By Jason Winders
Four Western alumni – Barbara Byers, Dip’72 (Journalism), Margaret Macmillan, LLD’12, Richard McLaren, HBA’68, LLB’71, and P. Kim Sturgess, MBA’84 – were recently named among 69 new appointments to the Order of Canada, announced by David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, on Dec. 30. The appointees include six Companions (C.C.), 14 Officers (O.C.) and 49 Members (C.M.).
Byers, of Ottawa, is the Secretary-Treasurer of the Canadian Labour Congress. She has fought for the underdog all her life: first as a social worker, then as President of the Saskatchewan Government Employees Union (SGEU) and as President of the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL). Her commitment led to her being elected as a CLC Executive Vice-President in 2002 and now as Secretary-Treasurer in May 2014.
As a social worker in Saskatchewan, Byers addressed issues of poverty, youth unemployment, aboriginal concerns, equality for all and labour rights. She has been responsible for labour education; medicare and health care; workplace training and technology; employment insurance; apprenticeships; and issues of concern to women workers, workers with disabilities and gay, bi-sexual, lesbian and transgender workers.
For 12 years, Byers also played a key role representing Canada as one of 14 worker delegates on the Governing Body of the International Labour Organization, the United Nations agency bringing together governments, employers and workers in common action to promote decent work throughout the world.
The Advisory Council for the Order honoured Byers as a Member for “her contributions as an important voice in the Canadian labour movement.”
Macmillan, of Oxford, U.K., and Toronto, is the Warden of St Antony’s College and a Professor of International History at the University of Oxford.
Her books include Women of the Raj; Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World (2001) for which she was the first woman to win the Samuel Johnson Prize; Nixon in China: Six Days that Changed the World; The Uses and Abuses of History (2008); and Extraordinary Canadians: Stephen Leacock (2009). Her most recent book is The War that Ended Peace.
She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Senior Fellow of Massey College, University of Toronto, Honorary Fellow of Trinity College, University of Toronto and of St Hilda’s College, University of Oxford, and sits on the boards of the Mosaic Institute and the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, and the editorial boards of International History and First World War Studies. She also sits on the Advisory Board Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation and is a Trustee of the Rhodes Trust.
In 2006, MacMillan was invested as an Officer of the Order of Canada. The Advisory Council for the Order promoted Macmillan to Companion for “her eminent studies of international relations history, and for her leading contributions to public discourse on history and current affairs.”
McLaren is a Western law professor. He was one of three World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) independent commissioners who authored a scathing report, released in November, accusing many of Russia’s top track and field athletes of participating in a systematic doping program. Along with the athletes, the report said coaches, trainers, doctors and even the Russian government were all part of the widespread cheating scandal.
He has extensive experience as a commercial lawyer, labour and commercial arbitrator and mediator. A long-standing member of International Court of Arbitration for Sport, the world supreme court of sports disputes, McLaren joined former U.S. Sen. George J. Mitchell in the Major League Baseball inquiry into the use of steroids, which culminated in the famed Mitchell Report in 2007. McLaren also led the investigation for the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) into alleged cover-ups by USA Track & Field following the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000.
The Advisory Council for the Order honoured McLaren as an Officer for “his contributions to sports law and arbitration, alternative dispute resolution and legal education as an internationally renowned lawyer and professor.”
P. Kim Sturgess
Sturgess, of Calgary, is the founder and CEO of Alberta WaterSMART and Executive Director of the not-for-profit Alberta WaterPortal Society. As the CEO of several technology-based companies over her career, Sturgess has extensive experience in technology start-ups and management, as well as in oil and gas, pipelines and industrial products and services.
In addition to serving on the boards of her own companies, she serves on the boards of CCI Thermal Technologies, the Alberta Chamber of Resources and Alberta Land Institute. Formerly, she served as a director of the Alberta Water Council, Calgary Airport Authority, Council of Canadian Academies, Canadian Chamber of Commerce, National Research Council, APEGA, Alberta Economic Development Authority and Queen’s University. She served as President of the Canadian Academy of Engineering.
She was named as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in 2007 and Business Woman of the Year in Calgary by the Consumers Choice Awards in 2012. In 2015 she was awarded the SCI Canada Medal and was recognized by the Alberta Science and Technology Foundation for Outstanding Contribution to the Alberta Science and Technology Community.
The Advisory Council for the Order honoured Sturgess as a Member for “her contributions to water stewardship and the advancement of women in engineering.”
The Order of Canada, one of our country’s highest civilian honours, was established in 1967, during Canada’s centennial year, to recognize outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. Over the last 45 years, more than 6 000 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order.