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Թϱ community members recognized with Order of Canada

"The Order of Canada recognizes individuals who have made positive and lasting impacts on communities here in Canada or who have brought honour to our country abroad"
order of canada medals on a black background

(photo by Sgt Johanie Maheu, Rideau Hall, OSGG-BSGG)

An innovator in chemical catalyst development. A global leader in cardiac surgery and care. And a public health expert who led the rollout of Canada’s first colon cancer screening program.

These are a few members of the University of Toronto community who were recently honoured with appointments or promotions within the Order of Canada.

The Governor General to the Order of Canada, including two promotions within the Order.

They include Doug Stephan, a of chemistry in the Faculty of Arts & Science; Lee Errett, a professor in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine’s department of surgery, and Linda Rabeneck, a health executive and professor in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health.

Established in 1967, the Order of Canada is one of the country’s highest honours, recognizing extraordinary contributions across all sectors of society.

“The Order of Canada recognizes individuals who have made positive and lasting impacts on communities here in Canada or who have brought honour to our country abroad,” Gov. Gen. Mary Simon said in a statement.

Here is a list of Թϱ faculty, alumni and supporters who were appointed to, or promoted within, the Order of Canada in the latest round of honourees.


Current and former faculty

Edward Cole, a staff nephrologist at Toronto General Hospital and professor in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine’s department of medicine, was named a Member of the Order for his dedication to advancing and delivering care to people living with kidney disease, his instrumental role in establishing a globally impactful kidney-paired donation program and his leadership as former physician-in-chief at the University Health Network.

Lee Errett, a professor in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine’s department of surgery, was appointed a Member of the Order for his transformative leadership in cardiac research and care, including his role in establishing St. Michael’s Hospital as a world-class centre for cardiac surgery, his dedication to educating future medical leaders and providing care in underserved areas worldwide.

Franklyn Griffiths, a professor emeritus and George Ignatieff Chair Emeritus of Peace and Conflict Studies in the department of political science in the Faculty of Arts & Science, was appointed a Member of the Order for his scholarship on Russian affairs which has advanced the Western world’s understanding of Soviet politics. An expert in Arctic international relations, Griffiths helped create the Arctic Council and pushed for Indigenous voices to play a central role in the council’s workings.

Beverley Johnston, an internationally renowned percussionist who is an adjunct professor in the Faculty of Music, was appointed an Officer of the Order for her work developing and promoting Canadian music to audiences around the world. Working in a male-dominated field, Johnston’s unconventional performances combine classical transcriptions, contemporary music and an element of theatre.

Daphne Maurer, a professor emeritus of psychology, neuroscience and behaviour at McMaster University who holds a status appointment at Թϱ’s Institute of Health Policy Management and Evaluation in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, was appointed an Officer of the Order for her research on visual and cognitive development in early childhood.

Linda Rabeneck, a gastroenterologist, health executive and professor in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, was named a Member of the Order for her leadership in colorectal cancer screening and prevention. Formerly the director of the Division of Gastroenterology at Թϱ, she led the rollout of ColonCancerCheck, Canada’s first province-wide screening program.

Stephen Randall, who taught at Թϱ in 1971 to 1974, was named a Member of the Order for his academic contributions and advisory role in international relations. A professor emeritus at the University of Calgary, Randall’s expertise in myriad issues affecting the United States and Latin America, notably Colombia, has informed Canada’s foreign policy. 

Bibudhendra Sarkar, senior scientist emeritus at the Research Institute of the Hospital for Sick Children and professor emeritus at Թϱ’s department of biochemistry in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine, was named a Member of the Order for his achievements in advancing medical research in Canada and abroad. He discovered a novel treatment for patients with Menkes disease, a rare genetic condition, and led international efforts in South and Southeast Asia to address public health crises from contaminated groundwater.

Jonathan Scott Rose, a professor in the Edward S. Rogers Sr. department of electrical and computer engineering in the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, was named a Member of the Order for his pioneering work in architecture and software used in field-programmable gate arrays. Rose served as the chair of the department from 2004 to 2009 and received his PhD degree in electrical engineering from Թϱ in 1986.

Doug Stephan, a in the department of chemistry in the Faculty of Arts & Science, was named an Officer of the Order in recognition his world-leading research in inorganic and organometallic chemistry. His many achievements include discovering – and commercializing – a new class of catalysts that is now used in one of the largest chemical manufacturing facilities in the world. He also achieved global renown for founding the field of “Frustrated Lewis Pair” chemistry.

Alumni and friends

Sleight-of-hand artist David Ben, who graduated from University College in 1983, was named a Member of the Order for his four decades of dedication to the exploration, development and preservation of magic, including penning several books on the subject and co-founding the Magicana organization.

William Fox, a research fellow and adjunct professor at Trent University who earned his honours bachelor of arts and master of arts in archeology at Թϱ, was named a Member of the Order for his distinguished contributions to Canadian archeology, his leadership in the Ontario Archaeological Society, and his steadfast advocacy for the involvement of Indigenous communities in preserving their material heritage.

Martha Friendly, who founded the Childcare Resource and Research Unit at Թϱ’s Centre for Urban and Community Studies in the early 1980s, was appointed an Officer of the Order for her work with the now-independent non-profit and her advocacy for accessible, publicly funded early childhood education and care, and women’s equality.

Rosemary Ganley, a writer, activist, teacher and an alumna of St. Michael’s College, was named a Member of the Order for her lifelong advocacy for human rights, gender equity, and social justice, including co-founding Jamaican Self Help, an organization of Canadians working to support the development of healthy Jamaican communities.

Arnie Gelbart, a member of the Chancellors’ Circle of Benefactors, was named a Member of the Order for his decades-long leadership in independent film and television in his role as founder, executive producer and CEO of Galafilm Productions Inc.

James David Meekison, with a 45-year career spanning investment banking, cable television and private equity, was named a Member of the Order for his extensive philanthropy. The Jim Meekison and Carolyn Keystone Foundation supported Թϱ’s Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy’s efforts to launch the Discovery Pharmacy on the St. George campus.

Michael Perley, a Թϱ alumnus who completed a master’s degree in French language and literature, was named a Member of the Order for his lifelong dedication to tackling environmental and health challenges. He has been an advocate for tighter tobacco control laws, reducing second-hand smoke exposure and has led coalitions on acid rain and air pollution.

Dan Poenaru, a pediatric surgeon and professor at McGill University who earned two degrees at Թϱ, was named a Member of the Order for his contributions to pediatric surgery in Africa, including establishing a surgical unit and training program in Kenya, co-founding three medical schools and leading initiatives for children's surgery globally.

Vaira Vike-Freiberga, an alumna of Victoria College and the first woman to serve as Latvia’s president, was named an honorary Officer of the Order for her work enriching Canada-Latvia relations and for reflecting Canadian values abroad.

– with files from Mariam Matti and Rahul Kalvapalle

UTC