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Muslim Woman Appointed to Ontario Human Rights Commission

ONTARIO – Rabia Khedr, the founder of the Canadian Association of Muslims with Disabilities (CAM-D) and a community activist, has been appointed a commissioner on the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

“I truly believe in the fact that we have a responsibility to ensure rights for everyone around us,” said Khedr, reported on Monday, October 3.

“It’s not just about me exercising my rights; it’s about me ensuring that my neighbour, my friend, my colleague or the stranger on the street has their rights ensured, too.”

Ontario announced the appointment of five new part-time commissioners to the Ontario Human Rights Commission last Friday.

Commissioner Rabia Khedr is a dedicated volunteer and advocate for diverse communities, women and individuals with disabilities.

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She is a human rights consultant with diversityworX, founder of the Canadian Association of Muslims with Disabilities and a member of the Mississauga Accessibility Advisory Committee, which she chaired for eight years.

Khedr has also been on the board of directors for the Ontario Women’s Health Network and a member of the Region of Peel Accessibility Advisory Committee.

“The world calls Ontario home and Canada home,” she said.

“It’s important that we be proactive to identify and remedy competing interests and continue to educate and raise awareness around our individual civic responsibility to ensure rights.”

The Ontario Human Rights Commission was established in 1961 to administer the Ontario Human Rights Code. Its mandate includes developing public policy on human rights, conducting public inquiries and promoting a culture of human rights in the province.

The Commission is one part of Ontario’s system for human rights, alongside the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) and the Human Rights Legal Support Centre (HRLSC).

The body is an arm’s length agency of government accountable to the people of Ontario through the legislature.

There is a full-time Chief Commissioner and a varying number of part-time Commissioners, appointed by Order-in-Council.

Other part-time Commissioners recently appointed included, Karen Drake, Kwame McKenzie, Bruce Porter, and Maurice Switzer.

“I’m a big believer in our multicultural reality as a nation,” said Rabia Khedr.

“I am a big believer in engaging all communities to address any social issues.”

“I really feel strongly that we have to be cutting-edge when it comes to human rights, to lead the discourse; that it’s really important, given the changing demographics that we have in our communities and our society, with the constant immigration and population growth.”