Manitoba's first Chinese-Canadian lieutenant-governor, the Honourable Philip Lee has played a prominent role in supporting and nurturing Winnipeg's Chinese community for more than 35 years. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has praised Mr. Lee for his tireless work on causes important to the Chinese-Canadian community and today he is recognized for his service to this community, the City of Winnipeg, and Manitoba.
Born in Hong Kong in 1944, Mr. Lee came to Canada in 1962 to further his education at the University of Manitoba. During his student years, he was elected Chairman of the University College Students Association.
In 1967 Mr. Lee began his career with the City of Winnipeg as a research chemist. Between 1967 and 1972 he worked in the area of water research, dealing with water supply and water quality studies for the City of Winnipeg. He produced several research reports pertaining to the Shoal Lake Water Supply. He retired from the City of Winnipeg in 2005 as the Branch Head Chemist in charge of Winnipeg's Industrial Waste Control Program.
Between 1979 and 1986, Mr. Lee served as a member of the City of Winnipeg's Refugee Assistance Committee. Much of Mr. Lee's energy goes towards helping Chinese immigrants enter Canada and to enhancing the Chinese-Canadian experience. He was a driving force behind the construction of the Winnipeg Chinese Cultural and Community Centre in the Dynasty Building, the Chinese Gate and Garden, and the Mandarin Building, all of which remain important centres within the Chinese-Canadian community and important landmark destinations for visitors to Manitoba. Mr. Lee has also worked with Folkorama, Winnipeg's annual multicultural festival, since its inception in 1970, and he continues to help the festival's Chinese pavilion.
Mr. Lee has received the Golden Dragon Award for Citizen of the Year and was the Rotary Foundation's Paul Harris Fellow. Mr. Lee is a member of the Manitoba Human Rights Commission. In 1999 he became a member in the Order of Canada and in 2002 he received the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal.
Mr. Lee’s leadership has been recognized through the City of Winnipeg Community Service Award, which he received in 1984. He also served on the Multiculturalism Council of Canada between 1984 and 1988. He received the Recognition of Service Award from the Community and Race Relations Committee, City of Winnipeg in 1990. Mr. Lee received the Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of Canadian Confederation in 1993. In addition to being an Executive Board Member of the Winnipeg Chinese Cultural and Community Centre, he is also a member of the Chinese Development Corporation. Between 1995 and 1999, he was a board member of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and a board member of the Alumni Association of the University of Manitoba.
The Honourable Philip S. Lee