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Former prime minister Jean Chrétien is set to become a companion of the Order of Canada. ((Wayne Glowacki/Canadian Press))

Former prime minister Jean Chrétien, pop singer Molly Johnson, author Alistair MacLeod and broadcaster Pamela Wallin are among the latest distinguished Canadians set to receive the Order of Canada.

Governor General Michaëlle Jean announced on Friday a total of 71 new appointments to the Order.

Chrétien, fellow former politician Preston Manning, children's filmmaker Rock Demers and retired Supreme Court justice Frank Iacobucciare among the seven new companions — the Order's highest designation, honouring citizens who have shown the most exceptional achievements and are known on the national or international stage. Only165 living companions are permitted at any given time.

Recording artists Johnson, Robbie Robertson and Tom Cochrane are among the 17 newest officers of the Order, with acclaimed author MacLeod, nursing leaderGinette Lemire Rodger, jazz trumpeter Kenny Wheeler and former broadcaster and diplomat Wallin also appointed.

Jean and the Order of Canada advisory council also announced 47 new members, recognized for having made remarkable achievements on the local or regional level.

New members include:

  • Historian and author Charlotte Gray
  • Baritone John Fanning
  • Fiddlers Douglas MacPhee and Jean-Baptiste (John) Arcand
  • Golf professional Mike Weir
  • Health executive Thomas Noseworthy
  • Author Leon Rooke
  • Songwriter Jim Vallance
  • Conductor Timothy Vernon
  • Physical chemist Robert Gillespie
  • Former Saskatchewanlieutenant-governor Lynda Haverstock
  • Philanthropist Beryl Ivey

Appointees typically receive their Order of Canada insignia medals at a ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.

Considered the country's highest civilian honour, the Order celebrates a milestone anniversary on Canada Day: Created on July 1, 1967, the Order is celebrating 40 years of recognizing extraordinary Canadians and their achievements.