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Family and friends of UNB named to the Order of Canada

Author: Communications

Posted on Jan 25, 2013

Category: UNB Fredericton , UNB Saint John , myUNB

Four members of the UNB family were recently appointed to the Order of Canada and will accept their insignias in the coming months at a ceremony held in Ottawa.  UNB alumni Dana Hanson and Phil Fontaine were recognized as well as friends of UNB, Dennis Covill and Jacqueline Oland.

They are four of 91 new appointments to the Order of Canada - including two companions (C.C.), 33 officers (O.C.) and 56 members (C.M.).

Dana Hanson (D.Sc., 2010) is a long-time, Fredericton-based dermatologist who has contributed greatly to his community through his work and volunteerism; he's also represented Canada internationally.

Dr. Hanson's stellar reputation on a national level is clear; his roles as chair of the board of directors of the New Brunswick Medical Society and, later, president of the society is paired with his long affiliation with the Canadian Medical Association where he has served as a delegate, deputy speaker, speaker of the general council and as a member of the CMA’s Political Action Committee before he was elected president in 2002. During his tenure he fought hard over issues of physician shortages, accessibility to quality health care and public heath promotion.

It is Dr. Hanson's tireless and impassioned work on behalf of his profession that led to his election to the presidency of the World Medical Association for 2010 and 2011. During his time at the head of the international organization, he helped raise awareness about the growing impact of climate change, brought awareness to the expanding prevalence of drug-resistant infections, and spoke out against health human rights violations across the globe.

Dr. Hanson graduated from UNB in 1970 with a Bachelor of Science degree and received an Honorary Doctor of Science degree in 2010. He is also involved in many community events and fundraisers, including the annual ultrasounds concert, where doctors in the region spend an evening performing songs and skits in support of local health charities.

Phil Fontaine (LLD, 2010) was granted an Honorary Doctor of Law degree from UNB in 2010 for his work in improving our country socially and politically.

Born in Manitoba as a member of the Sagkeeng First Nation, Dr. Fontaine was a youth activist with the Canadian Indian Youth Council and a member of the Company of Young Canadians. He was elected Chief of the Sagkeeng First Nation at the age of just 28. There followed a succession of increasingly responsible positions, including nine years as National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations.

His career is distinguished not just by positions held, but also by results achieved. His experiences as a student of the residential school system for 10 years were undoubtedly a defining factor in many of his subsequent actions. For example, one of his first acts as chief of his own community was to establish the first Indian-controlled education system in Canada. He also created a locally operated child and family services agency and the first on-reserve alcohol and addictions treatment centre in the country.

Recognizing that self-determination and treaty land rights were essential to improving the lives of native peoples, as Grand Chief in Manitoba he negotiated the first comprehensive self-government plan as well as employment equity agreements leading to thousands of job opportunities for First Nations citizens. As National Chief, one of his key accomplishments was the successful resolution of claims arising from the 150-year-old residential school tragedy, which provided over $5 billion in individual compensation. The agreement also created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission which held its first public session in Winnipeg earlier this year, and furthermore led to the historic apology from the Government of Canada. More recently Mr. Fontaine met with Pope Benedict to receive a further apology from the Roman Catholic Church.

Jacqueline Oland, a long-time friend of UNB, has been a committed community volunteer, and a strong contributor to arts and culture since she came to Saint John from the U.K. in the early 60's.

As a member of one of New Brunswick’s more prominent families, Jacqueline has taken her role very seriously. Her consistent and dedicated volunteer efforts within the larger community are many, including frequent donations from Moosehead Breweries in support of various fundraising projects, which she often jokingly states is her main role in the family company.

A lifelong lover of music and theatre, Jacqueline has placed her inimitable stamp on the cultural life of New Brunswick as well.  She is a talented actress and an accomplished musician herself as well as one who seeks to cultivate and enable such talents in others.  A particular project of Jacqueline's has been the Imperial Theatre in Saint John.  She has served as president of the Imperial Theatre Board and as campaign chair of the family division for the recent "Keep it Live" multi-million-dollar capital campaign, in which Moosehead Breweries took an active part.

Jacqueline Oland has enriched the lives of many New Brunswickers and has added strength and vision to one of Canada's oldest business families.

Dennis Covill is known to see things differently than most. Whether it's looking at a small town in Nova Scotia and seeing a future headquarters for his successful company, Nautel, or seeing opportunity when his competitors only envision failure, Dennis has been rewarded for his efforts and has given back to so many because of it.

In the beginning Nautel focused on custom research and development in marine and aeronautical equipment. The lone dissenting voice was that of Nautel run out of Hackett’s Cove, NS - a town which boasted less than less than 2,000 residents. A year later the Canadian government purchased the technology and installed it at airports throughout the country. Now, more than 160 countries have installed these solid-state radio beacons and Nautel engineers have expanded and used the technology in other fields such as AM and FM radio broadcasting.

While there was pressure to move his company to a larger centre, Covill resisted. He liked Hackett’s Cove and its people, many of whom worked for the company. In Atlantic Canada, Covill found the people he needed to help him compete on a global scale. He’s continued to foster this development of talent through a scholarship at UNB in honour of his late son, Ron, and a bursary at Acadia University.

Dennis is a true pioneer, but he's also a living, breathing piece of history. Before he immigrated to Canada, he was part of a team of engineers and scientists working on Colossus, a super computer designed to break Hitler’s coded messages to high-ranking Nazi party members. The project was a success, as Winston Churchill knew of Hitler’s plans before he did.

Dennis has shown unparalleled dedication and loyalty to his family, employees and people of Atlantic Canada throughout the years. He’s made a tremendous difference in the lives of so many through his business and philanthropy.