Kwantlen honours former B.C. premier Michael Harcourt with Honorary Doctor of Laws

Sun, Jun 13, 2010


Michael Harcourt
Dr. Michael Harcourt (left), recipient of Kwantlen Polytechnic University's 2010 Honorary
Doctor of Laws degree, pictured with Arvinder S. Bubber, Kwantlen chancellor (right).


For immediate release

June 14, 2010

Kwantlen honours former B.C. premier Michael Harcourt with Honorary Doctor of Laws

(METRO VANCOUVER) As former premier of British Columbia, mayor of Vancouver and city councillor, Michael Harcourt helped British Columbia earn its reputation as one of the most livable places in the world. In the last 14 years since retiring as premier, Harcourt has contributed his insight and support on numerous sustainable development projects in the community, including Kwantlen’s Institute of Sustainable Horticulture and Agriculture on the Edge.

In recognition of his commitment to sustainability and community service in Canada and around the world, Kwantlen Polytechnic University awarded Harcourt with an Honorary Doctor of Laws at the 2010 Convocation ceremony held at its Surrey campus.

“I feel delighted and honoured to receive the honorary degree from such a trailblazing and courageous university as Kwantlen,” said Harcourt.

After stepping down from politics, Mike Harcourt was appointed by the Prime Minister to serve as a member of the National Round Table on the Environment and Economy, where he served on the Executive Committee and Chaired the Urban Sustainability Program. He was a federally appointed B.C. Treaty Commissioner and was chair of the Prime Minister’s Advisory Committee for Cities and Communities. He co-chaired the National Advisory Committee on the UN-HABITAT World Urban Forum that was held in Vancouver in 2006.

Mike Harcourt is honorary co-chair at the University of British Columbia’s President’s Advisory Council on sustainability, as well as Associate Director at the Centre for Sustainability, Continuing Studies at U.B.C. In addition to acting as Chairman of Quality Urban Energy Systems for Tomorrow (QUEST), he chairs the Canadian Electricity Association’s Sustainable Electricity Program Advisory Panel and the Sustainable Cities’ International Panel of Advisors. Harcourt is a trusted advisor to Translink Transportation, various cities and communities, and is member of City of Vancouver’s Greenest City Action Team. He also was part of an advisory group that helped Whistler achieve it’s ‘Natural Step’ based on the sustainable cities strategy.

Mike Harcourt’s exemplary career as lawyer, community activist, and politician has been honoured with the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service and the Canadian Urban Institute’s Jane Jacobs Lifetime Achievement Award. He was awarded the U.B.C. Alumni Achievement Award of Distinction for contributions to British Columbia, Canada and the global community in November 2008.

In 1993, Al Gore applauded Premier Harcourt, for permanently preserving the jointly shared ecosystem of the Tatshenshini River and Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park in Northwest British Columbia. Harcourt is the author of A Measure of Defiance, and co-author of Plan B: One Man’s Journey from Tragedy to Triumph and City Making in Paradise.

Harcourt’s vision, tireless commitment to public service and courage in the face of great personal adversity have not only earned him great respect and admiration, but has also made him a great example for young British Columbians.
“My advice to Kwantlen graduates is be engaged in what you have a passion for, push yourself to envision how you can help change our world into a more sustainable place. Then have the courage, persistence and patience to be at that change for the long haul.”

As a leader in innovative and interdisciplinary education, Kwantlen Polytechnic University offers all learners, regardless of background and preparation, opportunities to achieve the highest standards of academic performance.

Through innovative research, Kwantlen’s Institute of Sustainable Horticulture is a partnership between the university, the industry and the community designed to meet the demand for more sustainability in horticulture. Kwantlen’s Diploma of Technology in Environmental Protection program offers environmental protection courses and two paid co-op work terms that give students practical knowledge and experience in environmental protection technology, impact assessment, waste minimization and management, air and water pollution monitoring and control, and contaminated site investigations. For more information, visit:


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Teresa McLeod
Scholarships & Awards Coordinator, Student Awards and Financial Assistance
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Audrey Wang
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