By David Klassen
Three Manitobans were invested into the Order of Canada at a ceremony in Ottawa this morning. Governor General Michaëlle Jean presided over the Order of Canada investiture ceremony at Rideau Hall, which included Olympic speed skater Clara Hughes.
The 37-year-old from Winnipeg most recently won a bronze medal at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games and was Canada’s flag-bearer during the Opening Ceremonies. However, Hughes isn’t being recognized for her performance on the track, she is also a role model to all Canadians with her involvement in Right to Play, an organization that brings sport to children in developing countries. After winning a gold medal in 2006, she announced that she was donating $10,000 to the organization, and encouraged Canadians to also open up their wallets. A massive funding drive ensued to raise money for Right to Play.
David Matas of Winnipeg was also one of the local names receiving the honour today for his work as a lawyer defending the human rights of everyday Canadians. Matas is a strong authority on immigration and refugee law, and has been a human rights observer for the Canadian government.
Ian Smith of Winnipeg received the honour for his role in contributing to Canada’s reputation as a leader in state-of-the-art medical diagnostic devices. Smith is an internationally respected biophysicist and continues his cutting-edge research on the early diagnosis of cancer.