You can download the stories of our 2017 recipients here :

Download the Word file containing the stories

At 6:45 p.m. on May 24 of this year, RCMP constables Rodolfo Canales and Gilles Leblanc are patrolling in two separate vehicles along Roxham Road in Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle. Both officers are on the lookout for illegal immigrants who are trying to enter into Canada. Constable Canales radios his partner and tells him he is not feeling well and is suffering from sudden and severe migraines. Leblanc immediately gets out of his vehicle to assist Canales, who insists that he now feels well enough to remain on duty, and is ready to assist Leblanc in the arrest of an illegal immigrant.

Leblanc completes the arrest, and returns to Canales’s police vehicle, where the constable is experiencing breathing difficulties and is about to lose consciousness. Leblanc pulls Canales out of the vehicle, removes his vest, gun and belt and calls 911.

Paramedics quickly arrive on the scene, and while Canales’s breathing has improved, he is clearly in distress. Canales is rushed to Marie Laberge Hospital in Châteauguay. Leblanc follows the ambulance in his police vehicle.

Canales is left on a stretcher in the ER, and as his condition destabilizes, Leblanc alerts the nurses and Canales is rushed for a full scan and brought back to the ER waiting area. Once again, his condition worsens and Leblanc again calls for action. This time, Canales is taken to Montreal’s Royal Victoria Hospital, where a team of 10 doctors perform emergency surgery to unblock arteries that send blood to the brain. In Canales’s case, his arteries were 90% blocked.

Doctors tell Leblanc that had his partner not been rushed to the Royal Victoria Hospital, he would have certainly died.
They credit Leblanc for his quick action, persistence and for never leaving his partner’s side — qualities that Leblanc’s colleagues and superiors outlined as they nominated him for a 2017 Quebec Police Award, saying Leblanc essentially saved the life of Constable Rodolfo Canales.

RCMP Constable Bernard Vandal was on patrol near the Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle border crossing at about 2 a.m. on March 5, 2017 when, as he was driving across the Montée Guay viaduct, noticed a shadow near a fence of a forestry products plant on the Canadian side. It was a bitterly cold night, with temperatures dipping down to minus-15. As Vandal got out of his vehicle and approached the fence, he realised that he was staring back at a barely conscious immigrant, who was desperately clutching the fence near.

The man was Mamadou Sanogo, 47, a native of the Ivory Coast, who had fallen twice in a brook during his nine-hour journey on foot to the Canadian border. Constable Vandal realised that Sanogo was in serious distress and confused. His clothes were frozen and his legs were as solid as two blocks of ice. Sanogo could not even speak, as Vandal attempted to communicate with the man in French, English and Creole. Vandal immediately transported Sanogo to the RCMP’s temporary facilities at the Lacolle Border Crossing, where he received medical care and was stabilized until paramedics arrived.

As Sanogo regained consciousness, Vandal learned that the man was diabetic, and proceeded to give him sugar, which helped stabilize Sanogo until paramedics arrived. Sanogo was transported to a hospital in nearby St-Jean-sur-Richelieu. Vandal remained by his side, because Sanogo had not been registered as a refugee and was technically still under arrest. Doctors who treated Sanogo told the RCMP that Vandal’s actions likely saved his life and had Sanogo not been rushed to the hospital, doctors would have had to amputate his toes or his two feet. Instead, Sanogo today is a healthy man as he awaits developments in his refugee status claim.

Several weeks after the rescue, Sanogo contacted the RCMP and asked to meet Vandal and the personnel that saved his life. On April 6, an emotional reunion was held at C Division headquarters in Westmount, where both men shared their thoughts and memories about what happened on that potentially fatal evening.

For his invaluable work that cold night in March, Constable Bernard Vandal is a recipient of a 2017 Quebec Police Award.

In early 2014, police began investigating a rise in the number of counterfeit 100-dollar bills circulating in the Greater Montreal Region and Quebec City. The spread went as far as the Eastern Townships, Montérégie, the Beauce and Mauricie, and affected a large number of small businesses in those communities.

The RCMP’s Integrated Counterfeit Enforcement Team (ICET) was already working on two major investigations when it launched Project Coupon, teaming up with the Sûreté du Québec, the Montreal Police Department, as well as Laval, Longueuil, Terrebonne, Lévis and Quebec City police services. The United States Secret Service, the RCMP’s National Anti-Counterfeiting Bureau and the Bank of Canada were also brought in.

After two years of close collaboration, investigators successfully neutralized the counterfeiting network, with three of its ringleaders charged with the production, possession and circulation of counterfeit money. In the process, four production labs were dismantled, putting an end to what the National Anti-Counterfeiting Bureau described last March as a $50 million loss to Canadian banks. Other experts suspect the loss was twice that amount.

The investigation also led to an awareness campaign to educate companies and citizens about counterfeiting.

For their determination, leadership, patience and teamwork, 2017 Quebec Police Awards were presented to Marco Roy and Vincent Roy. Civilian Edith Jacques received an honorary award.

In 2008, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) contacted the RCMP regarding mortgage frauds totalling $6 million allegedly committed by a criminal organization targeting Canadian banks, and involving mortgage brokers, real estate agents, notaries and chartered appraisers. The CMHC handed over a list of more than 60 victims comprised of banking institutions who proved to be somewhat less than cooperative. After all, this was in 2008 when the financial world was in total crisis due to the American banking collapse, and Canadian banks did not want to appear to be in disarray.

The RCMP met with the CMHC and a dozen banks, which finally agreed to cooperate in the investigation as victims, providing information and files related to fradulent real estate cases. As the investigation moved forward, the files grew drastically. Five investigators were added to the case, dubbed Project CLEF, and other police agencies were brought in to assist the RCMP.

More than 86,000 documents were analyzed, surveillance teams were assigned and search warrants were issued, crippling the criminal network that was behind this scheme. Dozens of victims were identified and interviewed by police. A seized computer allowed investigators to learn how the criminals operated and allowed for the identification of all those involved.

Finally, in 2010, charges were laid after the head of the criminal organization was arrested and interrogated for more than 16 hours. The case went through the courts for six years, ending with the head of the organization pleading guilty to each of the 53 charges against him. He was sentenced to four and a half years in prison. His 19 accomplices were not convicted.

RCMP investigators Michelle Guay and Martin Janson, as well as RCMP civilian Alexandra Samson are honoured with 2017 Quebec Police Awards for their tenacity, patience, professionalism and dedication to a very long investigation that dismantled a complicated criminal network.