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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Honorary Degrees

Honorary degrees recognize individuals who have accomplished extraordinary achievements and remarkable service. These individuals have demonstrated a significant contribution to the advancement of knowledge in one or more field; provided outstanding service to the greater society through non-academic achievements and/or public service; or made noteworthy contributions in areas relevant to the mission of the university and/or local community.

Awarded for outstanding achievement in social science in the broadest sense, or significant community contributions at the local, national or international levels.

Honorary Degree Recipient

Ms. Christine Elliott

Doctor of Laws, honoris causa

Ms. Christine ElliottFor her outstanding legacy of public service, volunteerism, advocacy for inclusion and acceptance, and contributions toward improving the lives of thousands of people in Durham Region, the university proudly confers upon Ms. Christine Elliott the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws.  

Ms. Elliott, currently Health Law Counsel at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin in Toronto, is a former Member of Provincial Parliament. She served as the Member for Whitby-Oshawa for nine years and most recently as the Member for Newmarket-Aurora (2018 to 2022). During the latter period, she served as Ontario Deputy Premier, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, and later as Minister of Health, playing an integral role in overseeing the province’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As Minister of Health, she sponsored The People’s Health Care Act and enacted the Connecting Care Act, which gave rise to Ontario Health, a Crown agency that merged the 14 Local Health Integration Networks and other agencies (including Cancer Care Ontario, Gift of Life Network, eHealth Ontario and HealthForceOntario) to modernize local integrated care delivery systems.

She was appointed the province’s first Patient Ombudsman (from 2016 to 2018), making her a champion for fairness in health organizations by facilitating patient and caregiver complaints. 

Ms. Elliott, who was born in Oshawa and grew up in Whitby, is a longtime friend and supporter of Ontario Tech University. Along with her late husband Jim Flaherty, a former finance minister at the provincial and federal levels, she co-founded the Abilities Centre in Whitby, a high-tech facility dedicated to sports and fitness, arts, research and education, and life skills opportunities for people of all ages and abilities, regardless of their challenges.   

She has held positions on a range of boards in the health-care sector since becoming involved as a community volunteer with several charities, including the Lakeridge Health Whitby Foundation, Durham Mental Health Services, Grandview Children’s Centre, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada, and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. 

Ms. Elliott graduated from Western University with a degree in Law and was called to the Ontario Bar in 1980. She later became a founding partner in the Whitby/Toronto law firm Flaherty Dow Elliott & McCarthy. In recognition of her pro bono legal work, Ms. Elliott was recognized as a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow, and also received the Peter Perry Award, presented annually to outstanding citizens in Whitby.