Order of Canada
The Order of Canada (français : Ordre du Canada) is a Canadian national order, admission into which is, within the system of orders, decorations, and medals of Canada, the second highest honour for merit. It comes second only to membership in the Order of Merit, which is within the personal gift of Canada's monarch.
To coincide with the centennial of Canadian Confederation, the three-tiered order was established in 1967 as a fellowship that recognizes the achievement of outstanding merit or distinguished service by Canadians who made a major difference to Canada through lifelong contributions in every field of endeavour, as well as the efforts made by non-Canadians who have made the world better by their actions. Membership is thus accorded to those who exemplify the order's Latin motto, desiderantes meliorem patriam, meaning "they desire a better country.", a phrase taken from Hebrews 11:16 of the Holy Bible The three tiers of the order are Companion, Officer, and Member.
The order is administered by the Governor General-in-Council on behalf of the Queen of Canada. The monarch, at present Elizabeth II, is Sovereign of the order and the serving governor general, currently David Lloyd Johnston, is its Chancellor and Principal Companion. Appointees into the order are selected by an advisory board and formally inducted by the governor general or the sovereign; as of February 2011, 5,837 people have been appointed to the Order of Canada, including scientists, musicians, politicians, artists, athletes, business people, television and film stars, benefactors, and others; however, some have later resigned or have the honour removed, while others have been controversial. Appointees receive badges and the right to armorial bearings.
- Companions of the Order of Canada (CC) ~ français : (CC)
Recipients have demonstrated the highest degree of merit to Canada and humanity, on either the national or international scene. Up to 15 Companions are appointed annually, with an imposed limit of 165 living Companions at any given time, not including those appointed as extraordinary Companions or in an honorary capacity.
- Officers of the Order of Canada (OC) ~ français : même (OC)
Recipients have demonstrated an outstanding level of talent and service to Canadians, and up to 64 may be appointed each year, not including those inducted as extraordinary Officers or in an honorary capacity, with no limit to how many may be living at one time.
- Members of the Order of Canada (CM) ~ français : même (CM)
Recipients have made an exceptional contribution to Canada or Canadians at a local or regional level, group, field or activity. As many as 136 Members may be appointed annually, not including extraordinary Members and those inducted on an honorary basis, and there is no limit on how many Members may be living at one time.