Bhausaheb Ubale, a well-loved Fellow of McLaughlin College, died on March 14 in India from complications related to pneumonia.
Mr. Ubale was a former Human Rights Commissioner of both the Ontario Human Rights Commission and the Canadian Human Rights Commission. He was also the First Race Relations Commissioner for the Province of Ontario. From 1985 to the present, Mr. Ubale was a Fellow of McLaughlin College.
“During my term as master, I got to know Dr. Ubale very well because of the work he did to found the Human Rights, Participatory Growth and Poverty Eradication Program at McLaughlin College,” said Professor Ian Greene, master of McLaughlin College. “The program makes it possible for undergraduate students in financial need to be hired as research assistants to do research into the causes of poverty around the world and document successful poverty eradication projects on the program’s web page.
“I met frequently with Dr. Ubale and his colleagues and I learned over time about his immense contributions to the promotion of racial harmony in Ontario and in Canada,” said Greene.
When the South Asian Community was subjected to racial attacks in Toronto in the mid-1970s, Mr. Ubale wrote a report on behalf of the South Asian community and submitted it to the Attorney General of Ontario, Roy McMurtry. The 280-page report released in 1977 was titled “Equal Opportunity and Public Policy: The Role of South Asian Community in Canadian Mosaic”. The report, popularly known as “Ubale Report”, summarized the concerns of the South Asian Canadian community regarding their place in the Canadian mosaic. It recommended government action on three fronts: a public awareness campaign so that Ontario citizens would become more aware of the history and traditions of South Asians; affirmative action programs; and a commitment on the part of politicians to act against discrimination and create a climate conducive to the equitable treatment of minorities. The government accepted all the major recommendations made in the report.
Mr. Ubale was appointed as a Human Rights Commissioner by the order-in-council in 1978. He was given particular responsibility as the first specialized Race Relations Commissioner. Mr. Ubale was charged by the government to give practical shape to society’s goal of creating harmonious relations among various sectors. He also served as the Human Rights and Race Relations Adviser to the provincial government and sat on the Federal-Provincial Continuous Committee on Human Rights. Mr. Ubale was named to The Order of Ontario in 2001.
McLaughlin College is establishing the Ubale Bursary Fund to provide financial assistance to York University students in financial need. “If we are able to raise $12,500, we may be eligible for a matching donation from the Province of Ontario,” said Greene. The fund would then become an endowed fund with annual scholarships for students.
For more information on how to donate to the bursary, click here.
A memorial service for Mr. Ubale will take place on Wednesday, April 4, from 6:30 to 8:30pm, at Arya Samaj Mandir, 4345-14th Avenue, (West of Kennedy Road on 14th Avenue) in Markham. All are welcome.