Former NHL player Sheldon Kennedy joins Order of Canada
Former NHLer and sexual abuse victim Sheldon Kennedy opens the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre for children, youth, and families affected by child abuse in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, May 23, 2013. (Jeff McIntosh / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Mike Blanchfield , The Canadian Press
Published Friday, December 26, 2014 4:34PM EST
Last Updated Saturday, December 27, 2014 10:38AM EST
OTTAWA -- Sheldon Kennedy says being the recipient of one of the country's top honours can serve as a beacon to lead countless other children out of the darkness of child abuse.
The 45-year-old former NHLer, one of Canada's most vocal advocates on the issue of child abuse, is one of 95 admissions and promotions to the Order of Canada announced Friday.
"For me, I'm not doing this work to win awards for Sheldon Kennedy. I'm doing this work because I understand the damage that this crime has on our kids," he said.
"And it's killing our kids."
The list of those being honoured include Richard Pound, the Montreal lawyer who has served twice as a vice-president of the International Olympic Committee and is also the former president of the World Anti-Doping Agency. Pound was elevated to the highest level of the order, a companion.
"I've never thought it is right that you should get cheated out of a result because somebody is deliberately breaking the rules and taking doping substances," said Pound.
"It's not right, and it destroys a lot of the value of sports for everybody who plays fair and gets beaten for having done what everyone promised to do, which is to play fair."
Among those appointed officers, the second highest rank, were Mark Carney, the former Bank of Canada governor who took the same post at the Bank of England in 2013, and Peter Milliken, the longest serving Speaker of the House of Commons from 2001 to 2011.
The husband and wife musician team of Chantal Kreviazuk and Raine Maida, were among 79 new additions to the members category. Kreviazuk and Maida have been involved in various humanitarian causes throughout their careers, taking up issues including climate change, mental health and international child poverty.
Some of the other new members include:
- Tim Cook, the military historian and award-winning author who formerly served as the director of research at the Canadian War Museum.
- Brenda Clark, the illustrator behind the popular children's book series Franklin the Turtle.
- Bill Graham, the former Liberal minister of foreign affairs and national defence who also served as interim leader of the Liberal Party in 2006.
- Lawyer Michael Meighen, the grandson of former Canadian prime minister Arthur Meighen, who was appointed to the Senate in 1990 by his longtime friend and former prime minister Brian Mulroney and retired from the upper chamber in 2012.
- Author and journalist Charles Foran and science reporter Peter Calamai, who has worked for years to foster literacy.
Kennedy, who has opened an advocacy centre in Calgary to help abused children, said he still can't believe he has joined such a vaunted club as the Order of Canada. But he said he hopes it inspires other victims to come forward and seek help.
"For these issues to represented and understood and to be recognized at this level, to me, is absolutely huge," said Kennedy, a 10-year-NHL veteran.
Kennedy went on to become a leading voice for sexual abuse victims following his own experience being abused by his coach, Graham James, for five years during his time as a junior hockey player.
"My message is really about hope, and that you're not alone. Our country is a lot more understanding of these issues today than we were even 10 years ago, and to me that should give people confidence to come forward," he said.
In the past year, Kennedy said his centre has done 2,000 investigations into abuse allegations from children seeking help. One-third of those under age 12 were showing signs of suicidal ideation, sexualized behaviour, addiction issues, violence, mental health issues.
"And when they get up over 15, over half are presenting all of the above. To me, these issues, we need to understand the damage this crime has."
The Order of Canada was established in 1967, the country's centennial year, to recognize "outstanding achievement, dedication to community and service to the nation." More than 6,000 Canadians from all walks of life have been invested with the Order since then.
The new recipients will be given their insignia in a ceremony at a later date.
Here is a list of the latest additions and promotions in the Order of Canada:
- James Douglas Fleck, Toronto. This is a promotion within the order.
- Donald Malcolm McRae, Ottawa
- Richard W. Pound, Montreal. This is a promotion within the order.
- Albert Bandar, Stanford, Calif. and Mundare, Alta.
- Jean-Louis Baudouin, Montreal
- Mark Carney, London, U.K. and Ottawa
- Catherine Frazee, Canning, N.S.
- Shaf Keshavjee, Toronto
- Mark Lautens, Toronto
- Wendy Levinson, Toronto
- Norman Emilio Marcon, Toronto
- James Rodger Miller, Saskatoon, Sask.
- Peter Milliken, Elginburg, Ont.
- Julio Montaner, Vancouver, B.C.
- Nancy Margaret Reid, Toronto
- Eleanor Wachtel, Toronto. This is a promotion within the order.
- Caroline Andrew, Ottawa
- Jean-Pierre Andrieux, St. John's, N.L.
- Jacob Austin, Vancouver, B.C.
- Baidar Bakht, Scarborough, Ont.
- Denis Brott, Saint-Sauveur, Que.
- Lisa Brown, Toronto
- Wally Buono, Surrey, B.C.
- Peter Calamai, Ottawa
- Christina Stuart Cameron, Ottawa
- Wendy Marion Cecil, Toronto
- Brenda Clark, Port Hope, Ont.
- Robert Cecil Cole, St. John's, N.L.
- Tim Cook, Ottawa.
- George Cope, Toronto
- Robert W. Cox, Toronto and Waterloo, Ont.
- A. Gordon Craig, Toronto
- John W. Crichton, Manotick, Ont.
- Conrad Charles Daellenbach, Toronto
- Patrick Dolan Darrah, Saint John, N.B.
- Michael DeGagne, North Bay, Ont. and Ottawa
- Jean-Guy Desjardins, Westmount, Que.
- Alba DiCenso, Campbellville, Ont.
- Edgar J. Dosman, Toronto
- Joanne M. Sullivan Douglas, Vancouver, B.C.
- Barry V. Downs, Vancouver, B.C.
- Louise Dupre, Montreal
- Simon Durivage, Montreal
- Kappy Flanders, Montreal
- Charles Foran, Toronto
- Julia E. Foster, Toronto
- Raymonde Gagne, Winnipeg
- Brenda Louise Gallie, Toronto
- Serge Gauthier, Montreal
- Aurelien Gill, Mashteuiatsh, Que.
- James K. Gordon, Sudbury, Ont.
- William C. Graham, Toronto
- John Grew, Montreal
- Christophe Guy, Montreal
- Thomas Jon Harle, Ottawa
- Frank Hasenfratz, Guelph, Ont.
- Adele M. Hurley, Toronto
- Joan F. Ivory, Westmount, Que.
- Patrick Johnston, Roslin, Ont.
- John G. Kelton, Dundas, Ont.
- Sheldon Kennedy, Calgary, Alta.
- Laurence Klotz, Toronto
- Chantal Kreviazuk, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. and Toronto
- Normand Laprise, Mont-Royal, Que.
- John Barker Lawson, Toronto
- Suzie LeBlanc, Montreal
- Gregoire Legendre, Quebec City
- Jens Lindemann, Pacific Palisades, California, U.S. A. and Edmonton, Alta.
- Keith MacLellan, Bristol, Que.
- Michael I. M. MacMillan, Toronto
- Raine Maida, Los Angeles, California, U.S. A. and Toronto
- Thomas J. Marrie, Halifax
- John G. McAvity, Ottawa
- Susan McGrath, Toronto
- Jeremy Nichol McNeil, London, Ont.
- Michael A. Meighen, Toronto
- Robert Mellin, St. John's, N.L.
- Diane Morin, Charlemagne, Que.
- Russell J. Morrison, Toronto
- Peter Ernest Murdoch, Roxboro, Que.
- Dan Needles, Ottawa
- Cal Nichols, Edmonton
- John Palmer, Toronto
- Charles E. Pascal, Toronto
- Michael Phillips, Shanghai, China and Hamilton, Ont.
- Ervin Podgorsak, Brossard, Que.
- John R. Porter, Quebec City
- Gary Slaight, Toronto
- H. Olav Slaymaker, Vancouver, B.C.
- Robyn Tamblyn, Montreal
- Jean-Claude Tardif, Montreal
- Lorraine Vaillancourt, Montreal
- Eric Robert Walters, Mississauga, Ont.
- H. Bruce Williams, Montreal
- Catherine Zahn, Toronto