By The Canadian Press - Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - 0 Comments
TORONTO – Disgraced theatre impresario Garth Drabinsky has been stripped of his Order of…
TORONTO – Disgraced theatre impresario Garth Drabinsky has been stripped of his Order of Canada appointment and is going to court to try to get it back.
Drabinsky was released to a Toronto halfway house earlier this month after serving part of his five-year sentence for fraud.
He and business partner Myron Gottlieb were convicted in 2009 for a book-cooking scheme that ultimately resulted in the demise of now-defunct Livent Inc. — the company behind such hits as “Phantom of the Opera” and “Ragtime.”
Drabinsky is asking the Federal Court to order the advisory council of the Order of Canada to reverse its decision, which he says was made without properly hearing from him.
In documents filed Tuesday, Drabinsky says he was first informed that the council was considering revoking the honour in June, when he was still in prison, so he couldn’t prepare an adequate response.
Drabinsky says he sent in some preliminary but incomplete submissions and then didn’t hear anything else until Feb. 1, when his lawyers got a letter saying the Governor General had accepted the council’s recommendation to remove Drabinsky from the Order of Canada.
By The Canadian Press - Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 5:23 PM - 0 Comments
OTTAWA – Forty years after they skated their way into history, two members of…
OTTAWA – Forty years after they skated their way into history, two members of Canada’s Summit Series hockey team have now scored an Order of Canada.
Ken Dryden has been named an officer of the order and Paul Henderson a member as the Governor General’s office released the list of the latest inductees.
Both men were members of the Canadian hockey team during the 1972 Summit Series against Russia, though their citations also note their achievements in other fields.
Joining them from the hockey world was Danièle Sauvageau, who coached Canada’s Olympic women’s hockey team to gold at the 2002 Games.
Altogether, Governor General David Johnston announced 91 new appointments to the Order of Canada, which was established in 1967 to recognize service to Canada.
There are three levels to the honour: companion, officer and member. The highest level, companion, can only have 165 living members at any time.
The list of inductees is usually released twice a year.
Others named Sunday include two longtime CBC journalists, Michael Enright and Andrew Barrie, as well as investigative reporter Stevie Cameron.
Among Cameron’s best-known work is an investigation she did into then-prime minister Brian Mulroney’s involvement in the purchase of new Airbus jets.
She was accused of being an informant for the RCMP when they launched their own investigation but those accusations were later recanted.
Broadcaster Elmer Hildebrand was named for his contributions to radio in western Canada and other charitable causes.
Two high-profile Canadian politicians were also inducted.
Sheila Copps, a deputy prime minister under Jean Chretien, and Brian Tobin, also a Chretien cabinet minister and former premier of Newfoundland and Labrador both became officers of the order.
Former Assembly of First Nations Chief Phil Fontaine also became an officer of the order, cited for his contributions on behalf of First Nations and particularly his role in the resolution of claims arising from the aboriginal residential schools.
Several members of Canada’s arts community were recognized as well, including philanthropist Scott Griffin for his establishment of an international poetry prize, choreographer Paul-André Fortier for his contributions to dance and Roald Nasgaard, who is the former chief curator at the Art Gallery of Ontario.
Orders of Canada are awarded upon the recommendations of an 11-member advisory council which includes the chief justice of the Supreme Court and the Clerk of the Privy Council.
Only four have ever been revoked, each time because the individual was later convicted of crimes.
Earlier this year, Conrad Black had sought the ability to plead his case before the council as to why he should keep his.
The former media baron was convicted in the United States of fraud and obstruction of justice while he was head of media giant Hollinger International.
He contends he was unfairly treated.
His order remains under review.
By The Canadian Press - Friday, November 2, 2012 at 2:20 PM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – Conrad Black is not giving up his fight to make a personal…
TORONTO – Conrad Black is not giving up his fight to make a personal pitch to keep his Order of Canada.
He is arguing that he should be allowed to make oral arguments in front of the Order of Canada advisory council, though the rules only allow for written arguments.
The Federal Court ruled against him on Oct. 25, and he has now filed a notice of appeal.
In it he argues the judge was wrong to find that written submissions will give Black a fair opportunity to make his “complex” case to the council.
The 11-member advisory council is currently deciding whether to recommend he be stripped of his appointment as an Officer in the Order of Canada.
The former media baron was convicted in the United States of fraud and obstruction of justice while he was head of media giant Hollinger International.
He contends he was unfairly maligned by the U.S. justice system.
Black maintains the case is too complicated to be dealt with solely in writing and a personal hearing would allow the council to decide on his credibility.
“(The judge) incorrectly relied on the proposition that complex issues are often better dealt with in writing than orally,” Black’s lawyer Peter Howard wrote in the notice of appeal.
“(He) failed to give legal effect to the fact that the appellant’s credibility is at the heart of the matter.”
If the council recommends Black lose the honour, Gov. Gen. David Johnston is obliged to act on the recommendation. Only four people have lost their Order of Canada honours.
Black served 37 months of a 42-month sentence in a Florida prison and returned to Canada in May under a special temporary permit given that he is no longer a citizen.
In a highly-publicized battle in 2001, he renounced his Canadian citizenship so he could accept a peerage in the British House of Lords.
By macleans.ca - Friday, December 30, 2011 at 3:32 PM - 0 Comments
Sixty-six Canadians honoured for their service to the nation in a wide range of fields
Governor General David Johnston named 66 appointments to the Order of Canada on Friday, the Globe and Mail reports. Among them are former prime minister Paul Martin, and gen. Rick Hillier (ret’d.), the former head of Canada’s armed forces. Martin was the sole appointee to be named a Companion, the order’s first rank, while Hillier was among 28 Canadians appointed Officers, the second-highest rank. Thirty-seven Canadians were named Companions. Among those named are broadcaster and author Stuart Maclean, mezzo-soprano Catherine Robbin, dancer and choreographer Miriam Adams, hockey coach Scotty Bowman, artist Charles Pachter, television host Brian Williams, and James Bartleman, the first aboriginal lieutenant governor of Ontario.
By Jonathon Gatehouse - Monday, August 29, 2011 at 11:00 AM - 2 Comments
Lloyd Robertson, 77, is signing off. We think.
It was two decades ago that the media first started asking Lloyd Robertson when he was finally going to retire. We’re talking 1991, the year of Bush the elder’s Iraq war, and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Brian Mulroney was prime minister and the GST came into effect. Anita Hill, Clarence Thomas and that Coke can were a hot topic. A time so distant that a Kevin Costner movie won the Best Picture Oscar. Nirvana, then the world’s hottest band, is now played on “oldie” stations.
Robertson, CTV’s éminence orange, was just 57, but had already been anchoring the network’s national news for 15 years, and before that had been a CBC fixture for another 22. “I always thought I’d be out of there by now, that someone would come along and tap me on the shoulder and say, ‘Hey, you’re getting long in the tooth—get out,’ ” he told the Montreal Gazette. Absent the push, the trick, said the anchor, was to “pick a time that’s obvious to you and your audience.” He mused about the big 6-0. It’s possible that some people even believed him.
Should all go according to plan, Robertson will actually step down this Sept. 1. Now 77, and with a combined 41 years behind the anchor’s desk at CBC and CTV, he is the longest-serving national anchor in North American TV history. Not exactly a retirement, since Robertson plans to continue on in his other job co-hosting the current affairs show W5, and will appear for some special event coverage. But it brings an end to his nightly television presence, and an era in Canadian broadcasting.
By Brian Bethune with Patricia Treble - Thursday, July 1, 2010 at 11:40 AM - 16 Comments
The monarchy has deep roots in this nation. They can’t easily be cut.
As the Queen of Canada gets older and every visit to her senior dominion becomes closer to being her last, the latent flow of Canadian anti-monarchical thought bubbles to the surface. We are not fully grown up, not a real country runs the main current, so long as a foreign monarch sits on our throne, or any monarch at all, say the more militant republicans among us. Most of this grousing, which tends to rise with incidents of dysfunctionality—or embarrassing normality, depending on your view of human nature—among the lesser royals (or even ex-royals: see Sarah Ferguson), completely ignores the fact that the monarchy is sunk deep, not only in the country’s fabric, but in the effectively untouchable part of the Constitution.
Replacing the monarchy would require the unanimous agreement of Parliament and all 10 provinces. Last time we tried anything like that, we ended up with the creaky travesty of the Charlottetown accord—a grab-all that included every interest-group demand short of bus passes for seniors—which was mercifully euthanized by Canadians in a 1992 referendum. In other words, any sensible politician would rather open his veins than open constitutional talks.
By selley - Thursday, July 17, 2008 at 1:03 PM - 8 Comments
Must-reads: Graham Thomson in Afghanistan; George Jonas on the Order of Canada.
Thinking about …
Thinking about Omar Khadr
More raspberries for Stephen Harper and George W. Bush on the Guantanamo file, with some Liberal apologist whipped cream on top.
The Toronto Star‘s James Travers believes the Khadr situation is forcing Canadians to undertake some tough-but-necessary “introspection.” Since either John McCain or Barack Obama will be steering American foreign policy away from the current brand exemplified by Guantanamo, which sacrifices the nation’s “own founding ideals in favour of its enemy’s no-rules tactics,” we need to ask ourselves how Canada should position itself going forward. “Preparing for change in the relationship starts with self-awareness,” he argues, which is “where Khadr is particularly helpful.” Perhaps. But we sincerely doubt most Canadians look at Khadr and instantly realize “that trade and security are inextricably mixed.”
The Globe and Mail‘s Lawrence Martin denounces Harper’s stance on Khadr as an abandonment of his “stand up for Canada” principles, noting that he could easily have adopted a softer stance (that “all available options” would be explored, for example) without angering his buddies in the Republican White House. Instead, Martin says Harper “has chosen to defend the indefensible—a system of incarceration out of the dark ages.” Then, nauseatingly, Martin attempts to redeem the Liberal record on Khadr, suggesting Bush was so “angered” by Jean Chrétien’s honourable refusal to go to Iraq and by Paul Martin’s honourable intransigence on missile defence, that the Prime Ministers were in “no position to be seeking any breaks.” By way of proof, he argues countries that “supported the White House war effort—the British and the Australians—were successful in getting Gitmo inmates repatriated,” while curiously neglecting to mention that Belgium, France, Germany, Russia and Sweden enjoyed similar success.
By selley - Tuesday, July 15, 2008 at 3:21 PM - 0 Comments
Must-reads: …Henry Aubin on the Order of Canada; Graham Thomson in Kandahar; Vaughn Palmer
The pan-Canadian smorgasbord
Margaret Somerville, Omar Khadr, John McCain, Rick Salutin and a bunch of heroin addicts—together at last!
In the Montreal Gazette, Henry Aubin says controversial McGill University bioethicist Margaret Somerville’s exclusion from the Order of Canada proves the investiture committee is infected with the political correctness virus, when it should be working for a cure. From abortion to gay marriage, Quebec nationalism and even the banality of municipal politics, Aubin argues, Canadians are often subjected to the “either you’re with me on my terms, or you’re a son of a bitch” (in the words of Quebec playwright René-Daniel Dubois) mentality, the result being a lack of “sharp debate that makes for thoughtful public policies.” The OOC should “encourage the intellectual diversity that is the strength of this or any society,” he believes.
Asking the Toronto Sun‘s Peter Worthington about Omar Khadr is normally a little like taking a sledgehammer to an aquarium—all of a sudden you’re surrounded by flopping, twitching, rapidly dying arguments, none of which have anything to do with each other except that they somehow found themselves in the same tank. To wit, he begins today: “It is now seems almost inevitable that Omar Khadr … will be returned to Canada”—which is more than a little bizarre, given the Canadian government’s repeatedly-stated indifference. In fairness, however, Worthington today eventually lands at a somewhat logical argument about Khadr: that “fighting and killing invaders” is an act of war, not a crime, and as such he should be treated as a prisoner of war until the conflict’s conclusion. This makes perfect sense if you ignore all the other “prisoners of war” released from Guantanamo, and as long as the words “child soldier” mean nothing to you.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, July 10, 2008 at 12:36 AM - 0 Comments
No doubt those grand populists who denounced this betrayal of the Canadian people will be soon filing amendments to their previously stated opinions.
(See also: the unofficial MP roll call. Updated through Wednesday.)
By Philippe Gohier - Wednesday, July 9, 2008 at 1:07 PM - 0 Comments
As my colleague (and office neighbour) Chris Selley has pointed out, “Canada’s National Newspaper”…
As my colleague (and office neighbour) Chris Selley has pointed out, “Canada’s National Newspaper” is on a bit of a Don Cherry kick these days. Through some tortured logical process, both Rex Murphy and the Globe editorial board have decided that Henry Morgentaler’s nomination to the Order of Canada for his work on legalizing abortion doubles as a perfect springboard for bestowing the same honour on English Canada’s favourite blowhard.
If Morgentaler’s nomination has indeed opened the floodgates to naming just about anybody to the oh-so-sacred Order—no matter how reviled by certain segments of Canadian society—here’s a suggestion for the GG and her committee: Jacques Parizeau.
The case is actually a pretty easy one to make: as one of the chief economic architects of the Quiet Revolution, Parizeau played a leading role in building the modern Quebec state. The former premier was behind a number of projects that permanently transformed Quebec’s economy, like the creation of the Caisse de Dépôt and the FTQ’s Fonds de solidarité, and the nationalization of the province’s electricity into the behemoth now known as Hydro-Québec.
By Philippe Gohier - Tuesday, July 8, 2008 at 3:04 PM - 0 Comments
Raymond Gravel is a bit of strange specimen: a gay, Catholic priest elected to…
Raymond Gravel is a bit of strange specimen: a gay, Catholic priest elected to the House of Commons under the Bloc Québécois banner. There certainly aren’t many politicians like him—he has the odd distinction of being the first Québécois priest elected to the House of Commons*—but there are probably even fewer men of the cloth who resemble him.
If his goal was to bring that singularity into even sharper focus, Gravel could hardly have picked a better topic than Henry Morgentaler’s nomination for the Order of Canada. In an opinion piece in today’s Le Devoir, Gravel not only splits from the Church’s dogmatic opposition to abortion, he also introduces some nuance to his own party’s Morgentaler cheering section:
By selley - Friday, July 4, 2008 at 1:06 PM - 0 Comments
Must-reads: Colby Cosh, …Chantal Hébert and John Robson on Henry Morgentaler; John Ibbitson on
All this over a little snowflake?
More mercifully intelligent discussion over Henry Morgentaler’s Order of Canada, and some of the other kind too.
The Montreal Gazette‘s Janet Bagnall believes Morgentaler deserves the award because “when a woman wants to terminate a pregnancy, she should have access to safe, legal abortion services,” and he was “instrumental” in making that a reality. (H.W. Fowler himself would struggle to find a superior example of begging the question, but never mind.) And she accuses pro-choicers who oppose Morgentaler’s investiture of hoping that “by not calling attention to [him] or abortion, a troublesome issue would stop causing division, maybe even that it would just go away.” It won’t, she assures us, and indeed, threats to abortion rights are all around. Well, all around the Maritimes, anyway: you can’t get an abortion on Prince Edward Island, apparently, and New Brunswick doesn’t pay for abortions performed in private clinics. Either of these, Bagnall says, citing the National Abortion Federation, “might lead to recriminalizing abortion.”
Canadians unsure if “a life of activism” should itself justify the award should consider Morgentaler’s “contribution to turning [the Charter of Rights] into a living document,” the Toronto Star‘s Chantal Hébert suggests, referring to 1988′s landmark R. v. Morgentaler decision. “It is hard to think of a Charter ruling that is as prominent in the annals of Canadian women’s rights,” she argues—but at the same time, neither that decision nor Morgentaler himself is responsible for Canada’s abortion regime. Indeed, Hébert rather cleverly suggests, if the OOC committee had really “wanted to celebrate our unrestricted abortion regimen,” it would have honoured “the anti-abortion lobby and its all-or-nothing approach to the issue” that shouted down the last attempt to recriminalize abortion, in 1993.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, July 3, 2008 at 7:49 PM - 0 Comments
Helpfully enough, the Governor General’s website allows you to search Order of Canada appointments by name, province, citation and field—especially handy for those interested in easily finding honourees who offend them morally, ethically or personally . (I, for one, have never been fond of scientists from Newfoundland.)
Anyway. For those so interested, here’s how the appointments breakdown by location and occupation. Continue…
By selley - Thursday, July 3, 2008 at 12:58 PM - 0 Comments
Must-reads: Henry Aubin and …Margaret Wente on Henry Morgentaler; Gary Mason on Michael Byers.
Shouting into the wind
The politicians have fled Ottawa, but the opinions remain.
As soon as the next American president is inaugurated, the Toronto Star‘s James Travers says the Canadian government should be full steam ahead encouraging Washington “to adjust its current muscular enforcement model and return to the risk management approach”—that’s Traversian for loosening up on border security—and to “expand the NAFTA platform to open other markets.” Unfortunately, he notes, while John McCain is the presidential candidate more likely to be open to such discussions, cozying up to a Republican is a politically risky move. (And it’s official, we’re officially sick to death of this argument. Canadians are not going to reject border security negotiations because the man in the White House has elephant cufflinks.)
The Vancouver Sun‘s Barbara Yaffe doesn’t have an awful lot that’s new to say about Stéphane Dion’s Green Shift, but fundamentally she believes the backlash is worth the risk for a party that was desperate “to grab the spotlight on a prominent policy issue.” (Previous attempts, she notes—notably Stéphane Dion’s ironclad insistence on a February 2009 pullout from Afghanistan—didn’t end so well.) But she notes that one of the most trenchant criticisms of the Liberal plan, especially given the idea that it’s such sound policy, is the fact that it includes “poverty reduction measures.” One might reasonably ask: Is this meant to fight climate change after all? Or is it “a vehicle to steal votes from other left-wing parties”?
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, July 2, 2008 at 2:38 PM - 0 Comments
If staying in Ottawa for any period of time, one is likely to become well-acquainted with the sole steadfast protester who has worn a yellow groove in the Parliament Hill sod. Located, more days than not, to the right of the eternal flame is a man we’ll call the Loneliest Crusader. Not much of a talker, he lets a few rather graphic posters convey his rather strident objection to the practice of abortion—much to the visible chagrin of school kids who wander by on summer field trips.
Every few weeks or so he’s joined in protest by a small group of elderly protesters who march up and down Bank Street, reciting poetry near where Dr. Morgentaler used to have a clinic. For the most part though, he keeps to himself, pacing back and forth, head down.
Otherwise, protesters on or near the Hill are rare. There’s the guy who walks around wrapped in the flag of Newfoundland. And every so often someone shows up with reports of the coming end times. But aside from the odd organized march, Ottawa is rarely the scene of much righteous indignation.
Anecdotally then, it would seem that abortion remains one of our most divisive debates. The sort of topic that still splits well-meaning Canadians, spoiling dinner parties and generally wounding the cause of national unity. Continue…
By selley - Wednesday, July 2, 2008 at 1:33 PM - 0 Comments
Must-reads: Dan Gardner on Y2K+8; Colby Cosh on gun control.
On Americans, Canadians, and …
On Americans, Canadians, and guns
Why we don’t have a well-armed militia, and why maybe we should.
“We are fond of interpreting [Canada's and the United States'] different gun cultures as the product of their origins,” Colby Cosh writes in the National Post, but as recently as 100 years ago, the differences were few and far between: “a housebreaker or robber in Canada could then still expect to be greeted by the nose of a revolver,” and concerned homeowners could purchase their weapon of choice by mail order. The fact that US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s amazing defence of the handgun (e.g., as opposed to a rifle, “it can be pointed at a burglar with one hand while the other hand dials the police”) now “seem[s] to float to us from some alternate universe very far away” is proof, says Cosh, of how “small social differences … can be exaggerated by means of policy within just a few generations.”
The Toronto Sun‘s Peter Worthington, meanwhile, trots out all the usual statistics to show that gun control doesn’t work, including the fact that the murder rate in Washington, D.C. went up after the city instituted the handgun ban that was overturned by the Supreme Court last week. We wholeheartedly support Worthington’s campaign against Toronto mayor David Miller’s hopelessly facile anti-gun campaign, but as usual with these arguments, it’s really just a big mess of chicken and eggs. For example: is Arlington, Va.’s miniscule murder rate in comparison to Washington’s a byproduct of its relatively high rate of private gun ownership, or its relatively rich and well-educated populace? (Answer: it depends whether the gun control opponent is trying to argue that gun ownership reduces crime, or that criminals, not law-abiding gun owners, are the real and only problem.)
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, July 1, 2008 at 3:31 PM - 16 Comments
Freshly returned from the Hill and just received an official-looking press release from the Governor General’s office. New Order of Canada appointments and, yes, Dr. Morgentaler is among them. Here’s the citation.
Henry Morgentaler, C.M.
Member of the Order of Canada
For his commitment to increased health care options for women, his determined efforts to influence Canadian public policy and his leadership in humanist and civil liberties organizations.
Obviously it’s inconvenient to impose statistics on this debate (and there’s a fine one going on over at Potter’s place), but Angus Reid surveyed the Canadian public just a couple weeks ago. Here’s what they found. Continue…
By Andrew Potter - Monday, June 30, 2008 at 10:28 PM - 0 Comments
UPDATE: IT’S OFFICIAL. Morgentaler to the Order of Canada, along with Gail Asper, Randy…
UPDATE: IT’S OFFICIAL. Morgentaler to the Order of Canada, along with Gail Asper, Randy Bachman, and other deserving Canadians. Uh Oh, BUZZ HARGROVE is on the list. Will the Keepers of the Orthodoxy not rest?
The rumours have been swirling around since the weekend, but at this point no one has been able to confirm Dr. Morgentaler’s appointment to the Order of Canada. We were told to keep our eye on Canada News Wire around 2pm, but that came and went and no confirmation.
There appears to be a certain amount of political intrigue surrounding the appointment, for obvious reasons. But let’s get to it: Does he deserve it?
My answer is: clearly yes. After a three-decade battle in the name of a woman’s right to choose, he won final success in 1988 when the Supreme Court struck down the criminal code provisions against abortion.
Andrew Coyne is right:The abortion regime we have been left with is a disgrace, but that is Parliament’s fault, not Morgentaler’s. Dr. Henry Morgentaler risked his reputation, his freedom, and his life for decades in service of a cause that had no other serious champion in this country.
He is a remarkable man who has lived a remarkable life. He deserves to be a member of the order of Canada, because, more than the vast majority of members of the Order, he has lived his life according to the motto inscribed on the medal: He desired a better country.