Hon. Justice Gregory Regis
Honourable Justice Gregory Regis
Born: 12th February, 1949, Dennery, Saint Lucia
Biography – Regional Senior Justice Gregory Regis
The Honourable Justice Gregory Regis was appointed to the Ontario Court of Justice on the 4th of January, 1999. He is assigned to sit in Oshawa, just east of Toronto, but also presides in other locations within the Central East Region. In September 2004, he was appointed Local Administrative Judge (LAJ) in Oshawa.
In September 2007, Justice Regis was appointed Regional Senior Justice for the Central East Region, becoming the first non-white person to hold that office. He is also the first and only Saint Lucian to become a judge in Canada. Regional Senior judges exercise the powers and perform the duties of the Chief Justice in their regions.
A graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School (York University), his Honour was called to the bar in Ontario in 1985 and to the bar in Grenada, West Indies in 1998. Prior to and while attending law school, Justice Regis had a sixteen year career in journalism. He worked in newspaper, radio and T.V. in the West Indies and Canada. While attending law school, he held a regular part time position in the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) national radio newsroom as an editor and producer. He continued his work for CBC Radio after his call to the bar and served as a consultant in Race Relations for such clients as the Toronto Police Services Board and the Toronto Board of Education.
Justice Regis articled at the Toronto law firm of Freedman & Recht. After his call to the bar, he became a partner in the firm of Paolini & Regis. He conducted a general practice concentrating on criminal, civil and family litigation. From 1986 to 1990 he was the Executive Director and Senior Staff Lawyer of the Jane Finch Community Legal Services Clinic in Toronto. His duties included the supervision of three lawyers, two paralegal workers and three support staff. The clinic is funded by the Ontario Legal Aid plan and provides service to low income people in Immigration, Unemployment Insurance, Workers’ Compensation, Social Assistance and Landlord and Tenant Law.
From 1990 until his appointment to the bench, Justice Regis was an Assistant Crown Attorney for the Judicial District of Durham. He prosecuted cases under the Criminal Code, including several high profile homicides. As a lawyer, he appeared in all levels of trial courts in Ontario. He also appeared in the Federal Court of Canada at the trial and appeal divisions.
His Honour has been very active in his community. Since coming to Canada in 1974, he has been a member of the St. Lucia Toronto Association. This is a social and cultural organization which helps Canadians who have emigrated from St. Lucia and their children preserve their culture and heritage. It also encourages them to participate in the wider Canadian community. He served as President from 1985 to 1987 and 1990 to 1991. He has also served as public relations officer, secretary and chair of various committees and projects.
From 1978 to 1980 he was a Director of the Black Resources and Information Centre in Toronto. From 1983 to 1988 he was a member of the Canadian Foundation for Caribbean Development and Cooperation in Ottawa. He served as Chair from 1986 to 1988. From 1980 to 1990 he was a member of the Caribbean Cultural Committee (CARIBANA). He served as a Director from 1986 to 1989 and as Chair from 1987 to 1989. He was a Director of the Canadian Council for International Cooperation, in Ottawa. This is an umbrella organization for non-governmental organizations engaged in development work in third world countries. From 1988 to 1994 he served as a member of the Consultative Committee on Black Community and Police Relations of the Toronto Police Services Board, which he co-chaired with June Rowlands from 1988 to 1991.
Justice Regis has maintained his involvement in the community. He is an occasional lecturer at Osgoode Hall Law School. He has been a presenter at the Ontario Conference of Judges education programs, and is a regular speaker at community functions. Justice Regis has a special interest in the issue of low literacy. He has delivered several lectures on the subject of Literacy and Access to the justice system.
He is a member of the Ontario Conferences of Judges, (OCJ) and the Canadian Association of Provincial Court Judges (CAPCJ). He is the recipient of the African Canadian Achievement Award and the Queen’s Jubilee Award.
Justice Regis was born on February 12, 1949 in the village of Dennery, Saint Lucia.