• The Right Honourable David Johnston and Mrs. Sharon Johnston receive the Key to the City

    Ottawa – This evening, Mayor Jim Watson presented the Key to the City to The Right Honourable David Johnston and Mrs. Sharon Johnston, at a ceremony at City Hall.

    The Right Honourable David Johnston was recognized for an unwavering commitment to education, learning and innovation, youth, philanthropy and volunteerism, with the distinct honour of serving as Governor General of Canada from 2010 to 2017.

    Mrs. Sharon Johnston was recognized for an illustrious career in rehabilitation science with a steadfast commitment to mental health and wellness advocacy, and her dedication to supporting Indigenous youth and families.

    During their time in Ottawa, the Johnstons encouraged all Canadians to join in the building of a smarter, more caring nation.

    Quotes

    “It is an honour to present the City’s highest award to the Right Honourable David Johnston and Mrs. Sharon Johnston. Both have dedicated their lives to helping others and have encouraged their fellow Canadians to do the same. Their contributions through volunteering, advocacy, philanthropy and leadership have had a profound impact on Ottawa and we are a better city for it.”
    Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson

    Key Facts

    The Key to the City

    • The Key to the City is Ottawa’s most prestigious award.
    • An ornamental key is presented to esteemed residents, visitors and others whom the City of Ottawa wishes to honour. This practice has a symbolic meaning evoking medieval walled cities, the gates of which would be guarded during the day and locked at night. The key symbolizes the freedom of the recipient to enter and leave the city at will as a trusted friend of city residents.
    • Some former recipients include:
      • Her Royal Highness The Princess Elizabeth (now, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II)
      • Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands
      • Author Margaret Atwood
      • Photographers Yousuf and Malak Karsh
      • The Community Foundation of Ottawa
      • Actress Sandra Oh
      • Ottawa Senators former Captain Daniel Alfredsson
      • The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, P.C., Chief Justice of Canada
      • Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek
      • TV and radio news journalist, Michel Picard

    Bios

    The Right Honourable David Johnston

    David Johnston was born in Copper Cliff, near Sudbury, Ontario on June 28, 1941, the son of Dorothy Stonehouse and Lloyd Johnston, the retail manager of a local hardware store.

    Mr. Johnston attended Harvard University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1963, twice being selected to the All American hockey team on his way to being named to Harvard’s athletic hall of fame. He later obtained Bachelor of Laws degrees from the University of Cambridge and Queen’s University.

    Mr. Johnston’s professional career began in 1966 as assistant professor in the Queen’s University law faculty. He moved on to the University of Toronto’s law faculty in 1968, and became dean of Western University’s law faculty in 1974. He was named principal and vice chancellor of McGill University in 1979, serving for fifteen years before returning to teaching as a fulltime professor in the McGill Faculty of Law.

    In June 1999, he became the fifth president and vice chancellor of the University of Waterloo, serving until 2010. He is married to Sharon Johnston, with whom he has five daughters. They are grandparents to 14 grandchildren.

    When David Johnston became governor general, he called upon all Canadians to join in the building of a smarter, more caring nation. His seven year viceregal mandate—the third longest in Canadian history— was characterized by inclusiveness, dedication, energy and ambition in quest of a smarter, more caring Canada and a better world.

    David Johnston was the 28th governor general of Canada, from October 1, 2010, to October 2, 2017.

    Mrs. Sharon Johnston

    Sharon Johnston began her working career in Kingston, Ontario, as a psychiatric occupational therapist with young adults at Kingston General Hospital, and then as a therapist at Beechgrove, a treatment centre for young children with learning and behavioural problems. When the Johnston family moved to Toronto, she worked at the Crippled Children’s Centre in Occupational Therapy.

    In 1966, Mrs. Johnston completed her studies in physical and occupational therapy at the University of Toronto. Later, she completed a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Western Ontario, a Master of Science degree at McGill University, and obtained her Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Science at McGill University. She also wrote an autobiographical essay for inclusion in a collection on notable women of Montréal.

    Mrs. Johnston is an avid horse-riding enthusiast. She ran a horse-training centre for 12 years out of Chatterbox Farm, in Ontario, which she shared with her husband. She published her first novel Matrons and Madams, a fictional account of life in southwestern Alberta during a colourful, post-Great War era, based on her grandmother’s experiences. In June 2016, Mrs. Johnston was appointment Honorary Captain (Navy) for Military Personnel Command of the Canadian Armed Forces.

    Mrs. Johnston was born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. She and Mr. Johnston have five adult daughters and 14 grandchildren.

  • Senator Murray Sinclair receives the Key to the City

    Ottawa – This evening, Mayor Jim Watson presented the Key to the City to the Honourable Murray Sinclair, Senator, at a ceremony at City Hall. The key was presented to Senator Sinclair in recognition of his illustrious and distinguished career as a Jurist, Scholar, Chief Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, and Senator.

    Senator Sinclair, appointed to the Senate in 2016, was Manitoba’s first Aboriginal Judge and Canada’s second. He is known for his representation of Aboriginal people and his knowledge of Aboriginal legal issues. Senator Sinclair led the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada which studied the abuse of aboriginal children and youth at Indian Residential Schools. Its mandate is to inform all Canadians about what happened in Indian Residential Schools.

    Quotes

    “It is an honour to present the City’s highest award to Senator Murray Sinclair. His many contributions as a lawyer, judge and senator have had a positive and lasting impact on all Canadians. His work as Chief Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada was invaluable in giving a voice to aboriginal youth and children who have suffered in Residential Schools, and in helping our nation take steps towards reconciliation with First Nations.”
    – Mayor Jim Watson, City of Ottawa

    Key Facts

    The Key to the City

    • The Key to the City is Ottawa’s most prestigious award.
    • An ornamental key is presented to esteemed residents, visitors and others whom the City of Ottawa wishes to honour. This practice has a symbolic meaning evoking medieval walled cities, the gates of which would be guarded during the day and locked at night. The key symbolizes the freedom of the recipient to enter and leave the city at will as a trusted friend of city residents.
    • Some former recipients include:
    • Her Royal Highness The Princess Elizabeth (now, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II)
    • Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands
    • Author Margaret Atwood
    • Photographers Yousuf and Malak Karsh
    • The Community Foundation of Ottawa
    • Actress Sandra Oh
    • Ottawa Senators former Captain Daniel Alfredsson
    • The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, P.C., Chief Justice of Canada
    • Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek
    • TV and radio news journalist, Michel Picard

    The Honourable Murray Sinclair

    • The Honourable Murray Sinclair, Senator, served the justice system of Manitoba for over 25 years and was appointed Associate Chief Judge of the Provincial Court of Manitoba in March of 1988 and to the Court of Queen’s Bench of Manitoba in January 2001.
    • He was Manitoba’s first Aboriginal Judge and Canada’s second.
    • Murray Sinclair served as Co-Chair of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry in Manitoba and as Chief Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC).
    • He participated in hundreds of hearings across Canada, culminating in the issuance of the TRC’s report in 2015.
    • He also oversaw an active multi-million-dollar fundraising program to support various TRC events and activities, and to allow survivors to travel to attend TRC events.
    • Senator Sinclair has been invited to speak throughout Canada, the United States and internationally, including the Cambridge Lectures.
    • He has been recognized with numerous awards including the National Aboriginal Achievement Award, the Manitoba Bar Association’s Equality Award (2001) and its Distinguished Service Award (2016) and has received Honorary Doctorates from 10 Canadian universities.
    • The Honourable Murray Sinclair was appointed to the Senate of Canada on April 2, 2016.

    For more information on City programs and services, visit ottawa.ca or call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401). You can also connect with us through FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

  • Michel Picard receives the Key to the City of Ottawa

    Ottawa  – This evening, Mayor Jim Watson presented the Key to the City to Mr. Michel Picard at a ceremony at City Hall.

    Mr. Picard has served the Ottawa-Gatineau community throughout 41 years of his distinguished 45-year career in communications, television and radio broadcasting, as a celebrated voice of the Francophone news scene and a committed supporter of many local charities and organizations.

    In 1976, Mr. Picard joined Radio-Canada’s Ottawa bureau and hosted a wide variety of programs, which included “Place 1250,” “les Matineux,” “Tournée d’Amerique,” and “le Midi trente.” In 1997, he took over the anchor desk for the popular local newscast, “Le Téléjournal Ottawa-Gatineau,” where he remained until 2013.

    In addition to his anchoring role, he took part in covering many federal, provincial and municipal elections, as well as many Canada Day and Remembrance Day ceremonies. He also lent his broadcasting talents to Radio-Canada’s coverage of the Montreal, Los Angeles, and Seoul Olympic Games. Mr. Picard has also taught communications and journalism at Saint Paul University and La Cité in Ottawa. Mr. Picard continues his radio broadcasting career as a host with 94.5 Unique FM.

    Mr. Picard is a devoted volunteer who has helped to support many community initiatives and charities – including the Caisse populaire Rideau-Vision d’Ottawa , Fédération des caisses populaires de l’Ontario, the Franco-ontarien Festival, Winterlude, Bruyère Continuing Care, the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), telethons in support of people with cerebral palsy, the Ottawa Heart Institute, the United Way, the University of Ottawa, the Patro d’Ottawa, and the Mouvement d’implication francophone d’Orléans (MIFO).

    Quotes

    “Michel Picard has been the voice of a generation in Ottawa’s Francophone news. Over the past 41 years, he has garnered the admiration and respect of Ottawa residents, not only for his work as a trusted broadcaster, but for his dedication to supporting local charities. The City is proud to honour him as an esteemed member of our community.”
    Mayor Jim Watson, City of Ottawa

    “I am deeply moved to receive this Key to the City. I am very honoured and thankful that Mayor Jim Watson and the City Council have chosen me. All I have done is my job as an engaged citizen. I shall always be a proud ambassador of our national capital.”
    Mr. Michel Picard

    Quick Facts:

    Michel Picard

    • Mr. Michel Picard grew up in Montreal, where he graduated from the Université du Québec à Montréal in dramatic arts and broadcasting.
    • Mr. Picard began his broadcasting career in 1972, with various reporting assignments with Radio-Canada in both Vancouver and Saskatoon.  In 1976, he was assigned to the Radio-Canada’s Ottawa bureau, where he would remain until his retirement in 2013. Mr. Picard continues his radio broadcasting career as a host with 94.5 Unique FM.
    • Mr. Picard has shared his knowledge and experience with up-and-coming journalists as a part-time professor at St. Paul’s University, La Cité collégiale and the Desjardins Cooperative Institute.
    • Mr. Picard co-chaired the 2001-2002 Cité collégiale fundraising campaign.
    • Mr. Picard served as board member of a local credit union, the Caisse populaire Rideau-Vision d’Ottawa for more than 25 years, and currently serves on the Board of Governors of the University of Ottawa. He also led the Ottawa chapter of the Fédération des caisses populaires de l’Ontario for 10 years.
    • Mr. Picard has been the recipient of many community awards, such as the Ottawa United Way Community Builder Award, a recognition award from Regroupement des gens d’affaires de la capital (RGA), and the Prescott and Russell ACFO Ordre de la Francophonie.
    • Mr. Picard has also received the Prix Communications et Société, Prix René-Lecavalier-Molson, the Reel Awards prize, the Médaille Gérard-Lesage from the Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO), and the National Order of Merit from the French Republic. 

    The Key to the City

    • The Key to the City is Ottawa’s most prestigious award.
    • An ornamental key is presented to esteemed residents, visitors and others whom the City of Ottawa wishes to honour. This practice has a symbolic meaning evoking medieval walled cities, the gates of which would be guarded during the day and locked at night. The key symbolizes the freedom of the recipient to enter and leave the city at will as a trusted friend of city residents.
    • Since 1935, 82 individuals and organizations have received the Key to the City of Ottawa. Some former  recipients include:
    • Her Royal Highness The Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II)
    • Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands
    • Author Margaret Atwood
    • Photographers Yousuf and Malak Karsh
    • The Community Foundation of Ottawa
    • Actress Sandra Oh
    • Ottawa Senators former Captain Daniel Alfredsson
    • The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada
    • Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek