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Honorary degree citation - Jean Pigott*

By: Ulrike de Brentani, June 1994

Mr. Chancellor, I have the honour to present to you Jean Pigott, an outstanding business person and public servant. She is currently chair of the National Congress Centre and of the Canadian Centre for Studies of Children at Risk, and is well known for her contributions as Chair of the National Capital Commission. In these and other roles, Ms. Pigott has been extensively lauded for her outstanding performance in urban planning as well as for her active involvement in healthcare, and in ensuring workplace equity for women and for disabled persons.

Born in Ottawa, Ontario, Ms. Pigott traces her roots to ancestors who settled in the Ottawa area five generations ago. She studied at Albert College in Belleville, Ontario, and has had a very active and successful career not only as a parent of three children, but as CEO of a successful business enterprise, as a Member of Parliament, and as Director, Member or Chair of a large number of public commissions, corporations and boards.

En 1967, Jean Pigott accède à la direction de l'entreprise familiale en qualité de présidente et chef de l'exploitation. Membre respecté et influent de la communauté des affaires, elle est alors acclamée comme le défenseur de la petite entreprise au Canada pour avoir engagé et gagné une bataille décisive en vue d'éviter la mainmise de géants américains sur le marché canadien.

Besides her commitment to private business, Ms. Pigott has had an equally strong affinity for the public sector. Some of her contributions over the past three decades include: as Chair of the Ottawa Regional Hospital Planning Council, her input to the establishment of the Ottawa Regional Health Council which became a model for the development of centralized health care in Canada; as Member of Parliament and Chair of the Ontario Provincial Task Force on Employers and Disabled Persons, she passionately argued for the need to recognize and value all Canadian human resources, including the 15% who are disabled; and as Chair of the National Capital Commission, her outstanding contributions to urban planning as well as her dedication to gender equity which resulted in the hiring and promotion of more women to management levels.

Ses succès les plus récents découlent de son rôle de promoteur et de maître urbaniste de la capitale du Canada. Elle a réussi, en effet, à transformer une petite ville plutôt endormie en une vibrante métropole dotée de centres où s'épanouissent les arts, où accourent les congressistes et où prospère le commerce. Elle a également contribué à embellir l'environnement de travail et le cadre de vie de ses habitants grâce à la restauration d'anciens immeubles et à la création de nouveaux espaces verts. But, what makes Ms. Pigott a truly outstanding public servant and leader is her view that accomplishing social goals is a natural and integral part of striving to meet any other challenge. So it is, in her current position as Chair of the Ottawa Congress Centre, or while leading the National Capital Commission, or in her role as Member of Parliament, that social goals such as health care, child education, equity for women and employment for the disabled are also being achieved.

Mr. Chancellor, it is a great honour and privilege for me to present to you, on behalf of the Senate and by the authority of the Board of Governors, Jean Pigott, that you may confer on her the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

* deceased

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