Jan 23, 2014

By Michael Kramer

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Acclaimed film director David Cronenberg and pioneering black politician Alvin Curling were among those invested Thursday into the Order of Ontario.

Twenty-five people including Jeanne Lamon – founder of the Tafelmusik Orchestra and hockey great Paul Henderson were appointed to receive Ontario’s highest honour from Lt.-Gov. David Onley in a ceremony at Queen’s Park.

Henderson was unable to attend and will be inducted into the Order at a later date.

TVOntario host Steve Paikin, Toronto International Film Festival director Piers Handling, and George E. Carter, the first Canadian-born black judge, also were among the recipients.

Here is the alphabetical list released by the Ontario government:

Irving Abella of Toronto, distinguished scholar and historian, for his contribution to documenting the story of Jewish Canadians, and his commitment to the principles of social justice and tolerance.

Dr. Mohit Bhandari of Hamilton, a world-renowned orthopaedic surgeon and researcher whose research in the field has profoundly changed the practice of orthopaedic medicine. A leader in intimate partner violence prevention, he has worked extensively to educate his colleagues on how to identify the physical signs and support victims.

Paul Burston of Bond Head has spent more than 40 years working to improve Ontario’s social services sector and provide vulnerable Ontarians with a voice and a helping hand.

Hon. George E. Carter, one of Canada’s first Black lawyers and the first Canadian-born Black judge, worked to change discriminatory practices in Ontario’s criminal justice system and was instrumental in the development of Legal Aid in Ontario as well as many of the human rights laws that protect us today.

Ellen Campbell, Founder and CEO of the Canadian Centre for Abuse Awareness, has worked tirelessly to protect children and support survivors of childhood abuse. She was instrumental in getting the age of consent in Canada raised and in increasing minimum sentencing for convicted child molesters.

Penny Collenette, a leader and innovator whose influential reach spans the worlds of public policy, business, law and academia. She is an expert advisor on ethics, whistleblowing, corporate and public governance, and a strong promoter of human rights.

Ronald Common, President of Sault College, is responsible for its transformational rebranding, and unprecedented campus renewal. He has also worked extensively with Aboriginal communities throughout Canada creating First Nations school systems and on occasion helping to build them.

Paul Corkum, a world-renowned physicist and the father of attosecond science, hailed as one of the most important scientific developments of the 21st century. His seminal work established Ottawa as an international centre of excellence for photonics research.

David Cronenberg, Canada’s most celebrated internationally acclaimed filmmaker. His films have earned him numerous awards and acclaim including membership in France’s Legion of Honour.

Alvin Curling, first Black Canadian to hold a Cabinet position in Ontario and later the first Black Speaker of the Ontario Legislature. He served as Canada’s Ambassador to the Dominican Republic and has played an important role in shaping government policy addressing youth violence.

Allison Fisher of Wikwemikong First Nation is the Executive Director of Ottawa’s Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health, a state-of-the-art facility serving more than 10,000 Aboriginal people every year and widely regarded as the premier Aboriginal health centre in the country.

Claude Gingras is an outspoken leader and advocate for Ontario’s Francophone community. During his 18-year tenure as Chair of the Fondation Franco-Ontarienne, he expanded the organization into a cornerstone of the Francophone community and contributed significantly to the protection, preservation and promotion of Ontario’s Francophone culture.

Avvy Yao Yao Go is a respected lawyer, who uses her law degree to advance the rights of Toronto’s marginalized communities. She has built coalitions across different communities on issues of anti-racism, human rights and equity and most recently co-founded the “Colour of Poverty Campaign”.

Piers Handling, Director and CEO of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), one of the world’s leading film festivals and one of Canada’s most successful cultural organizations. With TIFF Bell Lightbox, the state-of-the-art new home of TIFF, Handling saw an opportunity to provide a stage for Canadian and international filmmakers to reach broader audiences.

Paul Henderson, best known for scoring Team Canada’s winning goal in the 1972 Summit Series in the Soviet Union against the Russian team. He has gone on to motivate and inspire business leaders around the world and continues to mentor many young athletes.

Justin Hines, a gifted singer and songwriter who has performed across the globe using his success to raise millions of dollars through the Justin Hines Foundation for dozens of charities throughout the world. Although he suffers a rare and painful genetic joint condition called Larsen’s Syndrome, Justin uses his gift to focus on one’s abilities, rather than disabilities.

Ronald Jamieson of Ohsweken is a leader in the financial services sector and the movement towards greater Aboriginal economic development in Canada. As the former Senior Vice President of Aboriginal Banking at BMO Financial Group he initiated a number of key programs that helped hundreds of Aboriginal families and businesses build greater financial independence.

Jeanne Lamon, Music Director of Toronto’s Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, has built Tafelmusik from humble beginnings to international acclaim. Under Lamon, the orchestra has released more than 70 recordings, received nine Juno awards and is widely considered one of the best ensembles on the world stage.

Frances Noronha is a former senior official in the Ontario government who took her extensive knowledge, experience and insight, first to Afghanistan, and now to Iraq where she works with the central government to shape strong public administration built on the principles of accountability, ethics, and transparency.

Lyn McLeod, former leader of the Ontario Liberal Party and the first woman to lead a major political party in Ontario. She has devoted her career to public service and continues to be actively involved in community work around the issues of education and health care.

Diane Morrison, Former Executive Director of the Mission, an Ottawa homeless shelter. Under her leadership the organization was transformed from a small, 70-bed shelter into a facility that today offers 235 beds, serves 1,200 meals daily, and offers a host of support services including a health clinic, a palliative care unit, a learning centre and job training programs.

Steve Paikin, journalist and host of TVO’s nightly public affairs program, The Agenda with Steve Paikin. A reporter, documentary producer and author, Paikin helps Ontarians better understand the world around them by providing perspective and insight into the issues of the day.

Dr. James Rutka, a pediatric neurosurgeon at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, is widely recognized as one of North America’s top brain cancer researchers. Dr. Rutka has made significant contributions to the development of better treatments for children with malignant brain tumors.

Adel Sedra, a distinguished engineering scholar and professor as well as a leader in university administration. His seminal work has resulted in major developments in fields ranging from medical technology to wireless communications. Mr. Sedra co-authored Microelectronic Circuits, the best-selling engineering textbook in history.

Toby Tanenbaum, a dedicated philanthropist and active volunteer whose generous contributions have supported the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Royal Ontario Museum and the Canadian Opera Company as well as countless other health-care, educational and cultural institutions.

The following were appointed in 2012 and were invested with their medals at this year’s ceremony:

Mark Cohon, Commissioner of the Canadian Football League and Chair of the Ontario Science Centre’s board of trustees, whose exemplary leadership has brought both Canadian institutions to prominence. He was appointed to the Order of Ontario in 2012 and was invested with his medal at this year’s ceremony.

Deepa Mehta an international icon in the film industry uses the medium to defend human rights and fight social injustice. Mehta is on the Board of Directors of the Toronto International Film Festival and a lifetime advocate for women’s rights. In 2012, she received the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement. She was appointed to the Order of Ontario in 2012 and was invested with her medal at this year’s ceremony

The Order of Ontario was created in 1986 and recognizes the highest level of individual excellence and achievement in any field.

Nominations are made by members of the public, and any resident, or former long-term resident of Ontario can be nominated.

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