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OHRC Today: Annual report 2014 - 2015

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May 25, 2015

Hon. Dave Levac
Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario
Room 180
Main Legislative Building
Queen’s Park
Toronto ON
|M7A 1A2

Dear Mr. Speaker:

Under Section 31.6 (2) of the Ontario Human Rights Code, the Ontario Human Rights Commission is required to submit a report on the Commission’s activities for the previous fiscal period by June 30th of each year, to be tabled in the Legislature.

In this regard, I am pleased to provide you with the Commission’s Annual Report of its activities from April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015.

Yours sincerely,

Ruth Goba, Hon. BA, LLB
Interim Chief Commissioner

A message from Interim Chief Commissioner Ruth Goba

It has been an honour – and a pleasure! – to step in and guide the OHRC through Barbara Hall’s retirement and the selection of a new Chief Commissioner. Barbara set the stage for success in so many ways, and I hope I have helped that progress continue.

Over the past year, we have seen many positive human rights developments, such as our work on mental health disabilities and addictions, and the growing understanding and acceptance of the transgender community. We have also seen areas where the results are not so positive. That is why we have intensified our efforts in areas like sexual harassment, pregnancy and breastfeeding, racial profiling and outreach to Indigenous communities.

This annual report, called Human rights today, offers you a quick look at the work we are doing for tomorrow and the results we are seeing today. Although progress on systemic issues or “big picture” work is sometimes slow, our aim is still to make things better for all kinds of people in all kinds of situations across the province.

Whether we are talking about successes or challenges, I commend our impressive team of community partners who continue to provide leadership, expertise and commitment to advancing human rights for everyone in Ontario. I also thank our internal team of Commissioners and excellent staff who do quality work to bring human rights to life.

Let’s continue to work together so that we all have true human rights today.

Ruth Goba, Hon. BA, LLB
Interim Chief Commissioner

Thank you, Barbara Hall

In February 2015, the OHRC said farewell to Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall, after almost a decade of her leadership. Barbara was at the helm as the OHRC moved from a complaint-driven organization to a role involving more collaboration, education and advocacy to eliminate the root causes of discrimination. She also played a key role in our work in housing, gender identity and gender expression, and mental health disabilities and addictions.

Thank you, Barbara, for your vision, your compassion and your leadership. Your work has set the stage and the direction for our ongoing work, and people across Ontario will reap the results for many years to come.

OHRC Commissioners 2014-2015

Barbara Hall, Chief Commissioner (appointed November 28, 2005; completed her term on February 27, 2015)

Ruth Goba, Interim Chief Commissioner (appointed as Commissioner October 5, 2006; term expires December 31, 2015; appointed Interim Chief Commissioner March 2, 2015)

Raja Khouri (appointed September 20, 2006; term expires December 31, 2015)

Fernand Lalonde (appointed May 18, 2005; term expires December 31, 2015)

Julie Lee (appointed September 8, 2009; term expires September 7, 2015)

Lawrence McDermott (Appointed September 8, 2009; term expires September 7, 2015)

Errol Mendes (appointed September 8, 2009; term expires September 7, 2015)

Fiona Sampson (appointed September 8, 2009; term expires September 7, 2015)

Bhagat Taggar (appointed May 18, 2005; term expires December 31, 2015)

Margaret Wente (appointed October 5, 2006; term expires December 31, 2015).


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