Published by Communications and Public Affairs 519 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338
November 09, 2006
U of G Director Appointed to the Ontario Human Rights Commission
Patrick Case, director of the University of Guelph's Human Rights and Equity Office, has been appointed commissioner to the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC). The announcement was made by Attorney General Michael Bryant yesterday and Case attended his first OHRC meeting today.
“My head’s spinning with delight,” said Case. “This is a time of massive and dramatic change for the 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. Case will remain at the University of Guelph while he serves the OHRC.
“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 respects for human rights,” said Barbara Hall, chief commissioner of the OHRC.
President Alastair Summerlee said: “Patrick has helped the University become a leader in human rights and 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 has been a leader in implementing human rights strategies with the University since 1999. He 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, Case practised family, human rights and immigration law before becoming the Toronto District School Board's equity advisor in 1991. He is also serves as an advisor to several organizations on equal rights and employment equity. He is an adjunct professor at Osgoode Hall Law School and the University of Guelph.
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 said need to be addressed nationwide.
Case said there's a lot he’d like to accomplish in his new role. “I think that during this term, I’d like to see the Commission be put on a better footing to work on systemic issues within large service providers within the province,” he said. “Also, I'd like people to have quicker and more direct access to hearings on human rights matters.”
The Ontario Human Rights Commission was established in 1961 to administer the Ontario Human Rights Code. The Commission is an arm's length agency of government accountable to the legislature through the Attorney General. The Commission's 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.
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