Michel Maisonneuve
Lt.-Gen. Michel Maisonneuve. (Photo credit: Lauren Heuser)

A Ukrainian flag drapes above the front door of retired Lieutenant-General Michel Maisonneuve’s St. Catharines home. On the door hangs a wreath with one word through the middle: Thankful. 

Both adornments seem fitting. 

Maisonneuve, a former chief of staff of NATO’s Allied Command Transformation in Norfolk, is constitutionally dispositioned to care about global security events like the war in Ukraine, and now, Israel-Hamas. And it’s mere days since Thanksgiving when I meet him and his wife of 22 years, retired Major Barbara Maisonneuve, whom he describes as the “woman of my dreams.” 

When I’m ushered inside the couple’s cozy, tidy home, I notice something less typical for the fall season: Christmas music. 

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Lauren Heuser founded Canadian Affairs in 2023. Her previous roles include chief strategy officer of a Paris-based news service for young people, deputy section editor at the National Post and corporate...