Louis LaPierre

Only four peer-reviewed scientific research papers by Louis LaPierre can be found online. (CBC)

Louis LaPierre remains a member of the Order of Canada despite resigning from a number of positions in the wake of admitting he had lied about his academic credentials.

Only five people have ever been removed from the Order of Canada, which is Canada's highest civilian honour and is awarded by the Governor General to recognize significant achievements and remarkable service. A sixth resigned his appointment.

Most of those who have been stripped of the Order have been people convicted of a criminal offence.

Rev. Eldon Hay of Sackville was invested in the Order of Canada in 2004.  He feels sorry for LaPierre and the University of Moncton and thinks taking the honour away from LaPierre is unnecessary.

"I'm moved by the fact that he admitted up front that he had participated in this embarrassment and he has resigned from all the other official things," said Hay.

'I'm moved by the fact that he admitted up front that he had participated in this embarrassment and he has resigned from all the other official things' - Eldon Hay, member of the Order of Canada since 2004.

On Sept. 18, LaPierre resigned as professor emeritus at University of Moncton and as the head of the Energy Institute formed to study shale gas development in New Brunswick, as well as from other positions he held. The resignations came after LaPierre admitted he had misled people about his academic credentials.

LaPierre had purported to hold a PhD in ecology from the University of Maine. However, a report on Radio-Canada earlier in September questioned that, with the University of Maine indicating it had awarded LaPierre a master's degree, but not a doctorate.  LaPierre then stated his doctorate was awarded by Walden University in Maine in association with the University of Maine. Officials at Walden confirmed LaPierre received a PhD, but it was in the field of education, not in a scientific field.

Another member of the Order of Canada from the Moncton area also sees no need to remove LaPierre from the Order.

Capitol Theatre manager Marc Chouinard was appointed to the Order in 2011. He says LaPierre was named to the honour for all of his work.

"He admitted that his CV is not correct and if he received it for environmental reasons, well you know he did work - he did lots of work in that sector."

Chouinard and Hay both say LaPierre does have the option to voluntarily remove himself from the Order.

"Well, one possibility that's open to him is for himself to hand in the badge so to speak and say, `I don't want to be anymore a member of the Order of Canada,'" said Hay.

Those who have been removed from the Order of Canada are Alan Eagleson, Steve Fonyo, Garth Drabinsky, David Ahenakew, T. Sher Singh. Dr. Bernard Norman Barwin resigned his appointment earlier this year.

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story stated Dr. Bernard Norman Barwin had been removed from his appointment as a member the Order of Canada. In fact, Barwin resigned his appointment.
    Sep 23, 2013 11:41 AM AT