Three Queen’s community members appointed to Order of Canada

Three Queen’s community members appointed to Order of Canada

June 30, 2023


Three Queen’s University professors and leadership members have been appointed Officers of the Order of Canada.

Richard Reznick, former dean of Queen’s Health Sciences, Joe Pater, former director of the Canadian Cancer Trials Group, and Will Kymlicka, an internationally recognized thought leader and Canada Research Chair in Political Philosophy, were among 85 appointments to the Order of Canada by Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada. The list includes six other members of the broader Queen’s community. 

The Order of Canada recognizes people across all sectors of society who have made extraordinary and sustained contributions to the nation.

Richard ReznickDr. Reznick’s appointment celebrates his impact as an innovator in medical and surgical education. He served as dean of Queen’s Health Sciences and CEO of the Southeastern Ontario Academic Medical Organization from 2010 to 2020. He is now a professor emeritus of the Department of Surgery.

In 2020, he received a Queen’s Distinguished Service Award for his leadership in developing innovative educational programming and transformative change across the faculty – including advocating for competency-based medical education across specialty programs.

Dr. Reznick has had an impressive career as an educator and a physician, including recently serving a term as the 46th President of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He is also the former chair for the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto, the former vice president of education at University Health Network, and the founding director of the Wilson Centre, a health professions education research institute.  

Joe PaterDr. Pater’s appointment recognizes a lifetime of work in cancer research and acknowledges the impact of his dedication to clinical research which has improved the lives of Canadians with cancer.

For more than 40 years, he has advanced clinical trial research in Canada. Sometimes called the “father” of cancer clinical trials research in Canada, Dr. Pater accepted appointments in the Departments of Medicine and Oncology at Queen’s when medical oncology was still in its infancy. In 1980, a formal collaborative research network, the NCIC Clinical Trials Group, now Canadian Cancer Trials Group (CCTG), was established by the Canadian Cancer Society with Dr. Pater as the inaugural director. His leadership transformed CCTG from a small program to the largest collaborative cancer clinical trials network in Canada.

He established the first program in Canada for the investigation of new cancer drugs, a program whose excellence has been recognized internationally and has led to important innovations in cancer treatment. A professor emeritus at Queen’s, Dr. Pater also served as the head of the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology.

Dr. Kymlicka’s appointment recognizes his prominent contributions to political philosophy, notably his application of liberal theory to multiculturalism and minority rights.

A professor in the Department of Philosophy at Queen’s since 1998, he is recognized as one of the top three influential political philosophers in the English-speaking world and has helped pioneer two major fields of research: the normative foundations of minority group rights within liberal democracies and the place of animals within political theory.

Dr. Kymlicka’s groundbreaking work and exceptional accomplishments have been recognized by the Killam Prize, the Premier’s Discovery Award, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, Fellowship in the Royal Society of Canada and the British Academy, honorary degrees from universities Belgium and Denmark, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Gold Medal.

Below is the list of members of the broader Queen’s University community who were also appointed to the Order of Canada:    


Alan Bernstein, Honorary Degree recipient (DSC’13)
President Emeriti, CIFAR and Professor Emeritus, Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto.
For his enduring impact on Canadian health research and science policy as a visionary leader and steadfast supporter of future generations of researchers.


lax̌lax̌tkʷ Jeannette Christine Armstrong, Honorary Degree recipient (LLD’09)
Canada Research Chair in Okanagan Indigenous Knowledge and Philosophy and Associate Professor, Indigenous Studies, Department of Community, Culture and Global Studies, The University of British Columbia
For her contributions to Canadian literature through her novels and poetry, and for her leadership in revitalizing the Silyx Okanagan Indigenous language.  


Robert Foster, Alumnus BA’65 (Economics), MA’73 (Economics)
Founder, President & CEO, Capital Canada Ltd.
For his visionary leadership and acumen as a successful entrepreneur and for his transformational contributions to developing Toronto’s arts communities.

Charles William Gordon, Alumnus BA’63 (General)
Writer and Retired Journalist
For his exceptional body of work as a distinguished journalist and author who has educated, enlightened and entertained Canadians for decades.

Paul McNally, Alumnus PhD’75 (English)
Former Co-Owner, McNally Robinson Booksellers
For advancing Canada’s literary scene through community-based programming in support of local, regional and national independent writers and publishers.

Sally E. Thorne, Honorary Degree recipient (DSC’13)
Professor, UBC School of Nursing, Faculty of Applied Science, University of British Columbia
For her extensive contributions to the practice and discipline of nursing, as a researcher, academic and leader.

The Order of Canada was established in 1967. Queen’s alumnus and Member of Parliament John Matheson (Arts’40, LLD’80) was a driving force in its development. He said the Tricolour Society at Queen’s served as a model for the Order of Canada.

The full list of appointees is available on the Governor General of Canada website.

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