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​​​​Alberta Human Rights Information Service November 26, 2021

Commission bids farewell to outgoing Chief, Michael Gottheil

The Commission would like to express our deep gratitude to Michael Gottheil upon completion of his tenure as Chief of the Commission and Tribunals. Since 2018, Mr. Gottheil has led the Commission with a firm dedication to human rights. Under his experienced leadership, we reduced our historic backlogs, developed a more expedited, fair, and effective dispute resolution process, and ​made recommendations to update the bylaws and support the legislation. Mr. Gottheil pioneered the shift to making all Tribunal decisions accessible through the CanLII website, improving our transparency with the public. He also oversaw the recent launch of the Commission's Indigenous Human Rights Strategy, as well as our increased collaboration with the disability community to grow support for accessibility legislation in Alberta.

Mr. Gottheil's efforts have made it possible to increase our focus on the impacts of systemic discrimination, leading the Commission to expand our involvement in policy reviews and develop strategies to make Alberta a more inclusive place to live. Despite the challenges of the pandemic and ongoing budget constraints, Mr. Gottheil continued to expand the Commission's ambition to deliver human rights education and increase access to justice in the province. We wish him all the best in his retirement and as he returns to his home province of Ontario.

Acting Chief of the Commission and Tribunals Re-Appointed

We are proud to welcome Kathryn Oviatt as re-appointed Acting Chief of the Commission and Tribunals. Ms. Oviatt will serve as Chief effective January 14, 2022 until July 13, 2022. Her appointment as a Member of the Commission will remain until November 23, 2024.

Ms. Oviatt received a Bachelor of Arts degree (Distinction) in 2001 and a Law degree (Distinction) in 2005, both from the University of Alberta, and was called to the Alberta Bar in 2006. A lifelong Albertan and Tribunal Member since 2015, she is now serving her third term and is committed to upholding Albertan values of community, equality, and fairness. Ms. Oviatt is widely recognized for her measured decision-making and expertise, and we are pleased that she will continue to serve Albertans in this role. Read Ms. Oviatt's biography​.​


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Our vision is a vibrant and inclusive Alberta where the rich diversity of people is celebrated and respected, and where everyone has the opportunity to fully participate in society, free from discrimination.