Robert Land Academy has announced that the recipient of the 2020 John Brant Award will be one of Niagara’s most respected politicians, The Honourable Rob Nicholson.

A respected MP with a stellar political career, Rob Nicholson was first elected to Parliament in 1984 until 1993. He then served his community as Regional Councillor and School Board Trustee until he was elected to Parliament once again in 2004. He was appointed Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform by the Right Honourable Stephen Harper in 2006. In January of the following year he was named Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, where he served more than six years in that portfolio. In 2013, Mr. Nicholson was appointed Minister of National Defence. He became the Minister of Foreign Affairs in 2015. In 2019 he was appointed to the National Security and Intelligence Committee. 

Throughout his public service Nicholson has served residents of his Niagara Falls riding as well as all Canadians with integrity, honesty, and a devotion to doing what is best for those he serves.

It is this integrity of service Robert Land Academy (RLA) seeks to celebrate with the John Brant Award. RLA is a highly structured, military-themed private boarding school for boys in Grades 5 through 12 that helps young men reach their potential. Created by the school in 2018, The John Brant Award recognizes community leaders who serve with loyalty, labour, courage, commitment and honour – the five values of RLA.

“With positions in both Defense and Foreign Affairs Mr. Nicholson’s career, as well as the integrity he has shown and the respect he has earned in those positions, aligns with the mission of Robert Land Academy which is why we chose to recognize Mr. Nicholson with the John Brant Award,” said Kevin Wendling, Headmaster of Robert Land Academy.

“It is just so exciting to have a true “Niagara’s Own” receive the John Brant award. Rob Nicholson has always represented Niagara so well, his leadership in the fields of Justice and Defense go to the very ethos of this award,” said Bob Wright, Robert land Academy Board of Governors Chair.

Nicholson also served as a school trustee and Regional Councillor when he was not serving as an MP between 1992 and his re-election to Parliament in 2004. Nicholson retired from public service in 2019, choosing not to run for re-election.

“I am genuinely touched to have been considered for The John Brant Award and the values and service it recognizes,” said Nicholson of being honoured by Robert Land Academy. 

“The Academy does great work in helping their students succeed,” said Nicholson, who toured the Academy and spoke with students in December. “I was very impressed with the young men who gave me a tour. They were polite, well spoken, respectful, and knowledgeable and an excellent example of how Robert Land Academy transforms young lives.”

“We created the John Brant Award to recognize community leaders serving in education, politics, or the military to provide a tangible link between living with values and personal and professional success,” noted Headmaster Kevin Wendling, adding Nicholson’s service demonstrates leadership both in education and politics. “I believe we are a leader among schools in outwardly promoting the values of loyalty, labour, courage, commitment and honour.”

The inaugural John Brant Award was presented to The Honourable Dave Levac, Speaker of Provincial Parliament in 2018. General (retired) Walter Natynczyk, Deputy Minister of Veterans Affairs received the award in 2019.

Nicholson will be recognized at The Robert Land Academy Gala on April 18 in 2020. More information about the award and the Gala is available at