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June 25, 2004
TORONTO — Attorney General Michael Bryant and Sandra Pupatello, Minister Responsible for Women's Issues, have appointed Marion Boyd to review the arbitration process and its impact on vulnerable people in Ontario.
Boyd served as Attorney General and as Minister Responsible for Women's Issues, Minister of Education, and Minister of Community and Social Services in the government of Bob Rae. She is a former executive director of the London Battered Women's Advocacy Clinic and is presently a Life Bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada and an adjudicator for the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board.
Premier Dalton McGuinty asked Pupatello and Bryant to look at arbitrations after concerns were raised publicly about the participation of vulnerable persons in private arbitrations.
"Marion Boyd has distinguished herself with her devotion to public service," said Bryant. "I am confident that the outcome of her review will increase confidence in the use of arbitrations in Ontario."
"The government is aware that many women may be vulnerable in any private dispute resolution setting including arbitrations," said Pupatello. "Marion Boyd has demonstrated her commitment and dedication to vulnerable people. I am confident that her review will be sensitive to the concerns of women and vulnerable groups like the disabled and the frail elderly across Ontario."
Recently, concerns have been expressed about religious arbitrations based on Sharia. Pupatello and Bryant have asked Boyd to review the safeguards afforded to individuals in all private arbitrations since vulnerability arises in many contexts.
"I am pleased to take on this task and I hope to provide recommendations to the government which will enhance protections for all people," said Boyd.
The Ministry of the Attorney General and the Ontario Women's Directorate are already working to ensure that women are aware of their rights under Canadian law, including in arbitrations, and that educational materials are available in several languages.
Boyd is expected to deliver a report to Pupatello and Bryant by September.