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Hamm, McDonough named to Order of Canada

Last Updated: Wednesday, December 30, 2009 | 2:43 PM AT

Former Nova Scotia premier John Hamm and former provincial and federal NDP leader Alexa McDonough were named officers of the Order of Canada Wednesday.

Hamm was cited for his contributions to the province of Nova Scotia "as a former premier, family physician and community leader."

Hamm, of Stellarton, became leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Nova Scotia in 1995. In 1999, he led his party to victory, winning 30 of 52 seats in the Nova Scotia legislature. He retired from politics in 2006.

McDonough, of Halifax, was cited for "her pioneering contributions as a politician, and for her lifelong commitment to progressive change and social activism."

McDonough became leader of the Nova Scotia New Democratic party in 1980, becoming the first woman to lead a recognized political party in Canada. She led the provincial party until 1995 when she became leader of the federal NDP. She was first elected to the House of Commons in 1997.

McDonough stepped down as federal leader in 2003, and announced her intention to resign as MP for Halifax in 2008.

She is now the interim president and vice-chancellor of Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax.

Two other Nova Scotians were named members of the Order of Canada.

Elsie Charles Basque, of Saunierville, was named for her pioneering contribution as an educator, and Joan Glode, of Shubenacadie, was cited for her devotion to the social welfare of aboriginal children and families.

Gov. Gen. Michaëlle Jean announced 57 new appointments to the Order of Canada on Wednesday. The new appointees include 25 Officers (O.C.), and 32 Members (C.M.). The appointments were made on the recommendation of the Advisory Council for the Order of Canada.

Recipients will be invested at a ceremony to be held at a later date.

The Order of Canada, one of our country's highest civilian honours, was established in 1967, during Canada’s centennial year, to recognize a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to community and service to the nation. Over the last 40 years, more than 5,000 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order of Canada.

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