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e-3636 (Veterans' affairs)

Initiated by Bruce Moncur from Thompson, Manitoba

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Minister of National Defence

  • The Canadian Victoria Cross was instituted in 1993, taking the place of the Victoria Cross, which is the highest decoration in the Commonwealth;
  • Among all the countries which fought in Afghanistan, Canada is the only one that has not awarded its highest decoration for valour; and
  • On September 15, 2021 Valour in the Presence of the Enemy put forward a request that Private Jess Larochelle be considered for the Canadian Victoria Cross. Pte. Jess Larochelle was severely wounded in the fight – a one-man battle against an attacking force of about 20 enemy fighters – and has been in and out of the hospital since that day.
We, the undersigned, Valour in the Presence of the Enemy, call upon the Government of Canada to investigate the new evidence regarding Star of Military Valour Recipient Jess Larochelle. If the investigation proves that the new evidence sufficient enough, upgrade Private Larochelle to the Canadian Victoria Cross. In doing so, bestowing the first Canadian Victoria Cross, and recognizing the first Afghanistan Veteran to be designated a Victoria Cross Recipient, the winner of the 98th Victoria Cross given to a Canadian and the only Victoria Cross winner still alive.

Response by the Minister of National Defence

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): Bryan May

National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) is committed to honouring CAF members who have demonstrated bravery and sacrifice in service to their country and remains deeply grateful to all who have served and continue to serve this country and the people of Canada. Providing military medals is one of the many ways to honour and communicate to Canadians the bravery and sacrifice of those who served our country.

National Defence has a comprehensive and rigorous review process for awarding military honours. As part of its review, the Canadian Forces Decorations Advisory Committee, chaired by the Chief of the Defence Staff and comprised of each military branch, as well as a representative of the Governor General, assesses information contained in nomination files, including detailed narratives with plans, diagrams, witness statements, and classified information as appropriate.

The system for awarding national honours is designed to be insulated from political influence and public pressure. Nominations for military honours and awards are initiated by the candidate’s chain of command, supported by the commanding officer, and reviewed by the chain of command.

To ensure fairness and that honours were awarded according to the appropriate criteria, National Defence conducted an in-depth review in 2012 of all of the 20 Stars of Military Valour that were awarded in relation to the Afghanistan campaign. The review committee found that the process was fair and consistent, that none should have received a different decoration, and that all awards respected the intent and criteria for the Star of Military Valour.

We encourage all Canadians to reflect and celebrate each of the 20 incredible recipients of the Star of Military Valour, and the many other Canadians who were recognized for gallantry and devotion to duty in the Afghanistan campaign.

Open for signature
November 2, 2021, at 2:08 p.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
March 2, 2022, at 2:08 p.m. (EDT)
Presented to the House of Commons
Niki Ashton (Churchill—Keewatinook Aski)
May 19, 2022 (Petition No. 441-00494)
Government response tabled
August 17, 2022
Photo - Niki Ashton
Churchill—Keewatinook Aski
New Democratic Party Caucus