Our Commissioners

 

Barbara Hall
Chief Commissioner
Barbara Hall was appointed Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission in November 2005, after 40 years as a community worker, lawyer and municipal politician. She served three terms as a city councillor, 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. Ms. Hall also practised criminal and family law, was 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 healthy communities.

Patrick Case
Patrick Case is the Director of the University of Guelph’s Human Rights and Equity Office. A lawyer by training, his previous roles include Chair of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, and Co-Chair of the Equality Rights Panel of the Court Challenges Program. Mr. Case teaches human rights courses at the University of Guelph and Osgoode Hall Law School. He was appointed to the Commission in November 2006.

Pierre Charron
Pierre Charron is a barrister and solicitor who 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. 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 Commission in June 2005.

Ruth Goba
Ruth Goba is Women’s Program coordinator and staff lawyer for the Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA). She has taught disability issues at Ryerson University, and she clerked at ARCH: A Legal Resource Centre for Persons with Disabilities. Ms. Goba also worked in India on housing and land rights with both the Habitat International Coalition and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing. She was appointed to the Commission in October 2006.

Kamala-Jean Gopie
Kamala-Jean Gopie has more than 30 years of experience as a teacher, librarian and education officer addressing anti-racism and ethno-cultural equity. She recently served as a member of the federal Immigration and Refugee Board. Her community service includes being President of the Board of the Urban Alliance on Race Relations. Ms. Gopie also sat on the Provincial Task Force on Race Relations and Policing, the City of Toronto Mayor’s Committee on Race and Ethnic Relations, and received the Order of Ontario. She was appointed to the Commission in October 2006.

Alana Klein
Alana Klein is a Senior Policy Analyst with the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network. She is a former lecturer and Associate-in-Law at Columbia University. Previously she was Law Clerk to Justice Louise Arbour at the Supreme Court of Canada, and a volunteer at the Chez Doris Day Shelter for Women in Montreal. She was appointed to the Commission in September 2006.

Raja Khouri
Raja G. Khouri is managing consultant at The Knowledge Centre, specializing in organizational effectiveness, community development and human resources. He is former president of the Canadian Arab Federation, where he advocated against discrimination and the erosion of civil liberties. Mr. Khouri directed a study of the Canadian Arab community and authored the book Arabs in Canada: Post 9/11. He has chaired conferences, given lectures and media interviews, and written commentaries in a variety of Canadian dailies and magazines. Mr. Khouri completed an appointment to the Hate Crimes Community Working Group before being appointed to the Commission in September 2006.

Fernand Lalonde
Fernand Lalonde retired from the federal public service in 2001 after serving in many roles including General Secretary of the National Joint Council, Executive Director of Appeals and Investigations for the Public Service Commission of Canada, and Director of Personnel Services, Parks Canada. Mr. Lalonde is a former President of the Canadian Public Personnel Management Association, and is currently a consultant providing services in union-management relations and dispute resolution. He was appointed to the Commission in May 2005.

Christiane Rabier
Christiane Rabier 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. She served as a consultant with TV Ontario on Continuing Education, and as a volunteer with Canada’s Special Olympics in 1998 and Operation Red Nose in 1999. Ms. Rabier was appointed to the Commission in April 1999.

Ghulam Abbas Sajan
Ghulam Abbas Sajan served as a senior management auditor with the Management Board Secretariat of Ontario, and was awarded a “Lifetime Achievement Award” in 2005. Previously, he was employed by KPMG in Uganda and the United Kingdom. An active member of the Shi’a Islamic Community, he was president of the Jaffari Islamic Centre and currently, among many other activities, is involved with Mosaic Interfaith Group, Markham Race Relations Committee and Jaffari Islamic Housing Corporation. 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 Commission in May 2005.

Bhagat Taggar
Bhagat Taggar is a Chartered (UK) and Professional (Ontario) Engineer with diverse international community experience. He served as a vice chair of race relations, and a city and regional councillor in England, and as an engineer in Zimbabwe. In Canada, he was the chairperson of Panorama India, Lion’s club member, Professor of Engineering at Centennial College and a business owner. Mr. Taggar was appointed by the Governor General of Canada (1996) as chairperson of the Employment Insurance Board for the Ontario regional division (Scarborough). He was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for community service 2002. Mr. Taggar was appointed to the Commission in May 2005.

Richard Théberge
Richard Théberge is a lawyer by training, a policy analyst and accessibility consultant. Previously with the federal government, he has analyzed and developed policies in connection with business and corporate law. He has volunteered with youth and disability communities and currently serves as President of the Ottawa Independent Living Resource Centre. Mr. Théberge was recognized as a patron of deaf youth by the Jules Leger Centre in Ottawa, and was awarded for his years of work with the Canadian Council of Independent Laboratories. He was appointed to the Commission in February 2002.

Maggie Wente
Maggie Wente is a lawyer with Olthius Kleer Townshend, representing First Nations and Band Councils. She has also worked with the Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres and the University of Toronto Community Legal Clinic. Currently she is a board member of the Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto and formerly Board Co-Chair of the Women’s Counselling, Referral and Education Centre. She is a member of both the Canadian Bar Association and the Indigenous Bar Association. She was appointed to the Commission in October 2006.

Albert Wiggan
Albert Wiggan has been a chef and business owner for over 20 years, and has received several community service awards. He is a frequent speaker to young people at secondary schools on behalf of literacy and people with learning disabilities. He was appointed to the Commission in September 2006.

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