27 York community members invested to the Order of Canada

Order of canada medal laid out on black background

Twenty-seven individuals with connections to York University are among the 135 new appointments to the Order of Canada, announced Dec. 29, 2021, by Governor General of Canada Mary Simon. 

The new member list includes one Companion (C.C.), nine Officers (O.C.) and 17 Members (C.M.). The Order of Canada is one of the highest honours awarded to Canadian citizens. Created in 1967, it recognizes people whose service shapes society, whose innovations ignite imaginations and whose compassion unites communities.  

Companions of the Order of Canada 

The Honourable Murray Sinclair, C.C., M.S.C. – honorary alumnus 
For his commitment to the representation of Indigenous legal issues, and for his dedication to reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians. 

Officers of the Order of Canada 

Neil Devindra Bissoondath, O.C., C.Q. – alumnus, honorary alumnus 
For his contributions to Canadian literature through his groundbreaking examinations of multiculturalism and diversity. 

Evelyn L. Forget, O.C. – alumna, donor 
For advancing anti-poverty initiatives in Canada and around the world as a leading health economics researcher. 

Victoria Grant, O.C. – alumna, donor 
For bridging the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous culture, business and communities through her facilitation and mediation. 

Frances Henry, O.C. – professor emerita, donor 
For her groundbreaking contributions to the study of racism in contemporary democratic society. 

Edward J. Ratushny, O.C., O.Ont., Q.C. – donor  
For his contributions to the field of administrative law, and for his leadership in sports arbitration and law. 
This is a promotion within the Order of Canada. 

Helga Stephenson, O.C., O.Ont. – former staff 
For her enduring contributions to Canadian film and television as a leader, advocate and ambassador. 

Angela Swan, O.C. – adjunct professor  
For her long-standing contributions to the legal profession, particularly in the area of contract law, as a professor, lawyer, author and mentor. 

Carol M. Tator, O.C. – faculty, donor 
For her advocacy of social justice, and for her commitment to identifying and dismantling systemic racism in Canadian society. 

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, O.C. – alumna, honorary alumna, donor 
For her ongoing commitment to improving the child welfare system and supports for Indigenous people in British Columbia. 

Members of the Order of Canada 

Harold Bassford, C.M. – former dean, donor 
For his leadership as a university administrator and for his contributions to applied ethics in the health field. 

Ann Buller, C.M. – alumna, donor 
For her lifelong dedication and commitment to post-secondary education and to improving the lives of others through learning. 

The Honourable Sandra Chapnik, C.M., O.Ont. – alumna, donor 
For her leadership in the community and in the legal sector, where she has promoted the advancement of women and encouraged best practices in the field. 

Max T. Eisen, C.M. – donor 
For his contributions to Holocaust education, and for his promotion of transformational dialogue on human rights, tolerance and respect. 

Rabbi Baruch Frydman-Kohl, C.M. – alumnus, donor 
For his spiritual and community leadership as head of the Beth Tzedec Synagogue in Toronto, and for fostering interfaith dialogue throughout Canada and beyond. 

Janice R. Fukakusa, C.M. – alumna, honorary alumna, donor, Schulich School of Business Dean’s Advisory Council member 
For her leadership and mentorship in banking, and for her boundless community engagement, notably in education and health care. 

Leo Joel Goldhar, C.M. – donor 
For his philanthropic contributions to health care, education and social services, notably as chair of the United Jewish Appeal Federation’s Tomorrow Campaign. 

William Arthur Humber, C.M. – alumnus 
For his contributions as Canada’s premier baseball historian, who has highlighted the key ways in which the sport’s history is linked to our nation. 

Lawson A. W. Hunter, C.M., Q.C. – donor 
For his distinguished career in government, business and private practice as one of the country’s leading competition and antitrust lawyers. 

Barbara Landau, C.M. – alumna, donor 
For her contributions to dispute resolution and family law reform as both a psychologist and lawyer, and for her advocacy of interfaith initiatives. 

Nona Macdonald Heaslip, C.M. – donor 
For her ongoing philanthropic contributions to the Canadian arts sector and for supporting numerous academic scholarships across the country. 

Robin Poitras, C.M. – alumna 
For her creative contributions to contemporary dance in Canada, and for her leadership as artistic director of New Dance Horizons. 

Lynn Posluns, C.M. – honorary alumna 
For her contributions to research on women’s cognitive health and aging through the founding of Women’s Brain Health Initiative. 

Robert Small, C.M. – alumnus 
For his long-standing commitment to highlighting the accomplishments and contributions of Black people in all sectors of Canadian society. 

Harriet H. Stairs, C.M. – donor 
For advancing women’s opportunities within the financial sector, and for creating equitable and inclusive policies within corporate and community-based initiatives. 

George M. Thomson, C.M. – donor 
For his contributions to family law in Canada, and for his innovative leadership as a judicial educator and mentor. 

Janet Walker, C.M., C.D. – faculty, alumna, donor 
For her expert legal authority in commercial arbitration and conflict of laws, and for advancing legal procedural standards in Canada. 

Since its inception, more than 7,500 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order of Canada. Appointees to the Order of Canada wear a striking, six-point white enamel insignia that symbolizes Canada’s northern heritage and diversity. Recipients will be invited to accept their insignia at a ceremony to be held at a future date. The full list of appointees can be viewed here