Neurosurgeon, business leader among Manitobans inducted into Order of Canada

Manitoba’s list of inductees to the Order of Canada now includes an internationally renowned neurosurgeon and a leading figure in business and politics. 

Dr. Michael West and former member of Parliament Dorothy Dobbie are among the 85 inductees announced on Wednesday by Gov. Gen. Mary Simon.

West helped establish the neurosurgery program at the Health Sciences Centre and was the first in Canada to introduce gamma knife surgery, used to remove brain tumours,

Dobbie represented the riding of Winnipeg South as a Progressive Conservative from 1988 to 1993, and before that became the first woman president of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce.

Other Manitobans on the list are Franco-Manitoban singer-songwriter Gérard Jean and kidney transplant clinician-scientist Dr. Nicholas Rush.

Olympic runner Donovan Bailey was named an officer for his track and field excellence and philanthropic commitments. (The Associated Press)

Two women — Sister Margaret Mary Hughes and Sister Bernadette Mary O’Reilly — were inducted for their involvement with Winnipeg’s Rossbrook House and work with youth in Winnipeg through education, social justice and reconciliation efforts.

The list of appointees included luminaries in fields including film, music, science, politics, business, academics, sport and culture.

Film and TV actress Sandra Oh and track champion Donovan Bailey are also among dozens of performers, athletes, advocates and experts newly named to Canada’s highest civilian honour.

Grey’s Anatomy and 1.6505090 star Oh was named an officer to the Order of Canada for her stage and screen success, while Bailey was named an officer for his track and field excellence and philanthropic commitment to youth and amateur athletes.

Dorothy Dobbie served as the MP for Winnipeg South from 1988 to 1993. (Pegasus Publications)

Film director/screenwriter François Girard of Montreal and Angela James of Richmond Hill, Ont., one of the first superstars of women’s hockey, were also named officers for high degree of achievement or service to Canada.

New members of the order — who are honoured for distinguished service to a particular community or field — include Toronto music industry veteran Al Mair; former MP Nancy Uqquujuq Karetak-Lindell of Arviat, Nunavut; and HIV/AIDS researcher Martin T. Schechter of Vancouver.

Karetak-Lindell says she was just five years old when she began thinking about how she could serve her small northern community.

Sixty years later, she can look back on a career of public service that includes working for the region’s council and education authority and as a Liberal member of Parliament from 1997 to 2008.

“I come from a family that was taught to help others and to do it with care and love and respect, without looking to be recognized for it, so to think that people feel that I have deserved to be given this Order of Canada is a real honour,” she said when reached in Arviat.

“And of course being Inuk it means that much more with the Governor General of today being an Inuk, too.”

Mair earned his honour after working in the music industry since the age of 12 when he sold records in a music store after school.

He went on to help grow the Canadian scene by helping launch various careers, including that of singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot, whom he managed for eight years. Mair also led several music organizations including the Canadian Independent Music Association and the independent label Attic Records.

Sandra Oh was inducted for her success on stage and screen. (Courtesy of Mongrel Media, Colin Bentley)

Other recipients announced Wednesday include Dr. William Clark of London, Ont., a nephrologist who researched the long-term health consequences of Canada’s worst-ever E. coli contamination in Walkerton, Ont., in 2000; and Hereditary Chief Stephen Joseph Augustine of Elsipogtog First Nation, N.B., for advancing Mi’kmaq studies and awareness.

Recipients will be presented with their insignia at a later date in Ottawa, depending on their availability. Rideau Hall hosts an average of four investiture ceremonies a year.

Honorees get a silver, a six-pointed snowflake insignia with a red annulus in the middle and a royal crown above. It also features a stylized Maple Leaf with the order’s motto: Desiderantes Meliorem Patriam, which means “They desire a better country.”

Created in 1967, the Order of Canada recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. More than 7,600 people from all sectors of society have been invested.