Thursday, July 3, 2008

Order of Canada. Henry Morgentaler. Lucien Larre. Murray Adaskin.

When the controversy erupted about Dr. Henry Morgentaler receiving the Order of Canada, I became curious. First of all, who cares? Even if you're vehemently anti-abortion, what difference does it make to your life if Morgentaler becomes a member of the Order of Canada? Really - who cares? What IS the Order of Canada anyway? From what I understand, it's Canada's Hall Of Fame. Most of the rhetoric about the situation surrounding Morgentaler is all about "this is Canada's highest honour" and blah blah blah. Frankly, Canada's highest honour should be bestowed on people like Morgentaler, people who are nationally renowned for changing the country. And it seems like he certainly qualifies. The fact that he was tough enough and determined enough to go through what he did in order to change Canada is the main reason he should be part of the Canada Hall Of Fame. But then I got curious. And I looked up the Order of Canada to see who else has received the honour. And this post is not going to be about Conrad Black or Alan Eagleson or all the guys who got caught sucking after receiving the honour. No, it is going to be about Lucien Larre and Murray Adaskin.

Who? You might say. And you would be right. Who indeed. Lucien Larre is a priest from B.C. who has helped stir the Morgentaler pot by declaring that he will return his award, now that it is tainted by Morgentaler's inclusion. Well, I've heard of Henry Morgentaler. I know what he did for Canada. I have not heard of Lucien Larre. I clicked on his little description, and it says that he built a treatment centre for drug-addicted youth. An admirable thing, to be sure. But outside Coquitlam, who would ever have heard of this man? Why does he get an Order of Canada? I went to the rest of the website, thinking I could go through all the inductees into our Hall Of Fame - the people who received the Country's Highest Order. Not a chance. Which brings me to Murray Adaskin. His was a name I selected at random from Page One of the Order of Canada website.

Here is his blurb: Leading violinist and composer, born and educated in Toronto, whose works have been widely performed throughout Canada and abroad. He devoted twenty-three years to the teaching of music at the University of Saskatchewan at Saskatoon and added immeasurably to the cultural life of that province and city. Now, I've spent a lot of time in orchestras, and playing violin, and singing in choirs, in my youth. I have not heard of this man. I would imagine that outside the orchestral community of Saskatoon, very few people have heard of this man. So I decided to narrow my search. To Ottawa. To see how many of those names I recognized. I was born here. I grew up here. I should know the names of all the movers and shakers who were big enough in this town to get Canada's Highest Honour, right?

Again, no chance of going through them all. There are 392 Ottawa natives who have received the Order Of Canada. I'll go by the first page, which has 25 names. Of the 25, I have heard of two. Paul Anka and Alex Baumann. By the way - Alex Baumann is considered to be from Ottawa! I had no idea! Which means that, in my own city, I am aware of eight percent of the honorees. I have never heard of Alan Beddoe, whose description says he's a consultant in Heraldry. Or I. Norman Smith, who was the "Former President of the Ottawa Journal of the Canadian Press". I don't know these people. Wait...Wayne Rostad? Wayne Rostad is in the Canadian Hall of Fame?

I recently complained about the likes of Glenn Anderson and Bernie Federko being in the Hockey Hall of Fame. I still don't think they're exactly deserving. But the Hockey Hall of Fame has, including builders, referees and linesmen, 348 members. Which makes it sixteen times more exclusive than the Order of Canada. There are 5,479 members of the Order of Canada right now. If I'm that priest, Morgentaler's inclusion doesn't diminish "Canada's Highest Award". The fact that everyone in the country has one diminishes it. When Morgentaler gets his Order of Canada, he will be one of seventy-five people so honoured. Which makes it not so much an induction ceremony as Everybody-Gets-A-Trophy Day.

Regardless of your opinion on Morgentaler, you must agree he has made a big difference for the entire country. Even if you're anti-war, you admire war heroes, no? But good lord, let's stop pretending that the Order of Canada is some wonderful, exclusive club reserved for only the best of the best. It's merely an award bestowed upon the above-average. This whole thing is just another way for special interest groups to call attention to their anti-abortion platform. Give it a rest.


  1. Hello Everybody !
    Hi Doctor Nick !
    I have performed my share of abortions,,,all went good.
    But to make a long story short,
    This Doctor is definitly a Savior,even a hero,to some woman,or People,,,But what Randall has expressed is exactly Right !
    Someone to receive the Order of Canada,must be,at all aspects,a true legend,or even Hero.
    if there is any doubt,by any,,if he is good or bad,,need not receive the award.
    It must be 100% possitive by all,with no negativity.

  2. No more trashing of Bad Co,either or i'll tell everybody about the Real Banana incident.(he he)

  3. Morgentaler only founded his humanist club because he loves killing kids so much.

  4. Concerned in Saskatchewan.
    My congratulations to Dr Morgentaler. A member of the Order can be removed if they have been subjected to an official sanction by an adjudicating body, professional association, or other organization. Official sanctions can include fines, reprimands, or disbarment.
    Dr. Lucien Larre v. College of Psychologists of British Columbia

    “Counsel for the College noted that the powers of section 35(1) must be used sparingly and rarely exercised where the result would be to effectively deprive a person of the ability to carry on his or her profession, but that it is a power that should be used when it is demonstrably necessary to provide maximum protection to the public. He argued that there was sufficient material before the panel establishing a strong prima facie case and that also established that there is a real and serious threat to the safety of clients entrusted to the respondent's care if he continues to practice.”

    Dr. Larre’s clients are children. He has returned his order of Canada before it is taken from him. The Governor General of Canada should not accept it, take it from him.

    My concern is for the children of Coquitlam BC and that the Archdiocese of Vancouver will move this disgraced priest to another unsuspecting community in Canada, or back to Saskatchewan.

  5. Wow. I had no idea about this stuff. Thanks!