Nova Scotia

Bruce MacKinnon, Barbara Hannigan among Order of Canada appointees

A new list of Canadians appointed to the Order of Canada was released Thursday morning — and it includes four Nova Scotians.

Businessman Robert Pace, bioethicist Francoise Baylis also among 113 appointees nation-wide

Soprano Barbara Hannigan is among four Nova Scotians announced as new appointees to the Order of Canada. (Musacchio Ianniel/Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia)

A new list of Canadians appointed to the Order of Canada was released Thursday morning — and it includes four Nova Scotians.

Gov. Gen. David Johnston announced 113 appointments to the second-highest honour for merit in Canada. They include editorial cartoonist Bruce MacKinnon, opera singer Barbara Hannigan, businessman Robert Pace and bioethicist Francoise Baylis, who are all being made members of the order.

The Order of Canada, given to more than 6,500 people since its creation in 1967, recognizes Canadians who have been high achievers in their fields or have shown dedication or service to their community and country.

In a news release from the Governor General, MacKinnon of The Chronicle Herald is praised for being "one of Canada's most skilled, empathetic and provocative editorial cartoonists."

Bruce MacKinnon of the Halifax Chronicle-Herald is an Order of Canada appointee as "one of Canada's most skilled, empathetic and provocative editorial cartoonists." (CBC)

MacKinnon told CBC News Thursday that he's been "under the cone of silence" since he first heard about the honour a month ago.

He said he's very lucky to live somewhere he can enjoy this level of liberty, compared to many cartoonists around the world.

"I think it's more a comment on our society, on free speech and the ability for editorial cartoonists and satire, political satire and political commentary to thrive and be free in Canada," he said.

At the same time, he said the ongoing strike at the newspaper "cast a bit of a shadow" on the day for him.

"It's tough to feel like celebrating anything when we're in this situation."

Cultural ambassador

Hannigan, of Waverley, N.S., is lauded for her achievements as a cultural ambassador (she lives in Amsterdam) and for her international renown as an opera singer.

Pace, a lawyer and businessman from Halifax, was honoured for his community involvement as a volunteer and for his business leadership in Atlantic Canada. 

Baylis, a Dalhousie University professor, is honoured "as a champion of health-care ethics in Canada and for creating forums to discuss current medical-ethics issues." 

Francoise Baylis is being honoured for her contributions to bioethics.

Recipients will be invited to accept their medals at a ceremony to be held at a later date.

The only higher honour is the Order of Merit, which is personally chosen by the Queen. 

With files from The Canadian Press, Steve Berry