The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) congratulates Patricia DeGuire on her 1st anniversary on August 19, 2022, as Chief Commissioner.
CC DeGuire assumed leadership at the OHRC at the height of two pandemics: COVID-19 and the George Floyd uprising – the pandemic of racism, particularly against Black, Indigenous, Asian and religious communities.
CC DeGuire brings a different way of adding value to public service. As a Black servant leader, she uses many different approaches to achieve the OHRC’s objectives, including people-first, collaboration, a positive tone from the top and meaningful community engagement.
CC DeGuire is committed to the OHRC’s guiding principles to play a meaningful role in the development and delivery of government policies and programs, impartially and independent of government.
Last year’s highlights include:
- Release of the Right to Read report on human rights issues affecting students with reading disabilities and other critical issues in education including anti-Black racism
- Release of the OHRC’s COVID-19 and recovery statements
- Launch of the Daniel G. Hill Human Rights Awards
- The Human Rights @ 60 conference to mark the 60th anniversary of Ontario's Human Rights Code (in partnership with Toronto Metropolitan University's Human Rights Services and the Lincoln Alexander School of Law)
- Continued relationship-building with the Toronto Police Service and a successful policy roundtable concerning the TPS inquiry
- OHRC’s interventions in Ontario (Health) v Association of Ontario Midwives, where the Court of Appeal upheld the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario decision that midwives experienced gender-based discrimination and should be compensated equitably to eliminate the gender-wage gap, and in Logan v Ontario (OPP)
- 30-plus speaking engagements and hundreds of meetings with stakeholders, partners, collaborators, advisory group and community members, and government officials towards relationship-building and teaching the importance of human rights in maintaining peace, order, good government
- Ongoing work with Peel Regional Police to address systemic racism in policing on our Human Rights Project
- Ongoing work on issues of racism, discrimination and hate affecting Indigenous, Black and other racialized communities, people with disabilities, and people experiencing homelessness, mental health and addictions.
The Chief Commissioner believes every Ontarian has the responsibility to protect human rights – no one should enjoy their human rights at the exclusion of others.