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What Does Rick Mercer Have in Common with Stephen Harper and Dolly Parton?

October 16, this guy's getting an award. --CBC

Stephen Harper, Preston Manning, Brian Mulroney: on any given Tuesday, Rick Mercer is skewering the likes of them. But the satirist will be joining their ranks this week. Whether that softens his stance in future "Rick's Rants" is, however, unlikely.

Still, October 16, Mercer will receive the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service during a cocktail reception at Toronto's Carlu. (The aforementioned politicians are past winners of the prize, as are Hillary Rodham Clinton, Henry Kissinger, Colin Powell, Frank Gehry and Dolly Parton.)

But what links all these people -- beyond the fact they've all attended an awards ceremony at some point in their lives -- is their commitment to global issues. The honour, which is decided by the Wilson Center's Board of Trustees, recognizes individuals who strive to improve people's lives both at home and abroad. 

In Mercer's case, his public service reaches beyond a weekly half hour of comedy. He lends his support to initiatives including the It Gets Better Project, the March of Dimes, the New Hope Foundation and the Historica-Dominion Institute. His partnership with Plan Canada's Spread the Net campaign to combat malaria, of which he is co-chair, is among his best known work -- at least to Rick Mercer Report viewers. The campaign involves an annual student challenge: The school to raise the most money for mosquito nets gets to appear on an episode of the Report. This year's contest launched last week, by the way. (There's more info here.)

For more on Mercer's various philanthropic interests, you can find more info on select projects through his website

This week's episode of the Rick Mercer Report is now up on the CBC Player. Watch it below:

Rick Mercer: Tackling Canadians' Bucket Lists, Every Week on the Mercer Report
Rick's Best Rants from Season 10
The Top Rick Mercer Rants of 2012



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