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Canada honours Concordians for outstanding lifetime achievement

Distinguished political economist and three Concordia honorary doctorate recipients named to the Order of Canada
July 14, 2014
By Kayla Morin

General A. John G. D. de Chastelain, Christiane Germain, James W. Borcoman and Kari Polanyi Levitt.
From left to right: General A. John G. D. de Chastelain, Christiane Germain, James W. Borcoman and Kari Polanyi Levitt.

The Order of Canada is second only to the Order of Merit when it comes to official recognition.

Established in 1967, Canada’s centennial year, the Order recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation.

The Companion and Officer awards recognize lifetime achievement of the highest degree, especially in service to Canada or to humanity at large, while honourees in the the Member category are noted for service in a particular area.

The Advisory Council for the Order of Canada, chaired by the chief justice and comprised of other prime-ranking officials, makes recommendations for the honours.

The Governor General of Canada, currently the Right Honourable David Johnston, makes the ultimate decision, and on June 30, His Excellency announced 86 new appointments, three of whom hold honorary degress from Concordia.

General A. John G. D. de Chastelain, LLD 12, was named Companion of the Order of Canada — alongside David Cronenberg and Richard Leigh Cruess — for his distinguished public service, notably as a leader in the Northern Ireland peace process.

He is a retired military officer, twice chief of the Defence Staff and was the former ambassador to the United States. He was already an officer of the Order, a commander of the Order of Military Merit and has earned numerous other accolades, including the Medal of Merit and the Order of Honour in Greece.

James W. Borcoman, LLD 96, Christiane Germain, LLD 13, were named Members of the Order of Canada.

Borcoman is a prolific Canadian photographer whose work is featured in the National Gallery of Canada. In 1967, he created the first ever collection of photographs for the national institution. He acted as curator emeritus upon retirement.

He lives in Ottawa, Ont., and remains a treasured source on the history of photography.

As co-president and co-founder of the family-run Groupe Germain Hospitalité, the first boutique-hotel company in Canada, Germain has made an indelible mark on the restaurant and hotel industries.

A distinguished academic with a strong link to Concordia, Kari Polanyi Levitt, was also named a Member of the Order of Canada “for her contributions to the establishment of international development studies as an interdisciplinary academic field, and for her research on political economy in the Caribbean.”

Polanyi Levitt played a key role in the creation of the Karl Polanyi Institute of Political Economy at Concordia in 1988, when she made her father’s vast archive available. Last year, the institute digitized all 110,000 documents in its archives, the largest collection of the celebrated political economist’s papers in the world.

See the full list of the Order of Canada appointments.

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