Dr Chandrakant Shah was awarded the Order of Ontario for being a pioneer in public health education in Canada and for developing innovative healthcare programs.
Dr Shah is professor emeritus at the University of Toronto in the Department of Public Health Sciences and a staff physician at the Anishnawbe Community Centre.
He was instrumental in bringing a visiting lectureship on native health to the UofT, a program he then ran for 11 years. He was given the Eagle Feather Award from the First Nations House at the University of Toronto for his advocacy for aboriginal people.
Dr Shah believes that a fifth of all Canadian deaths – around 43,000 a year – can be blamed on poor spiritual beliefs. But one must not confuse spiritual with ritual, he cautions.
He has authored Public Health and Preventive Medicine in Canada, widely regarded as the textbook for public health in the country.
He is a Jain, and says Jainism’s principles of respect for all life forms are very relevant in his work.