TORONTO - Former Ontario Liberal leader Lyn McLeod was among the list of honorees who will be awarded the Order of Ontario on Thursday.
Also earning the prestigious award were movie director David Cronenberg and hockey great Paul Henderson.
McLeod was first elected to Queen's Park in 1987 and was quickly chosen to sit in cabinet, first as Minister of Colleges and Universities. In 1989 she was named Minister of Energy and Minister of Natural Resources.
McLeod, 71, was one of six candidates seeking the party leadership in 1992, after former premier David Peterson lost his seat in the 1990 election. She finished second on the first ballot and eventually beat Murray Elston on the fifth ballot, becoming the first woman to lead a major political party in Ontario.
However McLeod was unable to lead her party to victory in the 1995 general election, despite leading in the polls for most of the time leading up to the vote. She stepped down two months later, but held onto her seat until 2003, when she retired from politics.
Lt.-Gov. David Onley will hand out the honours, which will also be given to TVOntario host Steve Paikin and Toronto International Film Festival director Piers Handling.
Government officials refuse to provide a written or electronic version of the list of 26 Order of Ontario recipients until the 4 p.m. ceremony, and would only agree to read the names over the telephone.