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The COVID-19 pandemic has put the kibosh on the annual Canada Day celebration of recipients of the country's second highest award.

Governor General Julie Payette would normally announce a list of new Order of Canada nominees on July 1.

But her office says that is impossible this year because the spring meeting of the advisory council that recommends nominees was cancelled due to the pandemic.

The council, which meets twice a year in person to discuss nominations, is not scheduled to meet again until November.

In the meantime, Julie Rocheleau, a spokeswoman for Payette, says the team responsible for the administration of Canadian honours has taken advantage of the delay to develop new evaluation tools for the advisory council and to identify technology that will help process more nominations per year starting in 2021.

In the absence of the traditional Order of Canada announcement this July 1, Rocheleau says Payette will instead shine a spotlight on lesser-known Canadians honours: decorations for bravery and meritorious service and the Sovereign Medal for volunteers.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 23, 2020.