York-affiliated changemakers appointed to Order of Ontario

Order of Ontario medal (source: Wikimedia Commons)

Four individuals with affiliations to York University have been invested with the province’s highest honour, the Order of Ontario, for their efforts in shaping the province for the better.

The four were among 25 new appointments announced by Edith Dumont, Ontario lieutenant-governor and chancellor of the Order of Ontario. Appointments recognize innovators and leaders from diverse fields whose work has played a role in building a stronger province, country and world.

“As chancellor of the Order of Ontario, it is my privilege to congratulate the Order’s appointees for 2023. These Ontarians have demonstrated the highest levels of merit, excellence and dedication in their respective disciplines, and they have made significant impacts here at home and around the world,” said Dumont. “Our province gratefully acknowledges their remarkable contributions, which inspire us all to be leaders and changemakers.”

The 2024 appointees with York affiliations are:

David Collenette, alumnus, faculty, donor

Collenette, current Chair of the NATO Association of Canada, served as a Canadian member of Parliament and cabinet minister under three prime ministers. Among his achievements, he helped bring former Warsaw Pact nations into NATO, changed federal policy toward racial equality and diversity, and led Canada’s security response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attack in the U.S. He has contributed countless hours to numerous not-for-profit projects, including in the arts, and served as Chair of the NATO Association of Canada. Collenette has also served on several Glendon Campus committees and has been a York U Alumni Award recipient.

Michael Latner, alumnus

The executive Chair of rental housing provider Shiplake Properties, one of the province’s most successful family-owned companies, Latner has contributed significantly to Ontario’s social and economic prosperity through business and philanthropy. Latner made transformational investments in local business, innovation and job creation through Shiplake, as well as though past leadership of Dynacare Laboratories in the 1980s and while playing an instrumental role in developing the Fallsview Casino in the 1990s. In the process, his efforts have helped Ontario become a beacon of excellence in health care, medical science, education and the arts.

Dwayne Morgan, alumnus

Founder of production company Up From The Roots, Morgan has been a pioneer in Canadian spoken-word poetry. His company has helped produce numerous opportunities for other racialized artists. He lobbied the League of Canadian Poets to include performance poets, produced North America’s two largest spoken-word events and has performed globally.

Gervan Fearon, former faculty, donor

Currently president of George Brown College, Fearon has also served in the past as the president and vice-chancellor at Brock University and Brandon University. A veteran educator with a vision for equity, inclusion and community empowerment, Fearon leads efforts to provide transformative education opportunities that benefit learners, industry and the greater community. His influential contributions to the white paper “Towards a Vision for the Black Community” pioneered ideas for positive change.

For more information about the Order of Ontario program, visit ontario.ca/page/order-ontario.