Founded in 1983 - United for Diversity and Racial Equality


Montreal, February 1st, 2010 ---CRARR is saddened by news of the passing of Mr. Keith Norton, former Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission and Cabinet Minister.

As a teacher, lawyer, and Cabinet Minister in the Government of Ontario from the 1970s and 1990s, Mr. Norton was recognized as a dedicated and progressive human rights defender, first in his capacity as a member and Chair of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal and then as Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

During his term with the Ontario Commission, Mr. Norton was lauded by his efforts to tackle a wide range of human rights issues such as age, sexual orientation and disability-based discrimination. It was also under his leadership that the Ontario Human Rights Commission conducted the first public consultation on racial profiling in Canada, resulting in wider public understanding of the problem and support for actions against this form of discrimination.

CRARR had the opportunity of welcoming Chief Commissioner Norton as keynote speaker at a luncheon-conference in Montreal in September 2005. Many guests at the event remembered a man who was simple and humble in style, but strong in commitment to human rights. As an openly gay man, he also served as a role model for countless gay and other Canadians.

CRARR conveys its condolences to Mr. Norton’s family.