By Johanne Adam
The University of Ottawa was well represented on February 25 at the 16th annual Bernard Grandmaître Gala, sponsored by the Association des communautés francophones de l'Ontario (ACFO), an association of Franco-Ontarian community organizations. The gala was held at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum to honour the nominees and recipients of the Association’s Laurier Awards, two of which were won by members of our University community.
John Mark Keyes, who is a sessional professor at the Faculty of Law, won the Laurier for Francophile of the year. As a specialist in public law and legislation, and has served in various managerial positions in the Department of Justice (Canada), including as the Chief Legislative Counsel (Assistant Deputy Minister Responsible for Legislative Services). He is the author of Executive Legislation, a reference for experts in legislative law. He was the co-champion for Official Languages and the co-chair of the Justice Workplace Charitable Campaign while at the Department of Justice, and as a Francophile and legislative expert, he recently worked on a legislative approach to designating the City of Ottawa as officially bilingual.
Lawyer and part-time law professor François Baril won the Laurier for citizen of the year. Baril is very involved in the Francophone community, primarily as president of the Association of French Speaking Jurists of Ontario (AFSJO), which aims to ensure equal access to justice, whether delivered in French or English, for all Ontarians. He too has been involved in promoting official bilingual designation for the City of Ottawa, and has volunteered many hours drafting legislation with a view to ensuring that French and English are on equal footing in Ottawa.
The Honorable Mauril Bélanger wins the Bernard Grandmaître Prize
Two of our alumni received awards as well. The Honorable Mauril Bélanger (BA ’76 English) won the highly coveted Bernard Grandmaître Prize. As a federal MP, Mauril Bélanger has always been very involved in the Francophone community, both in his riding and federally, and even internationally. As the Member of Parliament for Ottawa-Vanier since 1995, he has supported many of the region’s Francophone organizations, including the Montfort Hospital, the Fondation Franco-ontarienne, and the University of Ottawa. He founded and currently co-chairs the Canada-Africa Parliamentary Association, and has greatly contributed to raising Canada’s international profile within the Francophonie.
Alumna Chantal Larivière (BA ’94 Geography, B.Ed. ’95) was also honoured at the gala, where she received a Laurier for her contributions to education. Larivière is a teacher who has specialized in applying investigative techniques to promote learning for the past three years. Her Grade 2 class at FrancoJeunesse, a public Francophone elementary school, is a genuine learning lab that values every student’s knowledge. Last May, she won a 2015 Capital Educator’s Award at the Ottawa EduGala.
We would also like to congratulate all the members of the uOttawa community who were nominated for awards this year, including:
- Allan Rock (BA ’68, LLB ’71), President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ottawa, who was nominated for the Laurier for Francophile of the year.
- Sébastien Clément (BSc ’00 Biochemistry, B.Ed. ’01), a teacher at De La Salle high school and Denis Fugère (BA ’08, B.Ed. ’09), who were nominated for the Laurier for educational contributions.
- Victor Amisi Sulubika (BSocSc ’13, International Development and Globalization) and Najat Ghannou (uOttawa student), vice-principal at Gisèle-Lalonde, a public Francophone high school, who were nominated for the Laurier for new arrival of the year.
- Linda Cardinal (BSocSc ’82 Sociology), professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences, and Mona Fortier, (BSocSc ’95 Sociology, MBA ’98), who were nominated for the Laurier for citizen of the year.
- Pierre Foucher, professor at the Faculty of Law, who was nominated for the Bernard Grandmaître Prize.