Former Langley Senator Gerry St. Germain is among 14 people named to the Order of B.C., the province’s highest form of recognition.
When St. Germain, who served as an MP for Mission-Port Moody, returned to parliament as an appointed senator and, he chose to adopt the symbolic division of Langley-Pemberton-Whistler.
His Order of B.C. profile described the former RCAF pilot, Vancouver police officer, federal cabinet minister and senator as “an unbelievable B.C. success story who has constantly shattered stereotypes of his people and been the first at many levels.”
St. Germain was born into poverty as the son of a Metis trapper, growing up without running water or electricity.
“St. Germain has never forgotten his Metis roots and knew he was representing all people when he worked to make many rights from wrongs for all,” the profile recounted.
“It was his love of mathematics and science that allowed him to escape the horror of residential schools and get a scholarship to a special school. It was education that allowed him to rise to the highest levels of government in Canada.”
Elected in 1983, he served as the minister of transportation and the minister of forestry, and became the first self-identified Metis person to serve in Canada’s federal cabinet.
St. Germain was appointed to the Canadian Senate in 1993 and served until 2012, where he chaired the Senate’s Standing Committee on Indigenous Peoples.
Others named to the order include Dr. Nadine Rena Caron of Prince George, Kúkpi7 (Chief) Rosanne Casimir of Kamloops, Nezhat Khosrowshahi of Vancouver, Kathy Kinloch of Surrey, Joy MacPhail, CM, of Vancouver, Fred Ting Shek Mah of Vancouver, Harinder Mahil of Coquitlam, Maureen Maloney, QC, of Victoria, Geoff Plant, QC, of Vancouver, Christine Sinclair, OC, of Portland, Ore., Paul Spong of Alert Bay, Jody Wilson-Raybould, PC, QC, of Quathiaski Cove and Bruce Munro Wright of Vancouver.
Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of British Columbia and chancellor of the Order of British Columbia described them as “incredible individuals who have done so much to enrich their communities.”
“On behalf of the people of British Columbia, I want to thank this year’s recipients of the Order of B.C. for their remarkable contributions,” said Premier John Horgan. “You have helped create a better British Columbia and for that, we are grateful.”
The Order of B.C. investiture ceremony for 2022 recipients and invited guests is tentatively scheduled to be held at Government House in Victoria in the late fall.
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