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List of Commissioners

BARBARA HALL, B.A, LL.B, Ph.D (hon.)
Chief Commissioner

Barbara Hall was appointed Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission on November 28, 2005, after more than 30 years as a community worker, lawyer and municipal politician. She served three terms as a city councillor from 1985 on and as Toronto's mayor from 1994 to 1997. From 1998 to 2002 she headed the federal government's National Strategy on Community Safety and Crime Prevention and was a member of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police Crime Prevention Committee. Ms. Hall has also practised criminal and family law, been a member of the Ontario Health Ministry's Health Results Team, and lectured nationally and internationally on urban and social issues. She has a strong record of bringing diverse groups together to build safe and strong communities.

Chief Commissioner

Keith Norton served as Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission from July 17, 1996 to October 16, 2005. He is an educator and a lawyer by training, having studied law at Queen’s University in Kingston, as well as having received a diploma in education from the Ontario College of Education. He practiced criminal and family law in Kingston, Ontario, and taught at the secondary and post-secondary levels.

Mr. Norton is a former Minister of Community and Social Services and served as Parliamentary Assistant to the Treasurer of Ontario and Minister of Economics and Intergovernmental Affairs. He has also served as Minister of Health, Minister of Education and Minister of Colleges and Universities.

As Minister of the Environment between 1981 and 1983, Mr. Norton became the first Canadian cabinet minister to testify before a Committee of the United States Senate. Throughout his career, Mr. Norton has championed issues related to persons with disabilities, senior citizens and the disadvantaged. He has also been involved in a number of business ventures.

Mr. Norton is a former President of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.

Interim Chief Commissioner

Ivan Oliveira served as Interim Chief Commissioner from October 17 to November 27, 2005.  Mr. Oliveira is a realtor and educator by trade. He has been associated with the Brampton Real Estate Board for over 25 years and has chaired many of its committees, including Public Relations, Discipline, Political Affairs, Arbitration, Membership, Finance, Ethics and Appeals and served as the Board's president in 1987. He is a committed member of the Portuguese community and is the founder of the Portuguese Community School of Brampton where he supervises and implements curriculum. He has taught the Portuguese language in Ontario Secondary schools and he was responsible for the supervision and evaluation of 14 different language instructors under the International Languages Program. Mr. Oliveira is also a part-time adjudicator with the Assessment Review Board of the Ministry of the Attorney General, where he has chaired hearings dealing with property assessment matters. He has served on the executives of several organizations. Mr. Oliveira a recipient of several awards including the 2002 Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal. He was appointed to the Ontario Human Rights Commission in 2003.


Jeanette Case was appointed to the Ontario Human Rights Commission in 2003. She is also a former member of the Assessment Review Board of the Ministry of the Attorney General, where she served as a part-time adjudicator on matters relating to property assessment.  Ms. Case received certificates in Economics, Economic History and British Constitution at Leicester College of Arts and Technology in England, studied Sociology and Psychology at the University of Leicester Extramural Department, and holds a diploma in General Arts and Science. For years she has worked as a conveyancer and title searcher and has conducted orientation and training of community college students in title searching. She has volunteered with Silent Voice, the Canadian Cancer Society, St. Christopher House, Meals on Wheels and the Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care.


Well-known and highly respected throughout the community and business world for his professionalism and skills as a lawyer, project manager and team leader, Pierre Charron has been a barrister and solicitor for the past 19 years. He is senior counsel in his own firm and also president of Charron Human Resources Inc, working in the field of harassment prevention and conflict resolution for the past nine years. Some highlights have included providing harassment prevention training to over 10,000 individuals and conducting or supervising over 100 harassment investigations for a variety of departments of the Government of Canada. Mr. Charron is a member of the Canadian Bar Association, Law Society of Upper Canada, l’Association des juristes d’expression française, Le Club Richelieu de Rockland, the Rockland Optimist Club, the Knights of Columbus, the Chamber of Commerce and the Royal Canadian Legion. He is also a former municipal councillor. Mr. Charron was appointed to the Ontario Human Rights Commission in June 2005.


Vivian Jarvis is a founding member and past-president of her local chapter of the Canadian Mental Health Association.  She is an active member of her community, having served as president of the Women’s Auxiliary at Stratford General Hospital, Neighbourlink, conducting pastoral prison visitations in Ottawa and Hamilton and as Warden of her Church.  Ms. Jarvis has served as a City Councillor for the City of Stratford and has worked in the Constituency Offices of MPs and MPPs.  She has also stood for election to the Ontario Legislature.  She was appointed to the Ontario Human Rights Commission in 2003.


Fernand Lalonde retired from the federal public service in 2001 after a distinguished career, serving as the General Secretary of the National Joint Council of the Federal Public Service of Canada, Executive Director of Appeals and Investigations of the Public Service Commission of Canada, Director of Personnel Services, National Museums of Canada and other positions in Environment, Parks Canada, Health and Welfare and Customs and Excise. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Mathematics from the University of Ottawa, a certificate in alternative dispute resolution and numerous post-degree courses in psychology, labour relations and organizational development. M. Lalonde is a consultant providing services in union-management relations and dispute resolution to organizations as diverse as the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs, Correctional Services Canada, HRDC, Public Works Canada and the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada to name but a few. He was appointed to the Ontario Human Rights Commission in May 2005.


Judith-Ann Manning is President of Manning Consultants, a barrier-free consulting company specializing in accessibility and disability issues. She majored in Criminology and Law while at university. A lifelong volunteer, she is currently Co-ordinator of the University of Toronto's Wheelchair Access Committee and has held the positions of Chair of the North York Advisory Committee For Persons With Disabilities, co-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation, and Vice-Chair of the Toronto Transit Commission's Advisory Committee on Accessible Transportation.  As well, she is a friend on Transport Canada’s Accessible Transportation: A1E09 – Committee on Transportation Accessibility and Mobility. Ms. Manning served as a Commissioner from February 2000 until February 18, 2006.


Christiane Rabier was appointed to the Commission in April 1999.  Ms. Rabier received her PhD from the University of Nice-Sophia-Antipolis; she received her Masters from the University of Montreal and studied public law at the University of Montpellier in France.  She is currently Chair of the Department of Political Science and Vice-Dean of Social Sciences and Humanities at Laurentian University in Sudbury.

Ms. Rabier is active within the francophone community in Sudbury and has worked on a program for francophone women to attend post secondary studies, as well as served as a consultant with TV Ontario on Continuing Education.  She also served as a volunteer with Canada’s Special Olympics in 1998 and Operation Red Nose in 1999.


Ghulam Abbas Sajan served as a senior management auditor with the Management Board Secretariat of the Ontario government from 1975 to 1999, where among other things, he was responsible for audits and investigations in the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. He was awarded a “Lifetime Achievement Award” in 2005 by the Ontario Public Service, Quarter Century Club. Prior to that service, he was employed by KPMG in Uganda and the United Kingdom. He is an active member of the Shi’a Islamic Community, having served as president of the Islamic Shi’a Ithna-asheri Jamaat of Toronto. Mr. Sajan is a director of the Association of Progressive Muslims of Ontario and is heavily involved in Interfaith activities, including acting as co-Chair of the group “Mosaic,” which represents and promotes dialogue between various groups: Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs and Zoroastrians. He is active in affordable housing projects, seniors’ services organizations and the “Out of the Cold Program,” (for which he was awarded a Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal). He also initiated a child sponsorship program and currently sits on the Markham Race Relations Committee. In 2001, he was honoured with a Government of Canada award for outstanding service and contribution as a volunteer. Mr. Sajan was appointed to the Ontario Human Rights Commission in May 2005.


Author of nine books and over 400 articles in newspapers, magazine and journals, Dr. Stackhouse is Principal Emeritus and research professor at Wycliffe College, University of Toronto.  He holds a Ph.D. in historical theology from Yale University, an M.A. in Political Economy from the University of Toronto and is an honourary graduate of three colleges as well as canon of St. James Cathedral in Toronto. A former M.P., Dr. Stackhouse served two terms in the House of Commons, chairing the Standing Committee on Human Rights, was a Canadian representative to the United Nations General Assembly and a delegate to the United Nations Human Rights and Refugee Committee.  He also served as a Commissioner on the Canadian Human Rights Commission and Chair of the founding Board of Governors of Centennial College of Applied Arts and Technology and later a member of the Ontario Council of Regents. He is a recipient of several awards including the 2002 Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal.  Dr. Stackhouse was appointed to the Ontario Human Rights Commission in 2003.


Bhagat Taggar is a businessperson with an excellent record of service to the community. He is a chartered engineer (UK) and a professional engineer in Ontario. His work in various parts of the world, including serving as a city and regional councillor, a school governor and vice-chair of a race relations committee in the UK and an engineer in Zimbabwe, has provided him with a unique understanding of various and diverse cultures. Here at home, he is a past president of the Council of South Asians of Ontario, a past chairperson of Panorama India, has been a member of the Lion’s Club and a professor of Engineering at Centennial College, in addition to owning his own business. He was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for service to community in 2002, and is a member of the Speakers’ Bureau of the Dominion Institute. Mr. Taggar was appointed to the Ontario Human Rights Commission in May 2005.


Richard Théberge was appointed to the Commission in February 2002.  He is a lawyer by training, a policy analyst and accessibility consultant.  He has held senior posts in the federal government analyzing and developing policies in connection with business and corporate law.  He has volunteered with many organizations that work with the youth and disability communities and currently serves as Vice-President of the Ottawa Independent Living Resource Centre.  Mr. Théberge has been recognized as a patron of deaf youth by the Jules Leger Centre in Ottawa, Ontario, as well as awarded a lifetime honourary membership in the Canadian Council of Independent Laboratories for his years of work on behalf of the independent testing industry. 

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