Manitoba, eh?!

By what means could the Order of Canada [l'Ordre du Canada]
be better promoted?

What is the Order of Canada?

[February, 2010] In e-mail format, this proposal was forwarded to a number of Canadians to ascertain their interest in supporting this proposal. I also welcome the input (positive, negative, otherwise) of visitors to this website. Contact Paul Armstrong of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada at .-- Thank you. Merci.

Hello. Bonjour.-- For background information, in 2009 I initiated the proposal that resulted in Winnipeg's Water Avenue (original proposal Portage Ave. E.) being renamed William Stephenson Way.. -- My website, '', is devoted to promoting my home province of Manitoba [hope that you'll take a look]. -- I am involved in the updating of the Manitoba Historical Society's on-line database regarding recipients of the Order of Canada.


In my experience, a substantial number of our citizens (myself included, not long ago) have limited knowledge of and/or minimal appreciation for the significance of the 'Order of Canada' [l'Ordre du Canada]. It is my opinion that this situation needs to be rectified.

Occasionally, I ask individuals to offer their interpretation of the pre-nominal and post-nominal in the title 'Sir William Stephenson, C.C.' (more on this title, later). Frequently, they state that he has been knighted, but that they have 'no clue' as to what C.C. represents. Similarly, a Winnipeg Free Press article dated Nov. 16, 2009 cited Stephenson's knighthood and his U.S. Presidential Medal for Merit, but failed to make reference to his Order of Canada.

Canadians, and especially our youth, should be aware of the esteemed nature of this award. -- But how is this to be accomplished? Suggestions that I submit for consideration are :

(1) changing the title of Victoria Day to "Order of Canada" Day  [La Fête de l'Ordre du Canada]. This holiday would continue to be celebrated on the same day.

(2) convincing the Office of the Governor General to conduct the Order of Canada induction ceremony on (or near) the proposed "Order of Canada" Day.

(3) promoting the Order of Canada award with displays on billboards, TV, newspapers, magazines, etc., especially prior to the proposed "Order of Canada" Day.

(4) sending brochures to Canadian households outlining the significance of this illustrious award.

(5) introducing a program in our schools whereby recipients of the Order of Canada would be invited to act as guest speakers, detailing the reasons that they were chosen for their honour. The speakers would be encouraged to wear their medals, and every opportunity should be given for the students to view the medals at close range. Possibly, a replica of the medal could be issued to students.

(6) implementing a 'Junior Order of Canada' award that would be bestowed upon Canadian youth who have made a significant contribution in the fields of good citizenship, volunteerism, etc. Perhaps, they would be permitted to attach a post-nominal similar to 'J.C.' to their names.

(7) encouraging recipients of the Order of Canada (and the proposed Junior Order of Canada) to frequently place this post-nominal in their names. Recipients should also be encouraged to wear their medals whenever suitable.

(8) ensuring the inclusion of Order of Canada post-nominals in the labeling of plaques, monuments, buildings, etc. that bear the name of Order of Canada recipients. [ Street naming/renaming would be an exception as there exists a regulation as to the maximum number of characters that may appear on street signage, and therefore some recipients would not qualify. Furthermore, street signage would become cumbersome in maps, etc. ]

(9) convincing the media to include the Order of Canada post-nominals when referring to recipients in their articles.

(10) encouraging the use of the title 'Sir William Stephenson, C.C.' (known as 'The Man Called Intrepid'). [ Refer below to 'Proposed Use of the title Sir William Stephenson, C.C.' ]

I welcome input (positive, negative, otherwise), advice, or assistance on my plan to initiate action on this issue.

Contact me at  or  at the address below.


I an also seeking endorsements for any portions of this proposal that readers deem worthy of supporting.

Please send to :

Paul Armstrong

1192 River Road, Suite 508

St. Andrews, MB

R1A 1Z6

Thank you. Merci.

Proposed use of of the title 'Sir William Stephenson, C.C.'

(1) (a) Stephenson's knighthood (Britain's highest non-military honour) was presented to him by the monarch, King George VI.
    (b) Stephenson's Companion of the Order of Canada (Canada's highest non-military honour) was presented to him by the monarch's representative, Governor General Ed Schreyer.

My interpretation of these two events places the two honours on a similar level, and thus it is my contention that when one of these terms (Sir or C.C.) is affixed to his title, then the other should be attached.


(2) Annabelle Cloutier (Honour Media Relations Officer, Public Affairs, Office of the Secretary to the Governor General) referred me to a link on the website of the Governor General, . Its content deals with the Canadian Honour System's Order of Precedence. She stated that item 5 on this link applies in Stephenson's case.

Viewing that section, one notes that information regarding the order of precedence concerning pre-nominals and post-nominals is lacking. However, what might be derived from this website is that in most cases, Canadian honours take precedence over at least the majority of British honours.

Here is evidence that supports the inclusion of both C.C. and Sir in his title.


(3) Recent events (display of his medals, etc. at the Billy Bishop Building in Winnipeg, street renaming to William Stephenson Way, newspaper articles, etc.) have presented an unique opportunity to enhance public knowledge of this hero. In my opinion, the most important group to be targeted are young Canadians.

My concern is that this group, when introduced to the title 'Sir William Stephenson', may conclude that he has received no other honour similar to his knighthood, since 'Sir' is the only honour noted in this title. When they are made aware of his C.C. (and its significance to Canadians), they may question why the citizens of his homeland would be reluctant in giving him that recognition in his title. [ That is precisely what my thoughts were when first becoming cognizant of his C.C. ]

Since educational materials are best presented to young people in small doses, my opinion is that the first 'dose' should place the emphasis on his two major honours, 'C.C'. and 'Sir'. This is facilitated best by including both terms in his title. Over time, his other awards, honours, etc. could be brought to their attention through displays, school projects, guest speakers, family investigations, etc.


(4) [ Clarification -- Primarily, this section applies to Stephenson. I am not advocating that individuals place only their Order of Canada post-nominal in their names/titles. ]

Stephenson's full title, to my knowledge, is
       Sir William Stephenson, C.C., MC, DFC, LL.D., D.Sc., D.Sc.(Mil).
Two highly decorated First World War Canadian flying aces possess the titles:
       William Barker, VC, DSO & Bar, MC & Two Bars,    and
       William Bishop, VC, CB, DSO & Bar, MC, DFC, ED.

The question becomes whether or not all post-nominals should be included in their titles at all times. An examination of websites, books, etc. relating to Barker and Bishop reveals that they are frequently referred to as 'William Barker, VC' and 'Billy Bishop, VC'. [ Refer below to 'Barker and Bishop'. ]

One can only speculate as to the reasons that only one post-nominal [VC] is often used with either title, but possibly it was thought that employing all of their post-nominals would tend to make their titles unwieldy for use in naming buildings, displays, plaques, books, in newspaper articles, websites, etc. Another possibility is that if all of their post-nominals are listed, the magnitude of the most illustrious of them [VC] would be lessened.

For the sake of brevity and for the reasons listed herein, my suggestion is that, in many situations, the only post-nominal in Stephenson's title be C.C. One could argue that it is his most distinguished post-nominal, especially in Canada.

Although my focus has been on Stephenson for the inclusion of his Order of Canada in his title, my hope is that the same consideration will be afforded other Canadians in similar situations.

Barker and Bishop


William Barker

(1) In the atrium of the Billy Bishop Building at Canadian Forces Base, Winnipeg is a display dedicated to William Barker. The display has the title "Wing Commander William George Barker, VC."

(2) From :

Recorded on this website is "The Executive and Members of 410 RCAF (William Barker, VC) Wing are very proud of the fact that theirs is one of the first of thirty three Wings to receive its Charter during the initial start-up year of the Royal Canadian Air Force Association."

(3) A book by Wayne Ralph -- "Barker VC: William Barker, Canada's Most Decorated War Hero"

(4) From :

The title of this link is "Lt. Col. William (Billie) George Barker VC".

(5) From :

His statue in Dauphin, MB states on its plaque "Lt. Col. William George Barker, VC -- Canada's Most Decorated Soldier".


Billy Bishop

(1) In the atrium of the Billy Bishop Building at Canadian Forces Base, Winnipeg is a display dedicated to this flying ace. The display has the title 'Air Marshall William Avery "Billy" Bishop, VC.'

(2) From :

Recorded on this website is "The Billy Bishop Home and Museum in Owen Sound Ontario Canada is the birthplace of William Avery "Billy" Bishop, V.C., this country's most famous WWI flying ace."

(3) From :

The title of this website is "Billy Bishop, VC".

Contact Paul Armstrong of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada at