TORONTO – The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) welcomes Patricia DeGuire as the new Chief Commissioner effective Thursday, August 19, 2021.
Chief Commissioner DeGuire is a woman-of-colour known for pushing boundaries to ensure access to justice, equality and equity, with a passion for the rule of law, commitment to public service, mentoring, coaching and legal education.
DeGuire has been a mediator, adjudicator and arbitrator in the area of human rights and equity for more than 25 years. She was called to the bar in 1993, and recently served as an Ontario Superior Court of Justice deputy judge. She has also served on provincial and federal tribunals, including the Immigration Appeal Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board, the Ontario Labour Relations Board Pay Equity Hearings Tribunal and as vice-chair of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.
Chief Commissioner DeGuire is a co-founder of the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers and the Black Law Students' Association of Canada, a founder of the Hon. Julius Alexander Isaac Scholarship, the Forum for Education for At-Risk Youth and has been a frequent lecturer at the Organization of Commonwealth Caribbean Bars Association/International Law Forum. She has received many awards, including the Canadian Bar Association Touchstone Award, Law Society of Ontario’s Lincoln Alexander Award, Legal Aid Ontario’s GEM Award and the Ontario Bar Association’s Distinguished Service Award.
“I am honoured to accept the leadership of the OHRC, an organization with a 60-year track record of standing bravely against racism, xenophobia, homophobia, and other forms of discrimination, and now as we collectively cope with two pandemics – racism and COVID-19, the OHRC’s work continues to be relevant and meaningful,” said Chief Commissioner DeGuire. “My 33-member team and I invite you to work with us on human rights transformation. We know that all Ontarians are guided by the foundational values that underlie the OHRC’s work – the inherent dignity of humans, the rule of law, access to justice, equity, fairness and freedom from all forms of discrimination.”
The OHRC congratulates Chief Commissioner DeGuire and looks forward to her leadership in the OHRC’s work to promote, protect and advance human rights.
Issues and Media Relations Officer
Ontario Human Rights Commission
Phone: 437-779-1599 email@example.com