Canadians will long remember Kevin Vickers for his courage and humility in bringing to a swift end the attack on Parliament Hill in October 2014. He will also be known for his dedicated service to the people of New Brunswick and Canada as a leading member of the RCMP.
Mr. Vickers grew up in the former town of Newcastle. He had recently graduated from the RCMP training academy when he saved his younger brother, Willie, from drowning in the Northwest Miramichi River.
Mr. Vickers served 29 years with the RCMP, reaching the rank of chief superintendent. He developed and maintained a solid working relationship with provincial, municipal and First Nations authorities while serving on the Acadian Peninsula. He is remembered for being dispatched to Burnt Church wharf, keeping the peace between native and non-native fishers. Mr. Vickers is also credited for promoting dialogue between the two linguistic communities.
During his career, Mr. Vickers was called upon to successfully lead several high-profile investigations, including homicides, national criminal investigations, international drug importations and a national investigation into those responsible for the safety of Canada's blood supply. He was the RCMP lead in the early development of its "Bias Free Policing" policies, working extensively to reach out to the leadership of Canada's Muslim community.
Mr. Vickers provided personal security for a number of high-profile visitors to Canada, including Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Andrew, Duke of York. He served as aide-de-camp to Marilyn Trenholme Counsel, OC, ONB, former Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick.
Following his career with the RCMP, Mr. Vickers was hired as the director of security operations at the House of Commons. He was named Sergeant-at-Arms for the House of Commons in 2006.
In the wake of the events of October 22, 2014, the Miramichi Leader praised the hometown son: “Mr. Vickers is a symbol of Canadian heroism for his actions in a dangerous situation, but he is also a symbol of why Miramichi has always been a resilient community.”
In November, Mr. Vickers travelled to Israel, where he met with that country’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and was formally recognized by the Knesset, Israel’s legislative body. He has received honorary degrees from the University of Regina and Mount Allison University. He has also received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Canada 125 Medal and the RCMP Long Service Medal.
In January of this year, Mr. Vickers was appointed Canada’s Ambassador to Ireland. It was an appropriate appointment for a man whose family has deep Irish roots and grew up in a community calling itself “Canada’s Irish Capital.”
Kevin Vickers is receiving the Order of New Brunswick for his bravery,dedication and service to his community, his province and his country.