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Plant-based advocate James Cameron is among the 120 people who will be honored in the appointments to the Order of Canada in the New Year.

The director and producer – who recently served as executive producer on smash-hit documentary The Game Changers – joins Nobel Prize-winning physicist Donna Strickland and former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper as ‘companions of the order’ – the highest level of honor.

He is being recognized for his ‘outstanding contributions to the filmmaking industry as a writer, producer, and director’. Cameron is known for his work on major motion pictures, including Titanic and Aviator.

‘Definitely honored’

“Well, I was kind of shocked. It’s out of the blue and I don’t know whose idea it was but, look, I am definitely honored,” said Cameron.

“I wish I had done more in my career, actually in Canada, but I am sort of making up for lost time the last few years with our investments in the Prairie provinces, especially in Saskatchewan around the Saskatoon area.”

Food industry investments

The investment Cameron talked about was the Saskatoon factory he (along with wife Suzy Amis Cameron) injected cash into, as part of their pea protein company Verdient Foods.

According to the filmmaker, he wants his honor to bring attention to his work in creating protein which is less environmentally-harmful than meat.

Global climate

“Nobody wants to talk about the food business but it’s the quickest way for us to turn down the thermostat on global climate,” he said.

“If we can make money in the plant protein area, then other people will do it, and that will foster more products that make it easier for people to transition from meat and dairy into a whole-food, plant-based diet.”