Queen’s celebrates its own, Dr. Joseph Pater, Dr. Richard Reznick, and Dr. Will Kymlicka, for their appointments to the Order of Canada.
The Order of Canada recognizes individuals of great thought and leadership who have demonstrated outstanding commitment and contribution to the nation.
Dr. Will Kymlicka: Canada’s Human and Animal Rights Champion
Dr. Will Kymlicka earned nation-wide appreciation for his work in political philosophy. His appointment to the Order of Canada acknowledged his research on the rights of Canada’s multicultural population, and animal welfare.
Kymlicka is a Canada Research Chair in political philosophy, and has been a professor at the Queen’s Department of Philosophy for 25 years.
A significant part of Kymlicka’s work argues against current liberal political philosophy thought and how it applies to human rights and anti-discrimination.
Kymlicka’s research advocates for liberal theorists to study both individual and collective rights, given the importance of multiculturalism and Indigenous rights in Canada.
“I was struck when I went to graduate school in Oxford, by the assumption that if you’re liberal, you had to oppose collective rights, or the other way around that if like most Canadians, you believe in collective rights you couldn’t be a liberal,” Dr. Kymlicka said.
Kymlicka spent the last 15 years theorizing on animal rights. In collaboration with his wife, Sue Donaldson, he wrote the book Zoopolis: A Political Theory of Animal Rights.
“I think [the way we treat animals] one of the great moral catastrophes of our era, and one I think we can avoid,” Kymlicka said.
He reflected on the many hurdles Queen’s humanities departments have endured over the past two decades. The topics humanities departments cover has evolved from a stringent Canadian focus.
“Queen’s was one, if not the, leader in the country in traditional fields,” Kymlicka said. “Now, it’s more diverse and international. Professors are not just interested in courts, legislatures, and parties but in a wider variety of groups, society actors, and array of sites.”
Dr. Joseph Pater: Cancer Care Expert
Dr. Joseph Pater was commended by the Order of Canada for over 40 years of cancer research and clinical trial work. He is accredited for expanding the Canadian Cancer Trials Group (CCTG) from a small group to a nation-wide organization.
“I was always interested in doing research, but my interest was really in doing patient-oriented rather than laboratory research,” Pater said in an interview with The Journal.
As the director of CCTG for 27 years, Pater helped run studies testing the efficacy of breast and lung cancer treatments. His work led to a new movement of examining quality of life during clinical trials..
While the Director of CCTG, Pater was appointed as Queen’s Department Head of Community Health and Epidemiology—now known as public health sciences. Pater is currently a professor emeritus.
“That was a very rewarding and stimulating time in my life because it extended my involvement in the University and interest in things beyond the faculty of medicine and the work of the clinical trials group into the larger university,” Pater said.
Moving forward, Pater remains a senior investigator with CCTG and is helping to explore new, more affordable treatments. Pater reflected on his career with gratitude.
“I think students should try to look at the University as a whole. Don’t just solely focus on what you came to do but find out what’s going on at the broader university.”
Dr. Richard Reznick: Training Tomorrow’s Doctors
The Order of Canada recognized Dr. Richard Reznick for his leadership in the field of medical education. Reznick was instrumental in the integration of competency-based medical education (CBME) into university residence programs.
CBME reformed medical residencies by emphasizing skill demonstration over time spent in residence training.
“The goal was to make sure all our educational programs were fully accredited and highly functional. [Introducing] it program by program led to Queen’s being a leader in this area of competency-based education,” Reznick said in an interview with The Journal.
Reznick began his career as a colorectal surgeon, then pursued an academic career specializing in educational research—an uncommon career path at the time.
“In some ways, the Order of Canada [appointment] 35 years later is an affirmation that it is a bona fide choice. Now there are thousands across Canada who have followed that pathway,” Reznick said.
As past President of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, Reznick credited his success to his support system, particularly his wife.
“The health professions are very demanding […] but we’re well compensated and you can go home every night and think that you’ve helped people through terrible struggles—that’s a terrific feeling.”
Six other members of the broader Queen’s community were appointed to the Order of Canada.
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