Diana Beresford-Kroeger, B.Sc. M.Sc., Ph.D.

Diana Beresford-Kroeger was awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, at the 9:30 a.m. ceremony on Tuesday, June 11, “in recognition of her outstanding efforts towards preserving the Earth’s climate and forests through the use of ethical scientific and traditional concepts.”

A world-renowned botanist, biochemist, lecturer and researcher, Beresford-Kroeger was raised in Ireland and resides outside Ottawa.

She completed both a bachelor’s and master’s degree at University College Cork in the fields of botany and medical biochemistry. Later, Beresford-Kroeger received a fellowship at the University of Connecticut, where she analyzed nuclear radiation in biological systems and organic chemistry. While studying at the University of Ottawa, she completed a diploma in experimental surgery and conducted extensive cardiovascular research. She recently completed doctoral studies at Carleton University.

Beresford-Kroeger has been appointed a WINGS WorldQuest fellow and a fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, where she was named one of 25 women explorers of Canada.

She has worked as a research scientist at the University of Ottawa and the Canadian Department of Agriculture Electron Microscopy Centre. Additionally, she has conducted research with the Ottawa Heart Institute and worked as a scientific adviser for numerous organizations.

Her book, “To Speak for the Trees,” will be published in September 2019. She has frequently contributed to, written for, and hosted programs for radio, television and film worldwide. Her feature documentary, “Call of the Forest: The Forgotten Wisdom of Trees,” was nominated for the Rob Stewart Award for Best Science or Nature Documentary Program at the 2018 Canadian Screen Awards.

Her charitable work includes raising considerable funds for Médecins Sans Frontières, the Shepherds of Good Hope, the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, and others.

Currently, Beresford-Kroeger is focused on Carrigliath, her private research garden and arboretum. She has published more than 300 articles referencing this topic, and five critically acclaimed books on the natural world. Her peer reviewed work, “Arboretum America: A Philosophy of the Forest,” won the prestigious National Arbor Day Foundation Media Award for an exceptional educational work on trees and forests.

Robert Slater, C.M., Ph.D.

Robert Slater was awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, at the 9:30 a.m. ceremony on Wednesday, June 12, “in recognition of his distinguished career in the Public Service of Canada, spearheading initiatives for the protection of the air and water and inspiring a new generation of Canadians to environmental leadership.”

Dr. Slater is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Public Policy and Administration at Carleton University, where he is also Executive Director of the Regulatory Governance Initiative.

During a 32-year career with Environment Canada, he occupied a number of senior positions, including eight years as Senior Assistant Deputy Minister.

He was instrumental in establishing the National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy, the International Institute for Sustainable Development and the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health.

He played a lead role in renegotiating the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, Acid Rain agreements with provincial governments, the Canada-U.S. Accord on Air Quality, and the Green Plan.

Dr. Slater also led preparations for Canada’s role at the UN Conference on the Environment (“Earth Summit”) in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. He was responsible for legislative initiatives leading to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act and the Species at Risk Act, and led the development of regulations limiting lead in gasoline and bringing auto emissions standards in line with those in the United States.

He chaired the International Joint Commission’s Great Lakes Water Quality Board from 1976 to 1982.

After he left the public service, he founded a consulting company in sustainable development which operated internationally and was a member of the National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy for six years. Before joining the public service, he was co-founder of Pollutech, an environmental consulting company.

He was awarded degrees from Imperial College of Science and Technology and was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 2009.

Christina Louise Logue, Nursing DPL, CAC, FFT, M.O.M., O. Ont.

Christina Louise Logue was awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, at the 2:00 p.m. ceremony on Wednesday, June 12, “in recognition of her outstanding contributions and leadership in achieving change in the social, health and economic conditions of Indigenous peoples, and at-risk children, youth, and families.”

A justice of the peace, Logue has worked for the Ottawa Police Service since 1994. She is a proud nurse of Algonquin heritage who is recognized provincially, nationally and internationally as a mental health and crime reduction expert.

She has researched, developed and implemented early identification and early intervention strategies for police services and educators. Many of these are on an international scale, resulting in lower victimization rates and increased quality of life.

She has developed many community-based programs, including Project Early Intervention, which helps young people who are at risk of being recruited by street gangs. She also developed and implemented a substance abuse treatment program for incarcerated youth.

Logue obtained a Certificate in Chemical Dependency Counselling and her studies in behavioural pharmacology complement her accomplishments as a Certified Addictions Counsellor, Certified Functional Family Therapist, and court-approved street drugs expert.

She says her proudest titles are “mom” and “nana.”

She has dedicated her time in the remote northern Quebec community of Chisasibi, helping doctors and nurses who work in the community, which is troubled by substance abuse and suicide.

She has served as manager of the Ottawa Police Service Youth Strategy Office and was director of the National Intervention/Diversion Program with the RCMP.

She received the Governor General of Canada Order of Merit, Order of Ontario, Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for Public Service, Quality of Life Award, and Woman of Distinction Award.

Laurie Beachell

Laurie Beachell was awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, at the 9:30 a.m. ceremony on Thursday, June 13, “in recognition of his transformative leadership in advancing the equality rights of Canadians with disabilities.”

Beachell is committed to creating more inclusive, accessible communities and improving the status of Canadians with disabilities.

For more than 30 years, he served as the National Coordinator of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD), where he co-ordinated advocacy, law reform, public education, litigation and international development initiatives. He retired in 2015.

In 2006, Beachell was appointed to the Expert Panel on Financial Security for Children with Severe Disabilities to recommend new federal tax measures. The report that resulted, “A New Beginning,” recommended creating a Registered Disability Savings Plan.

Beachell was also appointed to the Technical Advisory Committee on Tax Fairness for Persons with Disabilities. He helped produce a report that represented people with disabilities, health practitioners, human rights groups and tax experts from across Canada. The recommendations recognized that people with learning disabilities, cognitive impairments, mental health concerns, and developmental disabilities have not had equal benefits under the disability tax credit.

Beachell has made numerous presentations to parliamentary committees, MPs, government officials and regulatory bodies on removing barriers to full and equal citizenship of Canadians with disabilities.

He represented the disability community on the Content Advisory Committee at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. He also co-ordinated CCD’s 10-year long effort to develop the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

He is a recipient of the Patrick Worth Award from People First of Canada and the National President’s Award from the Canadian Mental Health Association.

Currently, he assists Bakerlaw, a private accessible justice law firm, maintain effective communication with clients concerning charter litigation.

Beachell and his wife, Judy McKelvey, reside on the family farm in Rosser, Manitoba.

Robert Thirsk, B.Sc., S.M., M.D.C.M., M.B.A.

Robert Thirsk will be awarded the degree of Doctor of Engineering, honoris causa, at the 2:00 p.m. ceremony on Thursday, June 13, “in recognition of his outstanding career as a Canadian astronaut, his many contributions to scientific and health research, and his promotion of science education and lifelong learning.”

Thirsk was born and raised in Western Canada. He received degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Calgary and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also holds a Doctorate of Medicine from McGill University and a Master of Business Administration from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

He has flown on two space missions as a member of the Canadian Space Agency’s astronaut corps. He first flew aboard the space shuttle Columbia in 1996 with six crewmates as part of the Life and Microgravity Spacelab mission. His second flight in 2009 was a six-month expedition aboard the International Space Station, the first Canadian to fly a long duration expedition there.

Thirsk and his five international crewmates performed multidisciplinary research, robotic operations, and maintenance of the station’s systems and payloads.

He currently leads a national task force assessing a potential role for Canada in deep space astronaut health care.

Thirsk has been honoured with the Order of British Columbia, the Outer Space Exploration Medal of Merit from Russia and the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal. He has also been awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and is an Officer of the Order of Canada. He is Chancellor Emeritus at the University of Calgary and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

Thirsk is an adjunct faculty member at International Space University and works with educational specialists across Canada to develop space-related curricula for young students.

He is a strong promoter of an economy based upon exploration and innovation. He encourages youth to build their dreams upon a foundation of advanced skills and lifelong learning.

The Right Honourable Paul Martin, B.A., LL.B.

The Right Honourable Paul Martin will be awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, at the 9:30 a.m. ceremony on Friday, June 14, “in recognition of his leadership in the Canadian government.”

Martin was prime minister of Canada from 2003 to 2006 and finance minister from 1993 to 2002, where he erased Canada’s deficit and recorded five consecutive budget surpluses while paying down the national debt and setting Canada’s debt-to-GDP ratio on a steady downward track.

Before entering politics, Martin had a long career in the private sector. He graduated from the University of Toronto’s St. Michael’s College and Faculty of Law. He was called to the Ontario Bar in 1966.

In 1999, as co-founder, he served as inaugural chair for three years of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors.
As prime minister, Martin set in place a plan to improve health care and reduce wait times. He also signed agreements with the provinces and territories to establish the first national early learning and child care program.

Under Martin’s leadership, the federal government reached a historic consensus with the 2006 Kelowna Accord to eliminate funding gaps in health, education and housing after an 18-month consultation process involving Canada’s provinces, territories, Indigenous peoples, Métis Nation and Inuit leaders.

After leaving public life, Martin advised the African Development Bank and has worked closely with the Advisory Council of the Coalition for Dialogue on Africa. He was also a founding co-chair of the Congo Basin Forest Fund and a Commissioner for the Global Ocean Commission.

In 2009, Martin joined members of his family to create the Martin Family Initiative. Its mission is to walk alongside Indigenous experts, communities and leaders to ensure that opportunities for Indigenous children are abundant and culturally appropriate.

In 2012, he was appointed Companion to the Order of Canada.

He is married to Sheila Ann Cowan and they have three sons and five grandchildren.

Yazmine C. Laroche

Yazmine C. Laroche will be awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, at the 2:30 p.m. ceremony on Friday, June 14, “in recognition of her distinguished career in the federal public service and, in particular, her significant contribution to greatly improved accessibility for all Canadians.”

She was appointed Canada’s first-ever deputy minister for Public Service Accessibility in 2018 and is the first visibly disabled person to be appointed to serve in a deputy minister role in the federal public service.

Her mandate is to design a strategy to make the Canadian public service the gold standard of accessibility and inclusion.

Laroche has had an illustrious career, holding progressively more senior leadership responsibilities in areas as diverse as arts policy, transport, infrastructure, strategic planning and financial management.

An avid world traveler with a mission to make things better, Laroche’s work has shaped Canada’s conversation about people with disabilities, accessibility and awareness.

She serves as Deputy Minister Champion for Federal Employees with Disabilities. Her role ensured that the voices of public servants with disabilities were incorporated into Bill C-81, the Accessible Canada Act.

Laroche is also the Deputy Minister Champion for her alma mater Carleton University, where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications in 1982.

She is a director and former chair of Muscular Dystrophy Canada.

She led the New Deal for Cities and Communities, which includes earmarking federal funds to support national objectives for sustainable communities. Most recently, she oversaw the Gordie Howe International Bridge project, expected to set standards in innovation and creativity.

She was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 for her work in the community.