On Monday, the Governor General announced which notable canucks would be appointed to the Order of Canada. The list was 86-Canadians long, and honoured many brilliant, progressive citizens of our great nation (sorry, Don Cherry). But in all the hubbub of an in vogue astronaut and a TV personality who rants about politics in alleyways, our trusted media outlets missed some very important honourees. We picked the three people we felt most deserved the award.
3. David Goldbloom, mental illness advocate (Toronto, ON)
David Goldbloom is a U of T psychiatry professor who also serves as the senior medical advisor at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), chair of the Canadian Mental Health Commission of Canada, and chair of Canada’s world-renowned Stratford Festival. They say when you want to get something done, you should give it to a busy person, and during our current era of Goldbloom domination, the movement to increase the awareness of mental illness has taken great leaps forward. Just recently the Canadian government pledged $110 million into mental health and homelessness research, a decision most definitely correlated with the increase in public concern. See Dr. Goldbloom in the video below channelling his inner Rick Mercer (fellow Order of Canada honouree) as he rants about the lack of Canadians getting their flu shot:
2. Jean-Marie De Koninck, mathematician against drunk driving (MADD) (Lac-Beauport, QC)
When Jean-Marie De Koninck isn’t busy inspiring students to dedicate their lives to math, he’s keeping our streets safe with his largely acclaimed and widely adopted Opération Nez rouge (En: Operation Red Nose). The program, which started in Quebec City, offers driving services to anybody with a car who is drunk, fatigued, or just doesn’t feel like driving. Opération Nez rouge is a free service that accepts donations (one volunteer solicits the drunk passenger in the backseat, which we admit is a tad bit sketchy), and as of 2004, has given more than 1.2 million rides since its implementation in 1984. Thanks for keeping us safe, Jean-Marie!
1. Eleanor Collins, jazz vocalist (Surrey, BC)
Known as “Vancouver’s first lady of jazz,” Eleanor Collins played a major role in pioneering jazz in Vancouver and broke major racial barriers for black musicians in Canada. Born in Edmonton in 1919 to parents from Oklahoma, Collins was the first black female to host a TV show in North America. “The Eleanor Show” first aired on the CBC in 1955 and was one of the first shows of its kind in terms of bringing jazz to Canadian television. To see Eleanor Collins sing “Look to the Rainbow”, and have your mind blown by the beautiful voice of an incredible individual, click here.