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29 Appointees Named To Ontario's Highest Honour

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29 Appointees Named To Ontario's Highest Honour

Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration

Businessman Paul Godfrey, world leader in diabetes research Mladen Vranic, humanitarian James Orbinski, Professor Constance Backhouse and news anchor Ken Shaw are among 29 new appointees to the Order of Ontario.

The appointees to Ontario's highest honour were chosen for their contributions to the arts, science, medicine, education, politics, philanthropy, law and media.

The Honourable David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario will bestow the honour at a ceremony to be held on Thursday, January 28 at Queen's Park.

Named to the Order of Ontario are:

  • Constance Backhouse of Ottawa, a distinguished professor and legal historian, internationally recognized for her feminist research and publications on gender and race within the Canadian legal system.
  • Dr. Philip Berger of Toronto, a physician and leader in the fields of urban medicine, addiction, homelessness and HIV/AIDS care.
  • Lawrence Bloomberg of Toronto, a businessman noted for his volunteerism and philanthropic contributions to healthcare, commercializing innovation and education in Ontario. He is a director and advisor to the National Bank of Canada.
  • Lesley Jane Boake of Barrie, an educator and founder of Canine Opportunity, People Empowerment (COPE), an innovative service-dog training program for persons with disabilities and youth at risk leaving school early.
  • Dr. Helen Chan of Toronto, an internationally renowned clinical oncologist recognized for her breakthrough treatment of retinoblastoma in children, a rare cancer of the eyes.
  • Peter Crossgrove of Sudbury, a businessman and director of mining and natural resource companies who has helped raise millions of dollars for Ontario's healthcare and cancer care organizations.
  • Mike DeGagné of Ottawa, a community leader who has dedicated his life's work to improving the health, wellness, education and governance of Aboriginal peoples.  
  • Levente Diosady of Toronto, a leader in the field of food process engineering.  His celebrated achievement - a technique to combat iodine deficiency and anemia - has benefitted millions around the world.
  • Fraser Dougall of Thunder Bay, a media owner and philanthropist who promotes and supports community interests and local projects through his radio and TV programming.
  • Jacques Flamand of Ottawa, a writer and promoter of Franco-Ontarian literature whose work is recognized in Canada and abroad.
  • Jean Gagnon of Sturgeon Falls, an advocate for the health and safety of workers and victims of industrial disease, and their survivors, to receive compensation.  He has contributed to the awareness of safe work environments in Ontario.
  • Paul Godfrey of Toronto, a businessman and civic leader.  He is known for his leadership in municipal governance, advocating for venerable Toronto institutions, and the creation of the Herbie Fund, which pays for life-saving operations for children around the world.
  • Peter Godsoe of Toronto, a business leader and former president of Scotiabank, whose philanthropic contributions have supported a broad range of community causes, particularly education, healthcare and the arts in Canada and abroad.
  • Ovid Jackson of Owen Sound, a retired teacher and politician who has made it his life's work to address the needs of young people, newcomers and people with disabilities.
  • Dr. Kellie Leitch of Toronto, for her contributions as a paediatric orthopaedic surgeon and a national voice for children's health in Canada.
  • Gerry Lougheed (Jr.) of Sudbury, a funeral director and a leader in volunteerism who has championed many causes from cancer care to hospital development. 
  • Diana Mady Kelly of Windsor, a professor emeritus, actor, theatre director and award-winning teacher of dramatic art who is recognized for her contributions to theatre and arts administration. 
  • Naseem Mahdi of Vaughan, a spiritual leader who promotes respect and understanding of world religions.
  • Dr. Samantha Nutt of Toronto, a family physician who co-founded War Child Canada, and has gained international recognition as a leader in humanitarian assistance to vulnerable populations in conflict zones.
  • Dr. James Orbinski of Toronto, a physician, scientist, internationally renowned humanitarian and founding member of Doctors Without Borders and other international organizations aimed at improving global healthcare.
  • Bonnie Patterson of Lakefield, a former university president who has championed the advancement of high-quality, post-secondary education in Ontario and Canada.
  • Shirley Peruniak of Sharbot Lake, a park naturalist, known as "the heart and soul" of Quetico Provincial Park, for her 35 years of conservation and promotion of one of Ontario's world-renowned wilderness destinations.
  • Alice Porter of Shelburne, a nurse and missionary with an impressive record of more than 50 years of community service in Canada and India.
  • Ken Shaw of Oshawa, a renowned local news anchor and philanthropist who works tirelessly for local charities and community events. He is the face of CTV outreach activities and recognized for outstanding community service.
  • Janet Stewart of London, a lawyer who advocates for the advancement of women in the law and is known for her compassion and commitment to philanthropic activities in the London area.
  • Shirley Thomson of Ottawa, a leading national figure in the promotion of visual arts in Canada for more than 40 years.
  • George Turnbull of Toronto, an expert in financial services and a philanthropist whose contributions have supported healthcare research, community services, education and the arts.
  • Dr. Mladen Vranic of Toronto, a physician/scientist and world leader in diabetes research who pioneered tracer methods that demonstrated the importance of exercise and of beneficial stresses in preventing the development of diabetes. 
  • Dr. Anne-Marie Zajdlik of Rockwood, a family physician and one of Canada's leading female AIDS activists who works to alleviate the impact of the worldwide AIDS crisis.
  • Ed Ratushny of Ottawa, an expert on the Canadian judiciary who was appointed in 2008 and will also be invested with his medal at the January 28 ceremony.

Quick Facts

  • Created in 1986, the Order of Ontario, the province's highest official honour, recognizes the highest level of individual excellence and achievement in any field.
  • Nominations are made by members of the public. The deadline for nominations is March 16.

Additional Resources


“These individuals have opened their minds to new possibilities, and as a result have gone above and beyond to change our province, our country and the world for the better.”

The Honourable David C. Onley

Lieutenant Governor of Ontario

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