Ontario Newsroom

30 Appointees Named To Ontario's Highest Honour

Archived News Release

30 Appointees Named To Ontario's Highest Honour

Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration

A former judge whose report led to the creation of Ontario's Special Investigations Unit and a world renowned researcher into regenerative medicine are among 30 new appointees to the Order of Ontario.

The appointees to Ontario's highest honour were chosen for their contributions to the arts, justice, science, medicine, history, politics, philanthropy, and the environment.

The Honourable David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, will invest the appointees at a ceremony to be held on Thursday, January 27 at Queen's Park.

Named to the Order of Ontario are:

  • Suhayya Abu-Hakima of Kanata, a respected technology entrepreneur, high-tech visionary, tireless volunteer and one of Canada's very few female founders and CEOs.
  • Russell Bannock of Toronto, a legendary fighter pilot and award-winning Second World War commander with the Royal Canadian Air Force, for his contributions to the aerospace industry.
  • Dr. Gail Beck of Ottawa, a child and adolescent psychiatrist recognized for her work on behalf of youth, including championing the HPV public immunization program and securing $300 million in funding to support it nation-wide.
  • Dr. Joseph Chin of London, a medical pioneer and a leader in the prevention and treatment of prostate cancer. His group was the first in the world to perform three-dimensional, ultrasound-guided prostate surgery.
  • Lynn Factor of Toronto, a respected social worker known for her advocacy for vulnerable children and youth. She has developed a set of best practices for dealing with child victims of sexual abuse.
  • Gerald Fagan of London, a choral conductor, teacher and mentor who is recognized for his lifelong dedication to choral music, and for enriching vocal traditions in Canada and around the world.
  • Nigel Fisher of Toronto, former president of UNICEF Canada, for his leadership in humanitarian assistance to hundreds of thousands of women and children in some of the most war-torn regions of the world.
  • Lillie Johnson of Scarborough, Ontario's first black director of public health whose decades-long advocacy led to sickle cell disease being included in universal newborn screening.  She later joined CUSO, conducting health briefings for international volunteers and advising on equity policies.
  • Ignat Kaneff of Mississauga, a renowned developer and philanthropist whose contributions have supported education, the arts, and health and social services, especially community living for intellectually-challenged children.
  • Mobeenuddin Hassan Khaja of Gatineau, for his contributions to promoting peace and cross-cultural understanding between Muslims and other religious and ethnic groups.  He founded the Association of Progressive Muslims of Ontario and Canada.
  • Elizabeth Ann Kinsella of Ottawa, the founder and driving force behind the Youville Centre - the first charity in Canada to address the need for education, child care, housing and support services for young, single mothers and their children.
  • Huguette Labelle of Ottawa, an outstanding civil servant who was the first francophone woman to become a federal deputy minister, and the first woman to lead the Red Cross in Canada.  She is known as an expert in transportation, health care, development and governance.
  • Elizabeth Le Geyt of Greely, a writer and a lifetime watcher and lover of birds for her contributions to the natural environment. She has written a weekly birding column for the Ottawa Citizen since 1973 and still does it today in her 90s.  
  • Clare Lewis of Toronto, a noted former Crown attorney and judge, for his contributions to the justice system.  He led the task force that recommended the creation of the Special Investigations Unit, changing the justice landscape in Ontario.  He was Police Complaints Commissioner, first Chair of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission and appointed Ombudsman for the Province of Ontario.
  • Louise Logue of Ottawa, an expert advisor in the field of crime prevention, youth intervention and criminal diversion, whose efforts for dealing with youth gangs, auto theft, illicit drugs and sexual exploitation have been adopted by police services across Canada. She is a Justice of the Peace with the Ontario Court of Justice.
  • Gordon McBean of London, a leading scientist and authority on climate change and natural disasters. He and the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with environmental activist Al Gore.
  • Wilma Morrison of Niagara Falls, an educator, historian and lifelong champion of Black Canadian history.  She founded the Niagara Black History Association and was a founding member of Central Ontario Network for Black History.
  • The Honourable Coulter Osborne of Toronto, a lawyer and former associate chief of justice for his contributions to making Ontario's civil justice system more accessible and affordable, including changes to the way Small Claims Courts operate.
  • Chris Paliare of Toronto, one of Canada's most respected civil litigators, for his lasting influence on the development of administrative and public law in Ontario and his career-long commitment to human rights and pro bono representation.
  • Gilles Patry of Ottawa has dedicated his life's work to advance higher education in Ontario in both official languages. 
  • Dave Shannon of Thunder Bay, a paraplegic lawyer committed to policy and legal advocacy for the protection of human rights and community inclusion for persons with disabilities.
  • Molly Shoichet of Toronto, a world-renowned scientific researcher in regenerative medicine - designing strategies and materials to help the body heal itself after traumatic injury, in particular to the brain and spinal cord.
  • Howard Sokolowski of Toronto, a leader in the home building industry and philanthropist recognized for his contributions to the arts, healthcare, education, and other sectors. 
  • Edward Sonshine of Toronto, entrepreneur and philanthropist, son of Holocaust survivors, whose contributions have supported many community causes. He is the founder and CEO of RioCan, and a director of the Royal Bank of Canada and Cineplex Inc.
  • Reverend Canon Reginald Stackhouse of Toronto, a social, political and religious author and commentator.  He is a retired politician who advocated for reform of correctional institutions in Canada and helped found Centennial College, Ontario's first publicly-funded community college.
  • David Staines of Ottawa, a scholar, professor, literary critic, writer and champion of Canadian literature.  He helped establish the Giller Prize, Canada's highest award for fiction, and the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction.
  • Martin Teplitsky of Toronto, a mediator-arbitrator and a Queen's Counsel lawyer, highly respected for his approaches to community justice and for his negotiation skills.  He founded the Lawyers Feed the Hungry program and created several law scholarships.
  • Dave Toycen of Mississauga leads the country's largest humanitarian relief, development and advocacy agency, World Vision Canada.  He is president and CEO of the Christian organization, advocating on issues of child and maternal health, the rights of girls, and the protection of children in armed conflict as well as serving the world's poor.
  • John Ronald Wakegijig of Wikwemikong, an advocate for the Anishinaabe people on Manitoulin Island.  He launched the first mental health program for First Nations youth and established Rainbow Lodge, an alcohol treatment centre.
  • Elizabeth Hillman Waterston of London, a researcher, writer and expert on Canadian writers.   She has fostered the study of Canadian literature in high schools and universities since the 1950s, and mentored upcoming writers including Mordecai Richler and Jane Urquhart.
  • Jacques Flamand of Ottawa, a writer and promoter of Franco-Ontarian literature whose work is recognized in Canada and abroad. He was appointed in 2009 and will be invested with his medal at the 2011 ceremony.
  • Dr. James Orbinski of Toronto, a physician, scientist, internationally renowned humanitarian and founding member of Doctors Without Borders, who was appointed in 2009 and will be invested with his medal at the 2011 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.
  • In 2012, the Order of Ontario will mark its 25th anniversary.

Additional Resources


“The Order of Ontario recognizes excellence in any field of endeavour. The outstanding achievements of this august group of Ontarians are making a profound difference to the quality of life in our province. Each recipient has gone above and beyond the 'call of duty' and they are inspiring role models for us all.”

The Honourable David C. Onley

Lieutenant Governor of Ontario

Media Contacts



Arts and Culture Business and Economy Driving and Roads Education and Training Environment and Energy Government Health and Wellness Home and Community Jobs and Employment Law and Safety Rural and North Aboriginal People Francophones Newcomers People with Disabilities Seniors Women