Case Appointed to Ontario Human Rights Commission
Director of human rights and equity brings experience, passion to new post
Patrick Case, director of human rights and equity, has been appointed commissioner to the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC). He will remain at the University while he serves on the commission.
“My head's spinning with delight,” says Case. “This is a time of massive and dramatic change for human rights processes in Ontario, and being in on the ground floor is hugely exciting.”
Case was one of seven new commissioners chosen to help the provincial government strengthen its role in promoting human rights.
“Our new commissioners have the qualifications we need to help build a stronger human rights system that deals effectively with discrimination at both the individual and systemic level, acts in the public interest and promotes respect for human rights,” says Barbara Hall, chief commissioner of the OHRC.
President Alastair Summerlee says Case has helped U of G become a leader in human rights.
“I'm confident that the Ontario Human Rights Commission will greatly benefit from his experience and passion for advancing human rights and equity issues.”
Case, who joined U of G in 1999, is immediate past chair of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation and immediate past co-chair of the equality rights panel of the Court Challenges Program of Canada.
A lawyer by trade, he practised family, human rights and immigration law before becoming the Toronto District School Board's equity adviser in 1991. He is an adjunct professor at Osgoode Hall Law School and U of G.
In April 2002, Case helped implement the “Human Rights at the University of Guelph” document to manage human rights and equity concerns, complaints and education issues on campus - topics he says need to be addressed nationwide.
Case notes that there's a lot he'd like to accomplish in his new role.
“I'd like to see the commission be put on a better footing to work on systemic issues within large service providers in the province. Also, I'd like to see people be able to have quicker and more direct access to hearings on human rights matters.”
The OHRC was established in 1961 to administer Ontario's human rights code. It's an arm's-length agency of government accountable to the legislature through the attorney general. Its mandate includes investigating complaints of discrimination and harassment, making efforts to settle complaints between parties, preventing discrimination through public education and public policy, and looking into situations where discriminatory behaviour exists.