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Andre Menard of Montreal is invested as an officer of the Order of Canada by former governor general Michaelle Jean on behalf of Gov. Gen. Mary Simon during a ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, on Nov. 17.Justin Tang/The Canadian Press

Gov. Gen. Mary Simon is missing today’s Order of Canada ceremony at Rideau Hall due to illness.

A spokesperson says in a written statement that “with great regret,” Simon would not preside over the investiture – news that was announced shortly before the ceremony was to begin.

The statement says Simon is following the same advice given to other Canadians, in that she is staying home when feeling unwell “to protect others from being sick.”

Rideau Hall says former governor general Michaelle Jean has agreed to lead the event instead.

Forty-eight individuals will be invested into various levels of the Order of Canada today at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.

The Order of Canada is one of the highest honours awarded to individuals for their contributions and service to the country.