The General & the Major were the opening keynote speakers for the 2023 Common Sense Conservative Convention.
Michel Maisonneuve completed 35 years of active service in the Canadian Armed Forces in May 2007. A tank officer, he served in many locales throughout Canada and for a total of 10 years outside the country on operational missions and international positions, eventually rising to the rank of Lieutenant-General. Along the way, his exemplary service was recognized by awards from Canada, the U.S., France and NATO. Michel testified in The Hague against Slobodan Milosevic, commanded the funeral for the Unknown Soldier in Ottawa and was the first Chief of Staff of NATO’s Supreme Allied Command Transformation.
After his service in uniform, he continued to serve Canada as the first Academic Director (Principal) of Royal Military College Saint-Jean on its re-opening in December 2007, and for more than 10 years afterwards. He was named the 30th laureate of the Vimy Award in 2022 for his exceptional contribution to Canada’s security and defence, and the preservation of its democratic values. On that occasion he gave a rousing speech that gained him the moniker “The Anti-Woke General” and upset some left-wing media and academics.
A native and bilingual Quebecer, Michel is passionate about Veterans and serving military personnel, the preservation of Canada’s proud history, the importance of volunteerism, leadership and service in our country, and the freedom and willingness to participate in its development. A father of four, Michel and his wife Barbara live in Niagara with their very well-behaved little white dog Kevin. He tries to keep in shape by walking and stays humble by playing golf badly. He enjoys the occasional cigar, a dram of scotch, and solving the world’s problems in great conversation with friends. ~ August 2023
BARBARA ANNE MAISONNEUVE (née KRASIJ)
Barbara Maisonneuve was born to immigrant parents who had made their way to Canada post WWII, met in Hamilton, started a business, and raised a family. Pride in their new country, its flag and its culture were beliefs fundamentally important to these newest Canadians and which they instilled in their two children. Barbara joined the Canadian Armed Forces at 18, first as a Military Policeman, then graduated from the Royal Military College with a Bachelor’s degree into the Logistics branch. She proudly served 21 years sporting the light blue Royal Canadian Air Force uniform.
If you ask about her service, she will tell you that in addition to the international missions and her pride in representing Canada in places that needed us most, her greatest experience was serving with fellow Canadians and alongside our allies, the majority of whom were men. All of them treated her with respect, friendship, and a comradery that is difficult to find outside of the armed services. She is grateful to these men and the positive impact they had on her career and the woman she has become.
Since leaving the service, Barbara has continued to serve her country and community through causes that touch her heart. She chaired the Première Gala that raised funds and celebrated the re-opening of the Westdale Theatre in Hamilton, and she has helped raise millions for our Veterans and serving soldiers. Barbara strongly believes that Canada’s history must be preserved and celebrated – not torn down. She currently serves on the Board of the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, Canada’s only flying museum, and is looking forward to celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the RCAF in 2024.
After growing up in a home that was proud to be Canadian and spending a lifetime representing and serving Canada, Barbara found her faith and her pride in our country had been shaken by the current government. She’s here tonight because she knows our next PM, Pierre Poilièvre, will restore our country to greatness and freedom. Barbara has a special love for all little white dogs – her own in particular – breaking bread with friends, supporting local artists and visiting nearby vineyards. She keeps fit by running and pretending to play golf. ~ August 2023
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