Two appointees to the province's highest honour — the Order of Ontario — have strong ties to North Bay.
Former Premier Mike Harris (2020) and television presenter Susan Hay (2019) will be recognized for their "exceptional achievements that have left a lasting legacy in the province, in Canada, and beyond."
This from the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and Chancellor of the Order of Ontario, announced the appointments of Harris, Hay, and 45 others to the Order of Ontario, the province's highest honour, for 2019 and 2020. Members of the Order of Ontario come from all walks of life, represent diverse fields of endeavour, and have played an important role in shaping the province.
Born in Toronto but raised in North Bay, former teacher Harris served as Premier of Ontario from 1995 until 2002 as leader of the provincial Progressive Conservative party.
Hay is a Canadore College graduate, North Bay born and raised, and has enjoyed a career of 30-plus years as a broadcaster, writer, and producer for Global News.
"The announcement on January 1 is special. New Year's Day is a day for reflection, rejuvenation, and re-setting of goals and priorities. We have seen the best of Ontarians this year, and many of these new appointees are being honoured for a lifetime of service to this province, laying the groundwork of resilience and community that each one of us was called to act upon in this historic global pandemic. Let these appointees inspire you and encourage you to honour those around you by nominating them to be recognized by the province. We have much to be proud of," added Dowdeswell in a news release.
The Lieutenant Governor will bestow the honour upon the newest appointees during an investiture ceremony at Queen's Park, at a point in time in the future, when the Chief Medical Officer of Health deems gatherings possible once again in the province.
Since its establishment in 1986, 798 people have been appointed to the Order of Ontario. Appointments to the Order are made on the recommendation of an independent advisory council based on merit of accomplishments of nominees put forward by the public.
The nomination deadline is March 31 each year. You can nominate a resident or former long-term resident of Ontario for the 2021 Order of Ontario here.
"The Ontario government is proud to recognize and congratulate the 2019 and 2020 Order of Ontario appointees," said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. "These exceptional individuals inspire us and represent the very best of our great province. I ask all Ontarians to join me in honouring them and celebrating their accomplishments."