John Gignac with Oxford County MPP Ernie Hardeman
Following years of tireless efforts to educate the public regarding the dangers of carbon monoxide, as well as his success instilling the Hawkins-Gignac Act in 2013, retired Brantford Fire captain John Gignac has recently been named to the Order of Ontario.
In 2008, a leak from a gas fireplace in their Woodstock home claimed the lives of Gignac’s niece OPP Constable Laurie Hawkins, her husband Richard, and their children Cassandra and Jordan.
This tragedy made Gignac acutely aware of the lacking public education pertaining to carbon monoxide as a silent killer. Following the accident, Gignac made a promise to do his best to warn the public regarding the dangers of carbon monoxide and improve the education surrounding the issue throughout all of Ontario and Canada. The Hawkins-Gignac Act which he helped to pass in 2013, calls for mandatory carbon monoxide detectors in all Ontario homes.
As the Executive Director of the Hawkins-Gignac Foundation, Gignac’s work doesn’t end with carbon monoxide risk education. Gignac also recognizes the importance of getting CO alarms installed in the homes of people who may not otherwise be able to afford them. The Foundations’ efforts to bring these safety measures to families at risk continues to save lives, which Gignac says is the real reward.
With his story and dedicated public efforts in mind, it is no surprise that Gignac has been granted the province’s highest official honour; to be recognized for demonstrating continued excellence and achievement in his field to benefit the people of Ontario and beyond.
For the complete Order of Ontario appointee list, click here.
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