South Asians in Canada
Human Rights Activist Honoured
Dr Ubale Receives ORDER OF ONTARIO
Bhausaheb Ubale was honoured last month for his many years of work in
human rights and race relations. He was amongst 27 recipients of the Order
the special ceremony organised in the main hall of the Legislature,
Her Honour the Lieutenant Governor of
Ontario, Hilary Weston, gave him “The Order of Ontario” the highest honour
given in the province of Ontario.
the citation read by the Deputy Minister of Citizenship, on the behalf of
the people of Ontario, states: “ Bhausaheb
Ubale is a renowned human rights activist
whose work has made Ontario and Canada, a better place to live for people
of all background”.
the Lt. Governor wrote: “This well-deserved honour
recognizes your long-standing commitment to excellence and remarkable
contribution, which have enriched life in our province and beyond”.
Ubale comes from Satara Maharashtra. In India he was active in public
life. He was Director of Indian Institute of Political studies in Bombay
1964, he went to England to complete his post-graduate studies in
Economics. He received Ph.D. in Economics.
he was in London, Dr Ubale became actively involved in British politics.
He served as Vice President of Campaign Against Racial Discrimination, was
invited by the House of Commons Committee on Immigration to give expert
testimony, founded Indian Student Hardship Fund, worked as Asian Editor of
New Independent, interviewed number of Commonwealth Prime-Ministers, was
member of Fabian Society and undertook study for them on the Role of
Immigrants in British Economy, organised International conference on
India's fifth five-year plan focused on eradication of poverty. He
appeared on British electronics media both print and electronics.
first gained prominence in 1977, during the peak of hostilities against
East Indians and Pakistanis living in Toronto.
were being attacked on the street,” Ubale said of his first years in
Toronto. “It was really a very painful experience… I said ‘Look, if
I can’t even go out and do normal, everyday things without being afraid
to leave my home then something must be wrong’.”
the request of community leaders, Dr. Ubale
wrote a scathing 200-page report submitted to the Government of Ontario
entitled ”Equal Opportunity and Public Policy: The Role of South Asian
Community in Canadian Mosaic” popularly known as “Ubale
Report”. The report was
well received by all sectors of Canadian society. Then, Premier Bill Davis
and his entire Cabinet responded in a public
meeting by presenting its own response entitled “ Working Together:
Government’s response to Ubale Report”,
accepting all recommendations made in the Ubale
Ubale was appointed as Human Rights
Commissioner, the first Canadian of South Asian-origin to get this
appointment, by the Premier and his Council of Ministers and was
subsequently given additional responsibility of the first Race Relations
Commissioner for the Province of Ontario. He held this position for six
years until 1985. The CBC T.V. named him as “News Maker of the Week”.
In doing this, the Government of Ontario took revolutionary step in creating legislative and administrative framework to create better racial harmony in Ontario and in Canada. Dr. Ubale was charged by the Cabinet to give practical shape to society’s dream of creating harmonious relations among various sections of the society. Thus, through him the South Asian Community played a pioneering role in changing the direction of race relations in Canada.
Ubale has had impeccable public service
records. He was subsequently, named as Human Rights Commissioner to the
Canadian Human Rights Commission. He also served on the Board of Directors
of International Association Official Human Rights Agencies, Washington
Dr. Ubale assumed strong advocacy role on behalf of minority communities to integrate them in the mainstream of Canadian society. He did this through his public speeches, writings, appearing before House of Commons committees, lobbying CRCT and other regulatory bodies, press interviews and establishing good working relations with every sector of Canadian society.
remained very vocal through out his public career and remained focus of
media attention continuously as a high profile public figure. Dr. Ubale is
an author of a book: “Politics
of Exclusion, Multiculturalism or Ghettoism.”
He served as the first visible minority person on the Board of
Directors of United Way of Greater Toronto. His contribution to Canada’s
social fabric has been well recognized by leaders of all political
parties, the media and by community at large. He is recipient of numerous
awards. Dr. Ubale now serves as Senior Vice President of The Ethnic Press
Council of Canada.
gave up my career as an economist to do this and being recognized this way
tells me that it was worth it,” said Ubale, on getting news about his
being named to “The Order of Ontario”.
goal was to improve the quality of race relations and the quality of life
for all people in the province and this gives me official recognition of
having accomplished some significant changes”, he added.
Dr Ubale currently utilizes his time in the area of poverty eradication in terms of lobbying, policy makers nationally and internationally, the World Bank and other international agencies to ensure that their work is poverty targeted. He is a founder and president of International Centre for Eradication of Poverty.
Ubale is married with two grown up children.