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Order of Canada for work well done

Three Manitobans among 91 Canadians appointed

Phil Fontaine, Janice Filmon (not shown) and Elmer Hildebrand (not shown) were among 91 Canadians appointed to the Order of Canada.

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Phil Fontaine, Janice Filmon (not shown) and Elmer Hildebrand (not shown) were among 91 Canadians appointed to the Order of Canada. (CHRISTOPHER PIKE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS ARCHIVES)

Janice Filmon

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Three Manitobans have been appointed to the Order of Canada.

Janice Filmon was named for her charitable work, Phil Fontaine for contributions on behalf of First Nations and Elmer Hildebrand for developing community service radio in Western Canada, Sunday's announcement said.

They will be presented with their insignia at one of three ceremonies in 2013 at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.

The motto of the order, established in 1967 by Queen Elizabeth II, is "desiderantes meliorem patriam" or "they desire a better country."

The Order of Canada recognizes three levels of service: companion, officer and member.

Fontaine was named an officer of the order in recognition of "a lifetime of achievement and merit of high degree, especially in service to Canada or to humanity at large."

He was born at the Sagkeeng First Nation in 1944 and attended residential schools in Sagkeeng and Winnipeg. He was elected chief of Sagkeeng in 1973.

He was elected Grand Chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs in 1991 and national chief of the Assembly of First Nations in 1997. He owns and operates Ishkonigan, a firm that specializes in consultation and mediation services for indigenous communities. He has been honoured with the Order of Manitoba.

The survivor of Canada's residential school system was instrumental in negotiating the $5.1-billion residential-school settlement, which included compensation for survivors, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, an education fund, healing resources and commemoration funding.

Filmon and Hildebrand were both named members of the Order of Canada in recognition of a "lifetime of distinguished service in or to a particular community, group or field of activity."

Filmon is on the board of the University of Manitoba Foundation and is past-president of its Alumni Association. She serves on the boards of the CancerCare Manitoba Foundation and the Arthur V. Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice. The Janice C. Filmon Award for Leadership in Cancer Care in Manitoba was created in her honour.

Hildebrand said he was surprised to receive the honour.

"I think it was sort of amazing getting that call out of left field," said the president and chief executive officer of Altona-based Golden West Radio.

"It's a very humbling experience to be awarded this kind of honour and I accept it on behalf of all the people who work for Golden West."

The 75-year-old lives in Winnipeg but has an office in Altona, where he got his start in the business writing radio ads in 1957.

"I was right off the farm."

There were nine employees. Today, Golden West has 500.

"Golden West has 40 stations across the Prairies," Hildebrand said Sunday while on vacation in Barcelona.

Golden West's most recent addition happened a month ago when it purchased a radio station in Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., he said.

The broadcast company still hires people right off the farm, he said.

"We think what we are doing for the communities is important." The radio stations tend to hire local people who know their communities and want to stay, he said.

They've had lots of offers to sell, he said.

"We've decided not to be swallowed up and carry on with our community service and we do that across the Prairies. It's our ambition to keep doing that," said Hildebrand.

"If we were sold to a public company a lot that would disappear."


Others being honoured


Governor General David Johnston announced a total of 91 new appointments to the Order of Canada.

Ken Dryden has been named an officer of the order and Paul Henderson a member. Both men were members of the Canadian hockey team during the 1972 Summit Series against Russia, though their citations also note their achievements in other fields.

Joining them from the hockey world was Danièle Sauvageau, who coached Canada's Olympic women's hockey team to gold at the 2002 Games.

Others named Sunday include two longtime CBC journalists, Michael Enright and Andrew Barrie, as well as investigative reporter Stevie Cameron.

Two high-profile Canadian politicians were also inducted.

Sheila Copps, a deputy prime minister under Jean Chrétien, and Brian Tobin, also a Chrétien cabinet minister and former premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, became officers of the order.

Several members of Canada's arts community were recognized as well, including philanthropist Scott Griffin for his establishment of an international poetry prize, choreographer Paul-André Fortier for his contributions to dance and Roald Nasgaard, who is the chief curator at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Orders of Canada are awarded upon the recommendations of an 11-member advisory council, which includes the chief justice of the Supreme Court and the Clerk of the Privy Council.

Only four have ever been revoked, each time because the individual was later convicted of crimes.

Earlier this year, Conrad Black had sought the ability to plead his case before the council as to why he should keep his.

The former media baron was convicted in the United States of fraud and obstruction of justice while he was head of media giant Hollinger International.


-- with files from The Canadian Press

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