Nine Order of Ontario appointees have connections to York

Nine people with ties to York University, including graduates, donors and honorary degree recipients, are among 30 new appointees to the Order of Ontario, the province’s highest official honour for individual excellence and achievement in any field.

Ontario Lieutenant Governor David Onley will invest the appointees at a ceremony to be held on Thursday at Queen’s Park.

The York-connected appointees are:

  • Lynn Factor (MSW ’98), York grad and a respected social worker, known for her advocacy for vulnerable children and youth, who has developed a set of best practices for dealing with child victims of sexual abuse;
  • Ignat Kaneff (Hon. LLD ’10), honorary degree recipient and a renowned developer and philanthropist whose contributions, including supporting York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, have supported education, the arts, and health and social services, especially community living for intellectually-challenged children;
  • Huguette Labelle (Hon. LLD ’90), honorary degree recipient and 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. Labelle is known as an expert in transportation, health care, development and governance;
  • Clare Lewis (LLM ’86), Osgoode grad and noted former Crown attorney and judge, for his contributions to the justice system. Lewis led the task force that recommended the creation of the Special Investigations Unit, changing the justice landscape in Ontario. Lewis was Police Complaints Commissioner, first chair of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission and was appointed Ombudsman for the Province of Ontario;
  • Coulter Osborne (LLB ’59), Osgoode grad, 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 (LLB ’70) Osgoode grad, 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;
  • Howard Sokolowski, member of the York University Foundation Board of Directors, a leader in the home building industry and a philanthropist recognized for his contributions to the arts, health care, education and other sectors. Sokolowski has also been a generous supporter of the University;
  • Edward Sonshine (LLB ’70), Osgoode grad, son of Holocaust survivors, entrepreneur and philanthropist, whose contributions have supported many community causes. Sonshine is the founder and CEO of RioCan, and a director of the Royal Bank of Canada and Cineplex Inc.;
  • Martin Teplitsky, York donor, mediator-arbitrator and Queen’s Counsel lawyer, highly respected for his approaches to community justice and for his negotiation skills. Teplitsky founded the Lawyers Feed the Hungry program and created several law scholarships, including the Jack and Ida Teplitsky Bursary at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School.

Nominations for the Order of Ontario are made by members of the public and can be submitted online. The deadline for 2012 nominations – the award’s 25th year – is March 16. For more information, visit the Ministry of Citizenship & Immigration Honours and Awards website.