Honorary Degrees


2021 Honorary Degree Recipient

Tom Jackson (LL.D.)

Jackson is a beloved Canadian entertainer who is known as much for his lifelong philanthropy and community contributions as for his decades of music and acting.

With 17 albums to his name his talents as a folk-pop singer/songwriter and his rich bass-baritone have both been on ample display. Those albums have also earned him two Juno nominations as well as the 2007 Juno and Gemini Humanitarian Awards.

As an actor, he has been a familiar face on both the big screen and the small screen, with memorable parts in Hollywood films and marquee network television shows — many that provide an opportunity for Jackson to showcase his Indigenous heritage.

But it may be through his charity and philanthropic work where Jackson’s impact is most deeply felt. When a crisis hits, or when a need is felt, from droughts to flooding, from suicide to 9/11, Jackson steps up. Along with raising much-needed money and awareness, he unites people to create lasting change. Youth empowerment, homelessness and affordable housing, and food security are particular passions. Every year, he tours across the country at the head of The Huron Carole in support of Canadian food banks and social service agencies.

In total, Jackson’s work has raised more than $230 million in cash or in-kind contributions to food banks and disaster relief.

An Ambassador for the Red Cross, Jackson has received multiple humanitarian awards, is a member of Playback’s Radio & Television Hall of Fame, has received the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement, was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2000, and in November 2020 was promoted to Companion.

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2021 Honorary Degree Recipient

Brent Roussin (LL.D.)

By now, every person in Manitoba is deeply familiar with our Chief Provincial Public Health Officer. Since the initial detection of Covid-19, and throughout its spread around the world, Dr. Roussin has been Manitoba’s single most visible official leading our fight against the pandemic.

Dr. Roussin was freshly installed as Chief Public Health Officer when the pandemic began, and he stepped resolutely into an unexpected and long-lasting spotlight. In the early weeks, his daily briefings were must-watch moments for Manitobans, who relied on his straightforward assessments to guide them. As weeks turned to months, and now past a year, his steadfastness has remained a reassuring presence.

From Winnipeg, Dr. Roussin has both a medical degree and a law degree, and he continues to be a practicing physician. A specialist in public health and preventive medicine, he previously served as medical officer of health for the federal First Nations and Inuit Health Branch. He is also an assistant professor in the department of community health sciences at the University of Manitoba.

As Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Roussin has demonstrated an unflappable calm in conveying to all Manitobans both the serious nature of the pandemic, and the responsibilities we all have to keep our communities safe.

Faced with the unenviable task of balancing public health and social needs with political realities and economic demands, Dr. Roussin used a combination of courage and caution to walk a difficult line, giving his leadership an authority that Manitobans trust.

Earlier this month, Dr. Roussin was also named Manitoba’s 2021 Physician of the Year by Doctors Manitoba.

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