Peter Showler receives the Order of Canada

Peter Showler
Photo credit: Hill Times

PEN Canada congratulates Peter Showler on being named to the Order of Canada, an honour he richly deserves. Peter recently stepped off the PEN Canada board after a term of outstanding service as Chair of our Writers in Peril Committee.

The Governor General has recognized Peter’s leadership in immigrant and refugee law and his mentorship of the next generation of refugee lawyers. A distinguished expert, he is the former Chair of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, and the Director of the Refugee Forum at the University of Ottawa. He is the author of Refugee Sandwich: Stories of Exile and Asylum, a collection of short stories that probes the moral dilemmas faced by participants in the refugee determination process. But it is as our colleague at PEN Canada that we know him best.

Peter has chaired our Writers in Peril Committee for the last three years, a role that gave us ample opportunity to appreciate his skill, knowledge, dedication, humanity and unfailing good cheer. During that time he established PEN Canada as a trusted partner in the federal government’s Human Rights Defender stream and led our efforts to help an Iranian blogger and her partner achieve permanent residency in Canada. He also sought help for dozens of Afghan women journalists after the fall of Kabul. Peter was unstinting in his efforts to help writers in peril and his well-earned recognition by the Order of Canada is a source of great pride to all of us at PEN Canada.


Other Canadian authors and book-sellers appointed to the Order of Canada:

Poet and author lax̌lax̌tkʷ Christine Armstrong (O.C.) of Penticton, B.C. A leader in revitalizing the Silyx Okanagan Indigenous language.

Children’s author and bookseller Sheree Lynn Fitch (O.C) of River John, Nova Scotia.

Author Susan Swan (C.M.) of Toronto.

Author and journalist Charles William Gordon (C.M.) of Ottawa.

Former booksellers Holly Susan McNally (C.M.) and Paul McNally (C.M.) of Victoria, who founded and owned the McNally-Robinson Booksellers chain until 2012.

Academics and authors Beverly Janet Lemire (C.M.) and Sarah Alexandra Carter (C.M.), both of Edmonton.

Congratulations to all!