Admaston-Bromley Township Mayor Raye-Anne Briscoe has joined her Greater Madawaska counterpart Peter Emon in returning her Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Mayor Briscoe received a letter from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Feb. 6.
The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal honours significant contributions and achievements by Canadians.
During the year of celebrations, 60,000 deserving Canadians are recognized, nominated by their peers. The medal was created by the Government of Canada to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s 60 years of service to Canada.
In the letter Briscoe received, it was noted that ‘your peers in local government across the county admire your accomplishments as a community leader.’
“Obviously, from coast-to-coast to coast, every mayor received this medal, regardless of whether they were on leave due to commission investigations, currently under criminal charges, in court defending charges laid, and in all likelihood, facing other nefarious claims attached to their activities,” Mayor Briscoe said in her reply to the FCM.
“When receiving the medal, because of what was said in the letter, and the fact I was not chosen by my peers, it just makes me feel so sad and regrettable that an organization would decide to do this to what was intended to be an earned and honest award to a community individual, and then, at the end of the day, obviously there were medals left over, just blanket them out, send them out without really getting the process in place for nominations and so on,” Briscoe said.
“It was just a debacle. I just feel so terrible about the whole thing. Sending it back was the only thing I could do.”
Mayor Briscoe said that an apology by FCM to Canadian mayors who actually believe they have been singled out is very much in order.
“This is such a sad and disappointing classic example of an action that devalued the coinage of the realm. Shame on our organization,” Mayor Briscoe concluded in her response.
The two mayors in Renfrew County who truly deserve a Queen’s Jubilee Medal are Petawawa and former Renfrew County Warden Bob Sweet for his work with Expo 150, and Laurentian Valley Mayor Jack Wilson, who will have put in 50 years of service to the township upon completion of his current term in 2014, Mayor Briscoe added.