Sadly the more gold you add to some uniforms the more likely the wearer is to come down with a serious case of the dreaded "Instant Dictator Syndrome" whereby they take the liberty of enhancing their group of medals by adding in unauthorized gongs -- be it foreign, provincial or municipal. What it all comes down to is these people wanting to look even more important than they really are. All of these people know better, or have people on their staff who know better, but they trudge ahead through life with a few extra ribbons -- just for that added touch of colour on their uniform! The former Commissioner of the RCMP, Bob Paulson spent his entire time at the top of the RCMP wearing a totally unauthorized medal, the British Columbia Police Meritorious Service Medal, so this is not a problem suffered by municipal and provincial protective services alone. If the Commissioner of the RCMP can wear a medal without lawful authority then can't anyone do the same?
So that brings us to the subject of this particular post, Chief Ron Gignac, Chief of Police for Belleville Ontario. By all online accounts a rather upstanding fellow, who served in the first Gulf War and with the UN deactivating mines and then training people how to undertake this rather hazardous task. He proudly wears his undress ribbons and medals; sadly, 3 of the 8 ribbons he wears (or 38% of his medals) are unauthorized -- and all three duplicate his service in the Gulf War -- so unlike all the other Canadians who served in the Gulf & Kuwait who received the Gulf and Kuwait Medal (a single medal), Chief Gignac has an additional three medals for the same service! Four for the price of one -- this is quite honestly a new record for enhancing medal group.
|Chief Ron Gignac, wearer of unauthorized medals; |
four for the price of one!
Then we get into the magical land of unauthorized foreign medals. The first appears to be the United States South West Asia Service Medal, followed by the Saudi Arabia Medal for the Liberation of Kuwait and lastly the Kuwait Medal for the Liberation of Kuwait. Given that Canada does now allow doubling up on medals for the same campaign, and the fact that NO person serving the Canadian Armed Forces was ever authorized to wear these last three medals (just check the Canada Gazette) how did Chief Gigac get permission? His name appears nowhere in the Canada Gazette or a new book out by DND related to Canadian Armed Forces Personnel who have been awarded foreign medals. We encourage Chief Gignac to just remove the last three ribbons, it would be the honourable and proper thing to do. Not even Chiefs of Police are permitted to violate a Federal Order-in-Council.