Russian Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov will visit Parliament Hill Thursday as part of a longer visit to Canada.
His day starts with a Senate chamber where he will be met by Senate Speaker Noël Kinsella. During his visit he will present Senator Marcel Prud'homme, of La Salle, Que., with the Order of Friendship of the Russian Federation. The award is presented to Russian residents as well as foreign citizens "who have made significant contributions to strengthening peace and mutual understanding." Prud'homme is the founding Chairman of Canada Russia Interparliamentary Group. It is the highest award given by the Russian government to a non-citizen. Only one other Canadian has received this Order - former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson.
Zubkov will also present Leslie Forrest, a Canadian veteran, with a commemorative medal to honour his role in the dangerous convoys that delivered vital wartime supplies to Russia. Forrest was just 15 when he sailed on the S.S. Empire Selwyn. On Thursday, he will be presented with the medal "the victory in the Great Patriotic War, 1941-1945." The medal is awarded to "citizens of foreign states who made significant contribution to the Russian battle," according to a news release from the Senate. The medal has been awarded to Canadian veterans who sailed on the ships that delivered supplies through the Barents Sea to the Russian port of Murmansk. More than 300 Canadian veterans have already received this medal.