,000 so far.

·   Norman Haw (Delta, BC) – for his work as a rehabilitation counselor, helping hundreds rebuild their lives after experiencing SCI.

·   Dr. Brian Kwon (Vancouver, BC) – for excellent care of SCI patients at VGH, and for heading an SCI research lab.

·   Edie Ehlers (White Rock, BC) – for creating awareness of potential for those with disabilities through RHF for over 19 years.  

·   Kathy Newman (Vancouver, BC) – for her longtime work as Executive Director of BC Wheelchair Sports to increase opportunities for a healthy, active lifestyle for those with SCI.

·   Dr. Jamie Borisoff (Vancouver, BC) – for his commitment to helping others live a healthy and active lifestyle both through sport and involvement in assistive technological research.

·   Dr. Stacy Elliott (West Vancouver, BC) – for her medical work related to sexual and reproductive consequences of medical and surgical problems.

·   Marnie Abbott-Peter (Vancouver, BC) – for being one of BC’s most decorated Paralympians – 4 Paralympics and 3 World Championships.

·   Dr. Jack Taunton (Vancouver, BC) – for his work as a sports medicine physician for local professional teams, at UBC, and for volunteer work at countless Olympic and Paralympic games.

·   Susan Archibald (North Vancouver, BC) – for her leadership in creating three fully-accessible playgrounds and for her work with the Accessible Tourism Initiative created for the 2010 Olympic Games.

·   Darryl Tait (Whitehorse, YT) – for his work with Yukon students to raise awareness of Drugs and Alcohol. 

·   Kevin Lamarque (Halifax, NS) – for his work to become a highly-respected and active advocate for people with disabilities. 

·   Shira Standfield (Vancouver, BC) – for her work with various governments to train staff and make places and experiences more accessible.  

·    Nadine Caron (Prince George, BC) – for her advocacy work to address the special health needs and disparities of rural, remote, and Aboriginal communities.  Nadine was the first female First Nations graduate from UBC Medicine.

·    Marie Trudeau (Gatineau, QC) –for her work as an activist and peer counselor for those with SCI.

·   Cathy Walsh (Edmonton, AB) – for her leadership in adapted physical activity at the University of Alberta and Grant McEwan University.