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Order of Canada

Order of Canada
Insignia of a Member of the Order of Canada
TitleOrder of Canada
CaptionInsignia of a Member of the Order of Canada
Awarded Bythe

Queen of Canada
TypeNational order
MottoDesiderantes meliorem patriam
EligibilityAll living Canadians, except federal and provincial politicians and judges while holding office.
ForThe highest degree of merit, an outstanding level of talent and service, or an exceptional contribution to Canada and humanity.
StatusCurrently constituted
Head TitleSovereign
HeadElizabeth II
ChancellorDavid Lloyd Johnston
GradesCompanion (CC)
Officer (OC)
Member (CM)
Former GradesMedal of Service
Medal of Courage
Date17 April 1967
First Induction1 July 1967
HigherMember of the Order of Merit
LowerCommander of the Order of Military Merit

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The Order of Canada ( ) is a Canadian national order, admission into which is, within the system of orders, decorations, and medals of Canada, the second highest honour for merit; it comes second only to membership in the Order of Merit, which is within the personal gift of Canada's monarch.

To coincide with the centennial of Canadian Confederation, the three-tiered order was established in 1967 as a fellowship that recognizes the achievement of outstanding merit or distinguished service by Canadians, through lifelong contributions in every field of endeavour, and who made a major difference to Canada, as well as the efforts made by non-Canadians who have made the world better by their actions. Membership is thus accorded to those who exemplify the order's Latin motto, taken from of the Bible, desiderantes meliorem patriam, meaning "they desire a better country." The three tiers of the order are Companion, Officer, and Member.

The order is administered by the Governor General-in-Council, on behalf of the Queen of Canada. The monarch, at present Elizabeth II, is Sovereign of the order and the serving governor general, currently David Lloyd Johnston, is its Chancellor and Principal Companion. Appointees into the order are selected by an advisory board and formally inducted by the governor general or the sovereign; as of February 2011, 5,837 people have been appointed to the Order of Canada, including musicians, politicians, artists, athletes, business people, television and film stars, benefactors, and others. Appointees receive badges and the right to armorial bearings. Since 1994, substantive members are the only regular citizens who are empowered to administer the Canadian Oath of Citizenship.

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