For a political satirist known for his blistering rants against the federal government, one recent phone call from Ottawa left Rick Mercer speechless.
On Monday, Gov. Gen. David Johnston revealed a list of new appointments to the Order of Canada – Mercer was among the list of its newest members.
“Honestly, I was completely speechless. … I really didn’t know what was happening. I’m not exactly sure what I said to him,” said Mercer.
“I hope I said that I was humbled and thrilled. I was kind of in shock. It was not something I anticipated or imagined.”
The Order of Canada is one of the country’s highest honours that recognizes citizens’ outstanding achievements and dedication to community service.
The "Rick Mercer Report" host was specifically recognized “for his ability to inspire and challenge Canadians through humour, and for his leadership in support of charitable causes,” according to the governor general’s office.
The St. John’s native is an active supporter of a wide range of charities from LGBT advocacy group PFLAG to Spread the Net, an organization he co-founded with Belinda Stronach that distributes mosquito nets to reduce the rate of malaria infections in Africa.
According to the charity’s website, Spread the Net has protected the lives of 2.5 million children and pregnant women since 2007.
Mercer is among 86 new companions, officers, and members of the order. Retired astronaut Chris Hadfield and filmmaker David Cronenberg are also included on the shortlist.
An official ceremony has yet to be announced.
With files from the Canadian Press