Carleton University today conferred an honorary degree on Yazmine Laroche in recognition of her distinguished career in the federal public service and, in particular, her significant contribution to greatly improved accessibility for all Canadians.

Laroche was honoured with a Doctor of Laws during Carleton’s Spring Convocation, where more than 4,800 students are receiving degrees over the course of five days.

Laroche explained the important role Carleton has played in her life and the life of her family.

“Carleton played this important role in my life and the lives of fellow alumni, because of its progressive character and the vision of its role in the community,” said Laroche.

“It opens its arms to students from every possible background, from across this great country and around the world.  And it challenges each of us to be Here for Good. “

Laroche was appointed Canada’s first-ever deputy minister for Public Service Accessibility in 2018 and is the first visibly disabled person to be appointed to serve in a deputy minister role in the federal public service.

Her mandate is to design a strategy to make the Canadian public service the gold standard of accessibility and inclusion.

“Though her trailblazing work on accessibility is both historic and world class, her work has covered diverse subjects, from arts policy, transportation, and infrastructure to strategic planning and financial management,” said Larry McCloskey, director of the Paul Menton Centre. “Wherever her work has taken her, Yasmine has been recognized for her leadership in its simplest and purest expression: she listens and acts boldly, making changes whenever needed to achieve stated goals.”

She serves as Deputy Minister Champion for Federal Employees with Disabilities. Her role ensured that the voices of public servants with disabilities were incorporated into Bill C-81, the Accessible Canada Act.

Laroche is also the Deputy Minister Champion for her alma mater Carleton University, where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications in 1982.

She is a director and former chair of Muscular Dystrophy Canada.

She led the New Deal for Cities and Communities, which includes earmarking federal funds to support national objectives for sustainable communities. Most recently, she oversaw the Gordie Howe International Bridge project, expected to set standards in innovation and creativity.

She was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 for her work in the community.

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Carleton University
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Friday, June 14, 2019 in
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