A public health researcher, a disability sports advocate and several trailblazing women who achieved firsts in their fields are among the 61 people being honoured with New Year’s appointments to the Order of Canada.
The list also includes a billionaire developer and philanthropist, a rock singer and a former First Nation chief and community builder.
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette announced the new appointments to one of Canada’s highest civilian honours today. The order recognizes “people whose service shapes our society, whose innovations ignite our imaginations and whose compassion unites our communities,” according to a statement from the Office of the Secretary of the Governor General.
While most of the people on this year’s list aren’t household names (last year’s list included Oscar-winning director James Cameron, Nobel laureate Donna Strickland and former prime minister Stephen Harper), they’re all highly accomplished in their fields.
Robert Steadward is a now-retired sports scientist who was instrumental in the creation of the modern Paralympic Games and served for 12 years as the founding president of the International Paralympic Committee. He joins Cameron, Strickland and Harper as a companion of the order. Steadward was promoted to the highest of the order’s three levels after being appointed an officer in 1998.
“When I got this little email that I’m supposed to call someone in the [Governor General’s] office, gosh, I felt like I was at school again being called to the principal’s office,” Steadward said from his home in Edmonton.
“Your heart races, your mind starts to wander and you just try to think what, why, when and where and all of that. So it really was a very special moment in time for me.”
Payette’s office says Steadward is being honoured for his “lifelong dedication to propelling the Paralympic movement forward on a global scale.”
In the early 1980s, he helped develop a proposal to centralize the governance of disability sport at the international level. When the International Paralympic Committee was created, he was elected its first president.
“I get a thrill of telling people what individuals living with disabilities have been able to do to change the world, to change sport or to change the world through sport … the unbelievable achievements that these young athletes have made,” said Steadward.
Louise Mailhot, a former lawyer and judge who sat on the Superior Court of Quebec and became the first female judge to serve on Quebec’s Court of Appeal in 1987, is one of several women pioneers being appointed as members of the order — the order’s entry level.
“They phoned me about three weeks ago. I was very surprised, very taken by surprise of course, but very happy,” said Mailhot from Montreal.
In addition to practicing employment and public law and serving as a judge, Mailhot was co-editor of multiple legal reviews, authored a book on the appellate process and helped develop a training program for drafting Canadian judges.
She is being honoured for her contributions to the legal profession, her advocacy for gender equality and her promotion of women in the field.
“It’s sort of a recognition of this long period of fighting,” said Mailhot. “When I would go to the practice court, the other lawyers were saying, ‘You’re the secretary of which cabinet? Of which senior lawyer?’ They never thought that I was a lawyer myself.”
Another trailblazer, Toronto engineer Gina Cody, has been appointed as a member of the order. Cody immigrated to Canada in 1979 at the age of 22 when her family fled the Iranian Revolution.
She was the first woman to be awarded a PhD in building engineering at Concordia University in Montreal and went on to found a successful consulting firm, CCI Group, that was named one of Canada’s most profitable woman-owned companies by Profit magazine in 2010.
The faculty of engineering at Concordia now bears her name. The Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science is the first in Canada — and one of the first in the world — to be named after a woman.
Cody said she hopes her appointment inspires more women to enter the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics — especially as economies undergo a “fourth industrial revolution” characterized by automation and smart technology.
“That’s the message I want to send out — that parents encourage their girls and young children to get into the STEM programs,” said Cody.
Growing recognition of Indigenous peoples
Legal scholar John Borrows, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Law at the University of Victoria’s law school, said it was a “jaw-dropping moment” when found out he was being appointed an officer of the order — the second-highest level.
“There was no inkling that that was going to happen,” said Borrows.
Borrows is being recognized for his scholarly work on Indigenous rights and legal traditions.
Hailing from the Chippewas of the Nawash First Nation in Ontario, Borrows is one of several people of Indigenous heritage on this year’s list.
“People are recognizing more strongly that Indigenous lives are part of our landscape,” he said. “That bodes well because we have lots of work to do to recognize treaties, Aboriginal title, Aboriginal rights, as well as the internal laws of Indigenous Peoples to deal with some of the challenges we’re facing within our communities.”
Elder Carolyn King is another new officer of the Order of Canada. She is a community builder, educator and former chief of the Mississauga of the Credit First Nation in Ontario.
King has spent years working to improve the quality of life in her community through an economic development program for her First Nation and her deep involvement in community planning.
“There’s a lot of people, Indigenous people, who are doing a lot of good work in their communities and it just hasn’t been recognized as part of the system,” said King. “Going forward with more people being recognized, nominated and being recognized, I think is very important for our future.”
Public health during a pandemic
In a year which saw a pandemic disrupt the social and economic life of the entire planet, Dr. Vivek Goel’s appointment to the order is especially timely. A trained public health physician, Goel spent most of his career as a public health researcher and was the founding president of Public Health Ontario from 2008 to 2014.
“It obviously feels great, and particularly because part of the recognition is for my work in public health. And in the midst of a global pandemic, to be recognized for this, it’s wonderful to see,” said Goel.
Goel, now a professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, has been involved in a number of research initiatives related to COVID-19 and has been widely quoted in the media.
Recently, Goel was the co-principal investigator of an interim study into COVID-19 infection rates among incoming international travellers at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport.
Goel said the visibility of those who work in public health goes through a “boom-bust cycle” that makes them household names during a health crisis before they fade into the backdrop when the crisis passes.
“Just to be recognized for contributions in public health is really meaningful because, quite often, the people that work in public health are working in the background and are not recognized to the degree that, for example, front line health care workers are recognized for their contributions,” said Goel. “I don’t want to discount their contributions, but we tend to hear a lot more about front line health care workers than people working in public health.”
Ray Ivany, a former university administrator who now sits on the Bank of Canada’s Board of Directors, called it a “profound honour” to be named a member of the order.
“You go through your career doing the best that you can and you don’t think of things like an award … I was shocked,” said Ivany, who was president and vice-chancellor of Acadia University from 2009 to 2017.
Ivany, who is being honoured for his “steadfast commitment to higher education and public service in Nova Scotia,” also served as the commissioner of the Nova Scotia Commission on Building Our New Economy.
“I’ve always believed that smart public policy can make a positive difference in people’s lives,” Ivany said.
The billionaire founder of Mattamy Homes, Peter Gilgan, was promoted to officer of the order. Gilgan is known for his philanthropy in the health care and education sectors: he made a $100 million donation to The Hospital for Sick Children last June and donated $3.3 million to St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto to increase its COVID-19 testing capacity.
“It’s a huge honour to join the ranks of such a revered group of Canadians,” said Gilgan. “It inspires one to carry on and do more.”
Celebrated singer-songwriter Art Bergmann is being recognized for what the Governor General’s office calls his “indelible contributions to the Canadian punk music scene, and for his thought-provoking discourse on social, gender and racial inequalities.”
“It’s humbling. And I want to know who did this to me,” said Bergmann.
Bergmann made his mark on Vancouver’s punk scene in the 1970s and 1980s as a member of multiple bands, including the K-Tels, which was subsequently renamed the Young Canadians. He has since written songs and published albums as a solo artist and won a Juno Award for Best Alternative Album in 1996.
Bergman, who now lives with his wife in Rocky View County, Alta., is known for his sharply political, anti-establishment lyrics. He said he wants to divert any publicity generated by his appointment toward pressuring the federal government over its failure to provide adequate housing and clean water to First Nations.
“There’s a few things that have gone wrong in Canada … [and] me not having an award for my work is not one of them,” said Bergmann. “Honour the treaties, give the First Nations water and housing and thank you very much, Canada — a work in progress.”
Normally, the Office of the Governor-General holds four investiture ceremonies yearly, where about 40 appointees are presented with symbolic medals, said Rob McKinnon, a spokesperson for the office.
He said in-person ceremonies are on hold for the time being because of the pandemic. McKinnon said a virtual ceremony could still happen, but there will be no details until sometime in the New Year.
The Order of Canada
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette has appointed the following people, who were recommended for appointment by the Advisory Council of the Order of Canada:
Companions of the Order of Canada
- Robert Daniel Steadward, C.C., A.O.E. (This is a promotion within the order)
Officers of the Order of Canada
- John Borrows, O.C.
- Helen M. Burt, O.C.
- John Challis, O.C.
- Elizabeth A. Edwards, O.C.
- Peter E. Gilgan, O.C., O.Ont. (This is a promotion within the order)
- J. Edward Johnson, O.C.
- Daniel Heath Justice, O.C.
- Vivian McAlister, O.C.
- Antony David John Penikett, O.C.
- The Honourable Lynn Smith, O.C., Q.C.
- Daniel John Taylor, O.C.
- Yanick Villedieu, O.C., C.Q.
- Lori Jeanne West, O.C.
Members of the Order of Canada
- Mary S. Aitken, C.M.
- Yaprak Baltacıoğlu, C.M.
- Arthur Frank-Art Bergmann, C.M.
- Guy Berthiaume, C.M.
- Myer Bick, C.M.
- Carolle Brabant, C.M.
- Michael S. W. Bradstreet, C.M.
- John W. Brink, C.M.
- Barbara Elizabeth Butler, C.M.
- James Casey, C.M., M.S.M.
- Brian Cherney, C.M.
- Gina Parvaneh Cody, C.M
- David Cooper, C.M.
- Michel Cusson, C.M.
- Rita Davies, C.M.
- Serge Demers, C.M.
- Stanley Louis Dragland, C.M.
- L. David Dubé, C.M.
- Jacalyn Duffin, C.M.
- John Grigsby Geiger, C.M.
- Susan R. George Bahl, C.M.
- Dr. Vivek Goel, C.M.
- Gary Gullickson, C.M.
- John Hartman, C.M.
- Father James Lassiter Holland, C.M., A.O.E.
- Sally Horsfall Eaton, C.M., C.D.
- Raymond Ivany, C.M., O.N.S.
- Michael A. S. Jewett, C.M.
- Elder Carolyn King, C.M.
- Robert Krell, C.M.
- Susan Keiko Langdon, C.M.
- Larry J. Macdonald, C.M.
- The Honourable Louise Mailhot, C.M., O.Q.
- Marilyn McHarg, C.M., O.Ont.
- Cheryl Lisa Meeches, C.M., O.M.
- Andrew T. Molson, C.M.
- Morris Moscovitch, C.M.
- Ginette Noiseux, C.M.
- Leonard Pennachetti, C.M.
- Lloyd R. Posno, C.M.
- Heather Ross, C.M.
- Terry Salman, C.M.
- Brian Segal, C.M.
- Douglas R. Stollery, C.M., Q.C.
- Frances Westley, C.M.
- Frances Elizabeth Wright, C.M., A.O.E.
Trudeau first foreign leader to speak with Biden – CTV News
Joe Biden’s White House has a lot in common cause with Canada, Justin Trudeau said Friday as he urged people to look past the new U.S. president’s decision to kill off the Keystone XL pipeline project.
The two countries have great partnership potential in the Biden era, particularly when it comes to a shared vision of tackling climate change while fuelling economic growth, the prime minister said.
“It’s not always going to be perfect alignment with the United States; that’s the case with any given president,” he told a news conference outside his Rideau Cottage residence.
“In a situation where we are much more aligned — on values, on focus, on the work that needs to be done to give opportunities for everyone while we build a better future — I’m very much looking forward to working with President Biden.”
The two leaders spoke for about 30 minutes late Friday — Biden’s first phone call with a foreign leader since taking office.
Trudeau expressed Canada’s “disappointment” with the Keystone decision, and Biden acknowledged the difficulties it has caused, said a federal official familiar with what was discussed.
“The Prime Minister underscored the important economic and energy security benefits of our bilateral energy relationship as well as his support for energy workers,” says the readout of their conversation released by the Office of the Prime Minister.
“The Prime Minister and President reiterated the urgent need for ambitious action on climate change, reaffirmed their commitment to the Paris Agreement, and agreed to work together on net-zero emissions, zero-emissions vehicles, cross-border clean electricity transmission, and the Arctic.”
By and large, the tone of the call was “overwhelmingly positive,” said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss details of the call.
Trudeau also expressed concern about Biden’s Buy American plan to ensure U.S. workers and manufacturers are the primary beneficiaries of his economic recovery strategy.
The leaders agreed to continue to discuss Canada’s concerns about an issue that the two sides have been discussing for months, and will continue to talk about as the administration finds its feet, the source suggested.
Biden and Trudeau also agreed to meet next month, although it’s not clear given the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic what form that meeting would take.
Earlier Friday, Trudeau said the federal government would be there to support oilpatch workers in Alberta and Saskatchewan who have been hurt by Biden’s decision.
But there’s little doubt the fight is far from over, particularly if Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has anything to say about it.
“The United States is setting a deeply disturbing precedent for any future projects and collaboration between our two nations,” Kenney wrote in a letter to Trudeau he released Friday on Twitter.
“The fact that it was a campaign promise makes it no less offensive. Our country has never surrendered our vital economic interests because a foreign government campaigned against them.”
Biden believes a brisk economic recovery doesn’t have to come at the expense of the environment, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday.
Biden opposed the Keystone XL expansion as vice-president under Barack Obama, who blocked the project in 2015, and as president he still does, Psaki said.
Kenney and other champions of the project, including Kirsten Hillman, Canada’s ambassador to the U.S., argue it has changed significantly since the Obama administration cancelled it five years ago.
As word emerged this week of the project’s imminent demise, Calgary-based owner TC Energy revealed plans to spend US$1.7 billion on a solar, wind and battery-powered operating system for the pipeline to ensure it achieves net-zero emissions by 2030.
Kenney wrote Wednesday’s decision came “without taking the time to discuss it with their longest-standing ally,” although Hillman insists she has been in near-constant discussions with the Biden team ever since May, when they promised to cancel the project.
He called the decision a violation of the investor-protection provisions of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement and called on Trudeau to press the U.S. for compensation on behalf of TC Energy and the Alberta government.
“I strongly urge you to ensure that there are proportionate economic consequences in response to these unfair U.S. actions,” Kenney wrote.
“If the U.S. is unwilling to listen, then we must demonstrate that Canada will stand up for Canadian workers and the Canadian economy.”
Biden’s decision has critics among U.S. conservatives as well: Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the Republican House minority leader, called it a job-killing “virtue signal” to climate crusaders.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz accused Biden of erasing 11,000 potential jobs in the U.S. “with the stroke of a pen … by presidential edict.” Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan said the president was “pandering to fringe activists.”
Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, said the move does little besides kill jobs, “disappoint our strong ally, Canada, and reverse some of our progress toward energy security.”
And Idaho senators Jim Risch and Mike Crapo both signed on to co-sponsor a Republican bill aimed at allowing construction on the project to continue, despite Biden’s decision to rescind the permit.
“The Keystone project is the linchpin of America’s energy independence and job creation strategy,” Risch said in a statement.
“Shutting it down leaves us dependent on the likes of OPEC and Russia to help power the country and undermines the pact we made with our northern ally, Canada, which remains supportive of the project.”
Even without Keystone XL, U.S. set for record Canadian oil imports
By Nia Williams and Devika Krishna Kumar
CALGARY/NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Keystone XL pipeline project may be dead, but the United States is still poised to pull in record imports of Canadian oil in coming years through other pipelines that are in the midst of expanding.
U.S. President Joe Biden canceled Keystone XL’s permit on his first day in office Wednesday, dealing a death blow to a long-gestating project that would have carried 830,000 barrels per day of heavy oil sands crude from Alberta to Nebraska.
Environmental activists and indigenous communities hailed the move, but traders and analysts said U.S.-Canada pipelines will have more than enough capacity to handle increasing volumes of crude out of Canada, the primary foreign supplier of oil to the United States.
Currently, Canada exports about 3.8 million bpd to the United States, according to U.S. Energy Department data. Analysts expect that to rise to between 4.2 million and 4.4 million bpd over the next few years. Pipeline expansions currently in progress will add more than 950,000 bpd of export capacity for Canadian producers before 2025, according to Rystad Energy.
Canada’s Energy Regulator says there is enough capacity currently to export more than 4 million bpd to the United States.
Biden’s administration has set a goal of moving towards decarbonization and reducing the country’s reliance on oil and gas and cutting harmful air pollutants. Most of the nation’s energy still comes from fossil fuels.
“Whatever limited benefit that Keystone was projected to provide now has to be obviously reconsidered with the economy of today,” said Gina McCarthy, Biden’s leading domestic climate policy coordinator at the White House.
Even without Keystone, however, the United States now relies on Canada for more than half of its imported oil. Several of the lines carrying that crude are in the midst of expansions.
For a graphic on U.S. imports of Canadian oil surge:
Enbridge Inc’s Line 3 replacement project is in the process of doubling its capacity, which will allow it to deliver about 760,000 bpd of crude from Alberta to Superior, Wisconsin, by the end of this year.
Canada’s government is also expanding the state-owned Trans Mountain line by 590,000 bpd to 890,000 bpd. That line terminates at the Port of Vancouver, where it should be able to deliver barrels via tankers to the United States.
Meanwhile, TC Energy received U.S. approval last year to expand its existing Keystone 590,000-bpd line – located far from the proposed Keystone XL – which would add an additional 170,000 bpd into the U.S. Midwest and Gulf Coast.
“We will be over-piped assuming the other pipelines go ahead on schedule,” said Wood Mackenzie research director Mark Oberstoetter. “If you add them all up, you can make the argument KXL was not needed.”
Construction underway on Trans Mountain and Line 3 could still be held up by environmental protests, but unlike Keystone XL, both pipelines have cleared legal and regulatory hurdles.
Oil production in western Canada will rise in 2021 to a new record of 4.45 million bpd, RBN Energy estimates, up from 3.9 million bpd in 2020, most of which will be exported to the United States.
Canada is the world’s fourth-biggest crude producer, but has been grappling for years with congestion on pipelines. That caused a glut of oil in storage tanks in Alberta, driving prices down, and spurring the province to impose production curtailments to drain record inventories.
Those curtailments were lifted in November, and production has been rising ever since. Even as production is rising again, pipeline companies have boosted efficiency on existing pipelines through the use of drag-reducing agents.
“While the politics around KXL will continue to reverberate for some time, the reality is that western Canada – for the first time in recent memory – may soon reach a juncture at which it has excess oil export capacity,” Rystad Energy’s vice president for North American shale Thomas Liles said in a note.
(Reporting by Devika Krishna Kumar in New York and Nia Williams in Calgary; Additional reporting by Trevor Hunnicut in Washington DC; Editing by Andrea Ricci)
Jailed Kremlin critic Navalny’s supporters to rally for his release despite warnings
By Tom Balmforth
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Supporters of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny were set to confront Russian authorities on Saturday at nationwide rallies that the police have declared illegal and vowed to break up.
The gatherings will be the first protests by Navalny’s supporters since he returned dramatically to Moscow and was immediately arrested last weekend after recovering in Germany from a nerve agent poisoning in Russia.
He accuses President Vladimir Putin of ordering his murder, which the Kremlin denies.
The stubborn ex-lawyer who has campaigned against Putin for years despite what he describes as an unrelenting state effort to stifle his activity could now face years in jail over legal cases that he calls trumped up.
His supporters are betting on a high-risk strategy to produce a show of anti-Kremlin street support during winter and a pandemic to pressure the authorities into freeing him.
The gamble puts the Kremlin in a quandary as to how it responds, nine months before parliamentary elections.
The West has told Moscow to let him go, sparking new tensions in already strained Russia ties as U.S. President Joe Biden launches his administration.
In a push to galvanise support, Navalny’s team released a video about an opulent palace on the Black Sea they alleged belonged to Putin, something the Kremlin denied. The clip had been viewed more than 60 million times as of late Friday.
Police have cracked down in the run-up to the rallies, rounding up several of his allies they accused of calling for illegal protests and jailing at least two of them, including Navalny’s spokeswoman, for more than a week each.
Authorities also announced a criminal investigation against Navalny supporters over calls urging minors to attend illegal rallies that it said were made on various social networks.
Navalny’s allies hope to tap into what polls say are pent-up public frustrations over years of falling wages and economic fallout from the pandemic. But Putin’s grip on power looks unassailable and the 68-year-old regularly records an approval rating of over 60%, many times higher than that of Navalny.
(Reporting by Tom Balmforth; Editing by William Maclean)
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