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Meet our Commissioners

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Barbara Hall – Appointed November 2005

Barbara Hall, Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission and former Mayor of Toronto, has served for more than 40 years as a community worker, lawyer, municipal politician and champion of a grassroots approach to community-building.

Ruth Goba – Toronto – Appointed October 2006

Ruth Goba, a lawyer, has worked domestically and internationally on disability and women’s equality rights issues. From 2007 to 2009, she was the Executive Director of the Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA), a human rights non-government organization that promotes housing and other economic and social rights.

Raja Khouri – Toronto – Appointed September 2006

Raja G. Khouri is managing consultant at The Knowledge Centre and specializes in organizational development and capacity building in the non-profit sector. Raja is co-founder of the Canadian Arab-Jewish Leadership Dialogue Group. He served on Ontario’s Hate Crimes Community Working Group and the Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy Roundtable.

Fernand Lalonde – Gloucester – Appointed May 2005

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.

Julie Lee – London – Appointed September 2009

Julie Lee is a lawyer, practicing family and criminal law in St. Thomas, Ontario. Prior to her legal education she worked in the anti-violence movement as an educator, administrator and advocate. Julie’s advocacy has also been directed at achieving equity and dignity for same-sex families.

Paul Lefebvre – Sudbury – Appointed September 2009

Paul Lefebvre is a partner at Lefebvre Lawyers where he practices corporate and tax law and is also a business owner. He is the former President of the Sudbury District Law Association, and former Board Chair of the Centre de Santé Communautaire du Grand Sudbury. Paul’s term expired on September 7, 2012.

Larry McDermott – Lanark – Appointed September 2009

A member of Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nation, Larry McDermott served as an Ontario municipal politician for 28 years including as the first national rural chair of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. He is currently Executive Director of Plenty, a non-profit organization devoted to environmental protection and healthy communities.

Errol Mendes – Ottawa – Appointed September 2009

Errol Mendes is a lawyer, author, professor and has been an advisor to corporations, governments, civil society groups and the United Nations. His teaching, research and consulting interests include public and private sector governance, conflict resolution, constitutional law, international law and human rights law and policy.

Mark Nagler – Hamilton – Appointed September 2009

Mark Nagler, Professor Emeritus, taught sociology, race and ethnic relations, native studies and disability studies for 29 years at the University of Waterloo. A past president of ARCH Disability Law, he has served on many volunteer boards and has advised the federal and provincial governments on a variety of aspects related to disability issues.

Fiona Sampson – Toronto – Appointed September 2009

Fiona Sampson is the Human Rights Director at Canadian Lawyers Abroad (CLA), where she is also the Director of the African and Canadian Women’s Human Rights Project. Fiona has worked as a legal consultant with, among others, the Ontario Native Council on Justice, the DisAbled Women’s Network (DAWN) of Canada, Education Wife Assault, and the Ethiopian Muslim Relief and Development Association.

Bhagat Taggar – Scarborough – Appointed May 2005

Bhagat Taggar is a Chartered (UK) and Professional (Ontario) Engineer with diverse international and Canadian community experience. He is the past chair of the Employment Insurance Board for the Ontario regional division (Scarborough) and a recipient of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for community service.

Maggie Wente – Toronto – Appointed October 2006

Maggie Wente, who is Anishnabe and a member of Serpent River First Nation, is a lawyer with Olthuis Kleer Townshend LLP, representing First Nations governments, individuals and organizations. She has also worked with the Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres and volunteered at Downtown Legal Services, a community legal clinic. Currently she is President of Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto.

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