Judge Regis returns to Ryerson as visiting professor

Judge Regis returns to Ryerson as visiting professor

March 17, 2017

Four decades after graduating with a journalism degree from Ryerson, Justice Greg Regis is returning to the downtown university as an educator.

As a distinguished visiting professor, the former Ontario Court of Justice regional senior judge will provide support to advance partnerships and act as an advisor to the law school project.

Reporting to the provost and vice-president, academic, his appointment is for a year.

“It’s like going back home and I am very excited,” said Regis who has maintained a close relationship with the university over the years. “I have always wanted to do some work there with students in the areas of justice and literacy. After chatting with the president a few months ago, he agreed to make me an offer that I accepted.”

Regis is honoured to be working at Ryerson which he said is a progressive university that recognizes the needs of its students.

“It’s an institution that’s not only for the academically-inclined,” he added. “Ryerson trains students to go back into the community and be really productive. I have always liked the university for that.”

Chris Evans, the interim provost and vice-president, academic, said Ryerson alumni are important members of the university’s community. 

“It brings me great pride when one of our graduates returns to the university as a distinguished visitor professor,” he said. “He’s coming back to share his unique experience in law, journalism and community engagement to help develop partnerships and support university initiatives.”

Regis’ community service is long and extensive.

He was a former Jane-Finch Community Legal Services executive director, chair of the Caribbean Cultural Committee that organized the annual Caribbean festival and the Canadian Centre on Minority Affairs and a member of the Toronto Police Services Board advisory committee on drug Abuse, the Multicultural Council of Oshawa, the St. Lucia Association of Toronto and Theatre in the Rough.

Prior to migrating from St. Lucia in 1974, Regis was a primary school teacher and lab technician before joining The Voice newspaper as a reporter/photographer in 1969. He was also the island’s correspondent for the Associated Press, the Trinidad Express and the defunct Radio Antilles.

After graduating from Ryerson, Regis returned to St. Lucia to join the government-controlled Radio St. Lucia. Like many qualified professionals returning to the Caribbean, he encountered strong resistance to some changes he proposed and was fired after six months on the job.

Regis came back to Canada and secured a position with CBC TV as an editor.

Frustrated at being pushed into production instead of being given an opportunity to engage in news preparation, Regis switched careers. He enrolled in Osgoode Hall Law School, but maintained his CBC job to pay for his education.

With his law degree, he served as an assistant crown in Durham for eight years and a member of the Ontario Crown Attorney’s Association and the Delos Davis Law Guild before being sworn in as a provincial court judge in January 1999.

Eight years later, Regis was appointed the regional senior justice for the Central East Region, making him the first visible minority to hold the position. He was re-appointed three years later for a maximum second three-year term.

Though retired in 2014, the married father of two daughters still continues to serve as a part-time judge.

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