New appointees to Order of Canada have connections to York University

Order of canada medal laid out on black background

Four individuals with an affiliation to York University have been appointed to the Order of Canada. They are Justice Harry LaForme, philanthropist Pierre Lassonde, Holocaust educator and filmmaker Eli Rubenstein and environmentalist John Robert Lounds.

The individuals from the York University community are among 99 new appointments to the Order of Canada, including two companions (C.C.), 32 officers (O.C.) and 65 members (C.M.). Three appointments are promotions within the Order of Canada.

Officers of the Order of Canada

Justice Harry S. LaForme (O.C.)

Honoured with the appointment of officer of the Order of Canada is honorary degree recipient and Osgoode Hall Law School alumnus Justice Harry LaForme (LLD [Hons.] ’08, LLB’ 77). LaForme was appointed an officer of the Order of Canada in recognition of his work advancing national Indigenous rights as a groundbreaking jurist, and for championing underserved communities in Canada.

Pierre Lassonde (O.C.)

Promoted from within the Order of Canada to an officer, York University honorary degree recipient and the founding donor of the Lassonde School of Engineering, Pierre Lassonde (LLD [Hons.] ’14), is being honoured for his long-standing contributions to the gold industry and for his transformative philanthropy, notably in support of the arts and education.

Eli Rubenstein (O.C.)

York University alumnus Eli Rubenstein (BA ’84) is a Holocaust educator, writer and filmmaker. He was appointed as an officer of the Order of Canada for his significant contributions and innovative programs in Holocaust education as a writer, storyteller, film producer and community organizer.

Member of the Order of Canada

John Robert Lounds (M.C.)

York University alumnus John Robert Lounds (MES ’81) works to preserve Canada’s biodiversity and protect some of the country’s most threatened landscapes. He was appointed a member of the Order of Canada in recognition of his substantial contributions to land conservation across Canada.

Since its creation in 1967, the Order of Canada has honoured more than 7,600 people whose service has shaped society, whose innovations have ignited imaginations, and whose compassion has united Canadian communities. The announcement was made December 29 by Governor General Mary Simon.