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Madeleine Meilleur, Senior Advisor at the IOG, who is leading the gender equality component of the IOG’s major, multi-year project – Fiscal Federalism, Decentralization and Resiliency-Building– for the Government of Iraq, has received the Order of Ottawa.
Established in 2012, the Order of Ottawa recognizes exceptional residents who have made significant professional contributions to city life in the areas of arts and culture, business, community service, education, public service, labour, communications and media, science, medicine, sports and entertainment, or other fields that benefit the residents of Ottawa.
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said that Madeleine and the other 2019 Order of Ottawa inductees “are a group of tremendously accomplished residents who have made a positive impact on our city through their professional achievements and philanthropic endeavours. Their leadership, creativity and hard work serve as an inspiration for us all.”
IOG President Toby Fyfe echoed the Mayor’s comments saying “Madeleine brings to the IOG the same dedication, passion and joie de vivre that she brings to everything. She has not only supported, but made friends with, the many Iraqi women with whom she has come in contact. They have benefitted from her intelligence, commitment and presence just as our friends and colleagues have here in Ottawa.”
At the IOG, Madeleine has been working with a group of dedicated Iraqi women to enhance their leadership, advocacy and decision-making abilities to operate in a federal state, and to equip them to occupy positions of power in the decision-making spheres.
Back at home, Madeleine has served the City of Ottawa and Ontario for more than 20 years as a nurse, lawyer, and in elected office. She is known as a champion of the Franco-Ontarian community. As a nurse, she worked with infants and new mothers at the Hôpital Monfort for more than a decade. While working, Madeleine earned a law degree and changed careers to specialize in labour and employment law. She went on to pursue a career as a politician and served both municipally and provincially for more than 25 years. Between 1991 and 2003, she served as a City of Vanier Councillor and a Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton Regional Councillor and worked with her fellow Councillors to create a bilingual policy for the City of Ottawa.
From 2003 to 2016, she served as Member of Provincial Parliament for Ottawa-Vanier where she held various ministry positions. In 2003, Madeleine became the Ontario Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs, a position she held for 13 years. In that capacity, she oversaw investments targeting education and health in francophone communities and played an integral part in creating the Commissioner for French Language Services position. As Attorney General of Ontario from 2014 to 2016, Madeleine focused attention on Indigenous Peoples, increasing French services in provincial courthouses and ensuring bilingualism is considered in the selection of candidates for judicial positions. She appointed the first female Franco-Ontarian Chief Justice of the Ontario Court of Justice.
Madeleine has fought for important projects for Ottawa including the revitalisation of Montreal Road, the Byward Market, light-rail transit, expansions of the Hôpital Montfort and Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, and La Nouvelle Scène Gilles Desjardins theatre. She has supported the Ottawa Carleton Children’s Aid Society, the Champlain District Health Council, Ottawa Carleton District Health Council and the Vanier Housing Corporation, among others.
Congratulations, Madeleine, from your IOG friends!
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