Journalist, Diplomat, Entrepreneur & Author

Senate of Canada 150 Commemorative Medals

28 November 2017

Honourable senators, I rise today to honour ten individuals and two organizations that I have nominated to receive the Senate of Canada 150 Medal. All show uncommon character and commitment to the greater good.

The Wadena News has kept people informed and connected for more than a century, recording the story of people building communities. Publisher Alison Squires and former co-owner — and lifelong nurse — Marge Headington are great givers and doers.

June Draude, business owner turned politician, is considered Saskatchewan’s most innovative Minister of Social Services, launching the first social impact bond in Canada to help mothers keep access to children. She works tirelessly with high risk and people with disabilities.

Murad Al-Katib, entrepreneur, quite literally helps feed the world. He learned from his immigrant parents the importance of giving back — he does — and earned the Oslo Business for Peace Award for incredible efforts to feed thousands of Syrian refugees.

Major General Wayne Eyre serves his country with passion and continues to mentor recruits, lead his fellow soldiers in service at home and abroad, and serves veterans in need. He inspires with his message: You can achieve more when you learn that personal boundaries are artificial.

W. Brett Wilson, North Battleford-born entrepreneur and “serial” philanthropist, has shaved his head for kids’ cancer, climbed a mountain for Alzheimer’s, and funds and mentors start-ups for veterans. He believes social responsibility is an opportunity not an obligation.

Dr. Michael D. Jackson, former Chief of Protocol for Lieutenant Governors, has spent a lifetime building bridges from the monarchy to the people, ensuring we keep a personal connection to our past.

Jimmy Pattison is an entrepreneur and philanthropist whose business acumen is legendary. He is the economic lifeline for dozens of communities in Saskatchewan and made the largest donation in our history to Saskatoon’s new Children’s Hospital. His quiet good works, his vision and his work ethic change lives.

Steve McLellan has a commitment to building cities and communities that nurture the human factor. He believes businesses must “be present” in our communities, helping to make us resilient in the face of challenges.

Dorothy Knowles, a gardener, a mother and one of Canada’s foremost artists, has brought the magic of prairie landscapes to the world and has communicated on canvas what makes us a people who see no boundaries.

Paul and Carol Hill, whose philanthropic projects “care for the soul” of the community, are best understood through the creation of and devotion to the unique Mother Teresa Middle School for at-risk indigenous children.

Kenneth Levene, a business leader who was intent on changing attitudes — we are world class and can compete — and so he created the Levene Graduate School of Business at the University of Regina.

The Snowbirds are the RCAF’s iconic aerobatic team who hone their skills in the skies over Moose Jaw. They inspire young and old alike and are among Canada’s foremost ambassadors to the world. Lieutenant Colonel Mike French represents Snowbirds past and present.

Congratulations to you all.