Donald McRae and Caroline Andrew receive one of Canada’s highest civilian honours
Photos: Courtesy of Donald McRae and Caroline Andrew
University of Ottawa professors Donald McRae and Caroline Andrew joined the ranks of the more than 6,000 people who have been inducted to the Order of Canada, when the Governor General of Canada, David Johnston, announced 95 new appointees at the end of 2014.
First established in 1967, the prestigious Canadian award recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community, and service to the nation.
Andrew was appointed to the Order of Canada, while McRae was deemed a Companion to the Order of Canada, the highest level of the Order, which recognizes international service or achievement.
A full professor at the Faculty of Law, McRae teaches contracts, international law, international trade law, and the law of the sea. His list of professional achievements includes consulting for the United Nations Secretary and providing legal counsel for the Government of Canada and the World Trade Organization.
During the negotiation of the Law of the Sea Treaty in the 1970s, while teaching at the University of British Columbia, McRae got involved in a multi-disciplinary major research project. “It was an intellectually fascinating time, an opportunity to work with people other than lawyers,” he said.
The experience helped focus McRae’s interest in the law of the sea. Later, he moved into international trade law around the time of the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement.
McRae shows no signs of slowing. “I’m still doing work in the trade and investment area, I’ll still continue to do work on law of the sea, both writing about it and advising governments,” he said. “I don’t see any change.”
Andrew said she was shocked by the honour. “My research is very local, it’s around Ottawa and Gatineau, and so I never thought of it so much in a broader Canadian context, so I was totally surprised,” she said.
She has spent more than 30 years at the University of Ottawa, serving as the dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences from 1997 to 2005, and serves as a full professor and the director of the Centre on Governance.
However, Andrew never expected to become a researcher in political science and urban studies. “I thought I was going to do a degree in history,” she said, but one of her professors told her she would be more suited to political science.
“Instead of saying, ‘What are you talking about, I’ll do what I want to do,’ I said, ‘Oh, OK, I’ll do political science,’” she said.
Over the years, Andrew’s research has focused on the question of how to create a more inclusive Canada, analyzing a variety of different factors including class variables, gender, and race.
“I think it’s really important for people to be able to come to an agreement to be allies around a project,” she said.
Andrew’s expertise on the role of women in society led her to be named the chair of the U of O’s task force on respect and equality last winter, charged with the task of submitting recommendations to the administration on how to combat sexualized violence on campus.
“The University of Ottawa is delighted that two of its remarkable faculty members, Caroline Andrew and Donald McRae, have been named to the Order of Canada, an award which recognizes a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to community and service to the nation,” the university said in a statement.
“We are proud that these distinguished individuals are a part of the University of Ottawa community and we extend our sincerest congratulations to both of them for this well-deserved honour.”
—With files from Nadia Drissi El-Bouzaidi