Kim Pate Receives the 2011 Ed McIsaac Human Rights in Corrections Award

OTTAWA, December 8, 2011 – Today, Mr. Howard Sapers, Correctional Investigator of Canada, announced that Ms. Kim Pate, Executive Director of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies (CAEFS), will receive the 2011 Ed McIsaac Human Rights in Corrections Award.

The Ed McIsaac Human Rights in Corrections Award was established in honour of Mr. Ed McIsaac, long-time Executive Director of the Office of the Correctional Investigator and strong promoter and defender of human rights in federal corrections.

In presenting the award, Mr. Sapers acknowledged Ms. Pate’s exemplary career devoted to promoting social justice and defending the human rights of marginalized youth, men and women. “Ms. Pate has worked relentlessly with courage and dedication to uphold the rule of law and defend the human rights of society’s more vulnerable and disadvantaged groups,” said Mr. Sapers. “She continues to be a strong and passionate voice of reform, and is a leading national and international advocate for the rights of criminalized and imprisoned women and girls.”

Ms. Pate has been instrumental in building coalitions with social justice organizations across the country and bringing national and international attention to issues affecting federally sentenced women. Ms. Pate helped bring public attention to the events at the Prison for Women in Kingston in 1994, which ultimately resulted in Madam Justice Louise Abour’s Report of the Commission of Inquiry into Certain Events at the Prison for Women in Kingston. A lawyer and educator by training, Kim has devoted her professional and personal life to advancing equality and justice behind prison walls.

Upon his retirement, Mr. McIsaac was presented with a sculpture by Ms. Audrey Greyeyes, a Cree artist from Muskeg Lake Cree Nation, entitled Medicine Man. The sculpture symbolizes wisdom, clarity of thought and leadership. Ms. Pate will receive a reproduction of the Medicine Man sculpture, as well as a modest donation to a charity of her choice. This is the third time that the McIsaac Award has been presented since it was first established in December 2008.

The Office of the Correctional Investigator is mandated by an Act of Parliament to be an independent Ombudsman for federal offenders. This work includes ensuring that systemic areas of concern are identified and brought to the attention of those responsible for the operations of our federal correctional system. Details on nomination procedures for the Ed McIsaac Human Rights in Corrections Award are available on the Office’s website at www.oci-bec.gc.ca.

-30-

For more information contact:
Ivan Zinger, LL.B. Ph.D.
Executive Director and General Counsel
Office of the Correctional Investigator
Tel: (613) 990-2690
Ivan.Zinger@oci-bec.gc.ca