Paul Gérin-Lajoie, CC, GOQ, lawyer and politician (born 23 February 1920 in Montréal, QC), is one of the great figures of Québec’s Quiet Revolution. He served as minister of Youth (1960–64) and Education (1964–66) in the Québec Liberal government of Jean Lesage. Gérin-Lajoie was responsible for reforming Québec’s education system and formulating Québec’s first international-relations policy, two milestone achievements of this period that helped to define modern Québec. He has also played a leading role in the field of international development, as president first of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and then of the Paul Gérin-Lajoie Foundation.
Marie Arzélie Éva Circé-Côté, journalist, writer and librarian (born 31 January 1871 in Montréal, QC; died 4 May 1949 in Montréal, QC). A poet and playwright, Éva Circé-Côté was the city of Montréal’s first librarian as well as the curator of the prestigious Philéas Gagnon collection. Throughout her career as a journalist, she wrote over 1,800 pieces for about a dozen newspapers under several pseudonyms. A progressive, secular free thinker, she fought for compulsory education and the status of women.
Stanley Vollant, CQ, Innu surgeon, professor and lecturer (born 2 April 1965 in Québec City, Québec). The first Aboriginal surgeon trained in Québec, he received a National Aboriginal Role Model Award from the Governor General of Canada in 1996. In 2010, he began Innu Meshkenu (“my Innu path”), a 6,000 km walk whose goals are to bring peoples together, to promote the discovery of the land and the teachings of First Nations and to encourage Aboriginal young people to pursue their dreams.
Nigel S. Wright, lawyer, businessman, chief of staff to Prime Minister Stephen Harper 2010–14 (born 18 May 1963, in Hamilton, ON). In 2010, Nigel Wright took a leave of absence from his role as managing director at Onex, a private equity firm, to become chief of staff to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). He was a key figure in the Harper government, and a prominent witness at the fraud and bribery trial of Senator Mike Duffy. After resigning as chief of staff in 2014, he returned to Onex.
George Elliott Clarke, poet, anthologist (b at Windsor Plains, NS 12 Feb 1960). George Elliott Clarke was born near Windsor Plains, a black Loyalist community, and grew up in Halifax. He earned a BA at the University of Waterloo, an MA at Dalhousie, and a PhD at Queen's University.
Bernard Ostry, public servant (b at Wadena, Sask 10 Jun 1927). After studying history at U of Man, Ostry launched an academic career at the universities of London and Birmingham in England. There, in collaboration with H.S. Ferns, he published The Age of Mackenzie King: The Rise of the Leader (1955; 2nd ed, 1976), a critical and controversial study of the former prime minister.
Daniel J. Caron, Librarian and Archivist of Canada (b at Sainte-Foy, Qué, 1957). Daniel Caron was instrumental in the amalgamation of the National Archives and National Library in 2004 and succeeded Ian WILSON as Librarian and Archivist of Canada in 2009. Caron pursued post-secondary studies in Qubec, earning a bachelor's and a master's degree in economics from the Université Laval, and later, a doctorate in Applied Human Sciences from the Université de Montréal.
Throughout the controversies that arose over the funding and regulation of the new medium of television, Dunton was a persuasive defender of the corporation's independence and a strong advocate of the need to fund publicly a television system that would be of great national benefit.
George Ramsay Cook, historian (born 28 November 1931 in Alameda, Saskatchewan; died 14 July 2016 in Toronto, Ontario). Educated at the UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA (BA), QUEEN'S UNIVERSITY (MA) and the UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO (U of T) (PhD), Ramsay Cook taught history first at U of T and later at YORK UNIVERSITY until his retirement in 1996.