Concordia University Chancellor L. Jacques Ménard has been awarded Canada’s highest civilian honour. A Member of the Order of Canada since 1995, Ménard was promoted to Officer in 2000 and has now reached the level of Companion of the Order. The announcement was made December 30, 2012, by the office of Governor General David Johnston.
The Order of Canada was established in 1967 to recognize a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to community and service to the nation. Over the last 45 years, more than 5,000 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order.
Ménard’s promotion to the rank of Companion was made in recognition of “his achievements as a leader in Canada’s business community, and for his engagement in social causes and his philanthropy.”
“Jacques Ménard’s elevation to Companion of the Order of Canada is a fitting recognition of his lifelong commitment to meaningful public service”, says Alan Shepard, Concordia president and vice-chancellor. “His warmth and humanity are as striking as his extraordinary list of accomplishments.”
A Concordia graduate (BComm67), Ménard’s belief in the value of a solid education led him to devote considerable energy to proposing ways to keep young people in school. In 2008, he published a first book on the topic, Si on s’y mettait. He also established the Groupe d’action sur la persévérance et la réussite scolaires in Quebec. Ménard subsequently published a book on the topic of high school perseverance, Beyond the Numbers… a Matter of the Heart.
Norman Hébert Jr., the chair of the university’s board of governors, adds, “Jacques stands as the finest example of a man who has lived his life for the betterment of others’. He is an inspiration to our students and all members of the Concordia community.”
Ménard is chairman of BMO Nesbitt Burns and president, BMO Financial Group, Québec. He is chairman of the Groupe d'action sur la persévérance et la réussite scolaires au Québec, a community action group which promotes initiatives geared towards supporting academic achievement at the high-school level in Quebec. Ménard has also been chairman of Hydro-Quebec as well as the Investment Dealers Association of Canada and the Task Force on the Sustainability of the Quebec Health and Social Services System. He was also vice-chairman of the Canadian Task Force on Financial Literacy.
Ménard will receive the medal of Companion of the Order of Canada in one of three official ceremonies to be held later this year in Rideau Hall. Former Supreme Court justice Louise Charron is the only other person promoted to Companion alongside Ménard. The number of living people who can be designated Companions of the Order is limited to 165 at any time.
• “L. Jacques Ménard named new Chancellor” — NOW, January 18, 2011
• More on the Order of Canada