Ex-B.C. health officer Dr. Perry Kendall named to Order of Canada

Former provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall of Victoria has been named to the Order of Canada.

Kendall was one of 83 new members named to the order on Thursday by. Gov.-Gen. Julie Payette. The list includes athletes, researchers, teachers, scientists, artists, jurists and actors.

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Kendall was cited for his leadership in public health both in British Columbia and across the country, notably as an advocate for harm reduction and as a champion for Indigenous health. He was B.C.’s first provincial health officer and was previously awarded the Order of British Columbia. Kendall retired from the post last year after almost two decades in the position.

Among the other names on this year’s list is former National Hockey League player Reggie Leach, one-time Montreal Expo Claude Raymond, former commissioner of Nunavut Edna Elias, chef Michael Smith and Moya Greene, who was once chief executive at Canada Post before running Britain’s Royal Mail.

Others on the pre-Canada Day list include CTV News journalist Lisa LaFlamme, former journalist and official-languages commissioner Graham Fraser, brewer John Sleeman and Quebec actor Michel Dumont.

The additions to the honour roll raise the tally in the Order of Canada to almost 7,000 names since its creation in 1967.

Leach joins one of his ancestors, Rev. Frederic Leach, and good friend, former Philadelphia Flyers teammate Bobby Clarke, in the Order of Canada. Leach is being honoured for his work in promoting sport as a way to build healthy communities, part of his regular talks with Indigenous youth. “Hockey to me was just a stepping stone to my life circle,” said Leach, who is Ojibwa.

Greene said the honour is different from when the Queen bestowed a damehood on her last year. “This is very, very special for my country — the country that just gave me nothing but opportunity, really — to recognize me in this way,” she said. Greene, from St. John’s, N.L., spent most of her career in Canadian government and business before leading the privatization of the British mail service.

Smith, an American-born chef who has lived and worked mainly in Atlantic Canada since the 1990s, called the honour “a tremendous validation” of 30 years of hard work.

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