Peter MacKinnon with an honorary doctorate of laws degree.
“Peter MacKinnon stands pre-eminent among Canada’s university leaders,” said University of Regina President and Vice-Chancellor Robert Hawkins. “He has made an outstanding contribution as a legal scholar and dean. He has built the University of Saskatchewan to be truly ‘Canada’s Light Source,’ and he has championed the role of Canada’s universities in preparing us for the knowledge-based economy of the 21st century. The University of Regina is proud to recognize him as an outstanding educator.”
MacKinnon is greatly appreciative of the acknowledgement, given the longtime connection between the two universities. “As you can imagine, I am deeply honoured to be receiving this degree,” said MacKinnon. “What makes the occasion particularly special is that this recognition comes from our colleagues in Regina with whom we share so much.”
MacKinnon has served as president of the University of Saskatchewan since 1999 and previously as the school’s dean of law and acting vice-president (academic). He received his education at the University of Saskatchewan, Queen's University and Dalhousie University and articled in Kingston before being admitted to the Ontario Bar in 1975 and to the Law Society of Saskatchewan in 1979. In 1990, he was appointed Queen’s Counsel and was a bencher of the Law Society of Saskatchewan for ten years, serving twice on its executive committee. Since then, he has had a distinguished career including teaching criminal law and evidence, publishing 25 articles and commentaries in law journals nationally and internationally and co-editing three books including After Meech Lake (1991); Drawing Boundaries: Legislatures, Courts and Electoral Values (1992); and Citizenship, Diversity and Pluralism (1999). He has also recently completed a term as chair for the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada and served as president of the Canadian Association of Law Teachers in 1981-82, and president of the Council of Canadian Law Deans in 1994-95. MacKinnon is a member of the board of directors of the Meewasin Valley Authority, the Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority, the Saskatoon Airport Authority and the Canadian Merit Scholarship Foundation. In 2005, he received the Award for Distinguished Service from the Canadian Bar Association (Saskatchewan Branch).
The University of Regina has bestowed 161 honorary degrees. Former recipients include former Saskatchewan premiers Tommy Douglas (1978), Allan Blakeney (1993) and Roy Romanow (2005); Saskatchewan artist Joe Fafard (1989); hockey great Gordie Howe (1997); Saskatchewan philanthropist and patron of the arts Jacqui Shumiatcher (2002); intellectual Michael Ignatieff (2003); and The Princess Royal, Princess Anne (2004).
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