Monday August 3, 2020 ~ VICTORIA, BC
by Mary Brooke, editor ~ West Shore Voice News
The arts, science, politics and a range of areas of public service are recognized in the 13 people — chosen from among 160 nominations this year — who will be appointed to the Order of British Columbia (OBC), the Province’s highest form of recognition, Lt. Gov. Janet Austin, chancellor of the order, as announced today on BC Day.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic conditions in the province this summer — making it difficult for travel and physical distancing in indoor spaces — the formal Order of B.C. investiture ceremony has been postponed until 2021. Normally the OBC recipients and invited guests gather at Government House in Victoria. This year the celebration is virtual, by way of this news announcement today in the media.
Announced by the Lieutenant Governor:
“As the representative of the Crown in British Columbia and chancellor of the Order of British Columbia, I am delighted to welcome 13 new members to the order,” said Austin.
“They have helped us to grow as a province, taught us to care for our environment, enriched our lives with literature and art, helped us to address past injustices and inspired us to become a more caring and inclusive society,” the Lieutenant Governor said in a statement.
“To recognize these remarkable people, who are changing our communities for the better in many ways, is an honour of great personal significance to me.”
The 2020 OBC Recipients:
This year’s recipients are as follows, and their full profiles are posted on the BC Government website:
Shashi Assanand of Richmond – visionary and pioneer in founding the Vancouver and Lower Mainland Multicultural Family Support Service Society (VLMFSS).
Ryan Beedie of West Vancouver – Beedie Development has become the market’s leading industrial developer in western Canada and is widely recognized as a reputable residential builder in BC.
Michael Bublé of Burnaby – Bublé is one of the world’s most successful musical performers, selling more than 65 million records worldwide. His music has won 13 Juno awards and four Grammy awards.
Shirley Chan of Vancouver – third-generation advocate for her community and for others, mostly people at risk of displacement, discrimination and marginalization.
Neil Cook, MGC, of Cranbrook – foster parent, and long-term advocate and volunteer for mental health and homelessness.
Paul George of Gibsons – founder of the Western Canada Wilderness Committee and early developer of the Green Party in BC.
Rusty Goepel of Vancouver – Business trailblazer and respected community leader; leadership role in 2010 Winter Olympics.
John Malcolm Horton of Delta – Marine artist (paintings, and commemorative coin designs for the Canadian Mint), search and rescue volunteer.
Mel Krajden, PhD, of Vancouver – global reputation in the field of communicable disease control and innovative scholarship in public health sciences; leadership at the BC Centre for Disease Control.
Janet Nadine Mort, PhD, of Brentwood Bay – innovative literacy curriculum designer, author of two books, organizer and education speaker toward success in reading for vulnerable primary learners.
Tracy Porteous of Vancouver – career-long pioneer in the field of supporting women experiencing sexual assault, co-chair of the Ending Violence Association of Canada.
Carole Taylor, OC, of Vancouver – lifelong career weaving the roles of journalist, policy advisor and politician; currently Canada Chair for the Trilateral Commission seeking solutions to geopolitical, economic and social challenges. | Feature article by West Shore Voice News, to come.
Ruth Williams of Kamloops – lifelong advocate for indigenous people including housing, education and finance.
Selection during a pandemic:
The deadline for OBC nominations this year was March 6, before the COVID-19 pandemic fully set in. Issues that have arisen during the pandemic — such as the importance of public health, public policy impacts, and social support initiatives — possibly coloured this year’s choices by this year’s OBC advisory council.
Over the years, the BC government has worked to increase awareness of the Province’s highest honour to ensure that outstanding people from all walks of life and from all parts of the province have an opportunity to be honoured. The Province has received more than 5,900 public nominations for the Order of BC over the past 31 years.
The new recipients of 2020 bring the total of OBC recipients to 460. Members have been appointed from all regions of the province and in numbers generally proportionate to a region’s population.
Premier’s recognition on BC Day:
“As we celebrate BC Day, I want to recognize the efforts, achievements and accomplishments of this year’s Order of British Columbia recipients,” said Premier John Horgan.
“Congratulations on receiving this well-deserved honour. Your many contributions have enriched the lives of British Columbians and helped make our province an even better place.”
Recipients of the Order of BC are selected by an independent advisory council. The 2020 advisory council consisted of Robert J. Bauman (chair), Chief Justice of British Columbia; Darryl Plecas, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly; Philip Steenkamp, PhD, president and vice-chancellor, Royal Roads University; Bobbi Plecas, deputy minister, Intergovernmental Relations Secretariat; Maja Tait, president, Union of British Columbia Municipalities; Lynda Farmer, OBC; and Susan Tatoosh, OBC.
The Order of British Columbia: http://www.orderofbc.gov.bc.ca
The Province’s other honour, the Medal of Good Citizenship, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/medalofgoodcitizenship
Anyone can submit an OBC nomination. More information, nomination forms and submission instructions are available online, by telephone at 250-387-1616, or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Biographies of the 2020 OBC recipients: http://news.gov.bc.ca/files/