For immediate release
HAMILTON, ON, August 8, 2021 — The Hamilton Community Legal Clinic (HCLC) congratulates our Executive Director, Hugh Tye, on more than thirty years of service to Ontario’s legal clinic system on the eve of his retirement.
Hugh was called to the bar and joined the Centre for Spanish Speaking Peoples as a staff lawyer in 1988. In 1990 he joined Hamilton Mountain Legal & Community Services, where he took the reins as Executive Director in 1995.
Hugh has led HCLC as Executive Director since its inception in 2010 with the amalgamation of three clinics: Dundurn Community Legal Services, Hamilton Mountain Legal & Community Services and McQuestern Legal & Community Services.
During this time he has led initiatives to improve access to justice for historically marginalized communities, like YÉN:TENE (You and I will go there together) with Indigenous partners, Hamilton Legal Outreach in support of people experiencing mental health and substance use issues, Together We Rise! combating individual and systemic Anti-Black racism, and the Queer Justice Project with Two Spirit and LGBTQAI+ communities. These exist within an ongoing decolonizing, Anti-Racism Anti-Oppression journey to address and dismantle racism and oppression across all areas of our clinic.
Hugh is a founding member of the Association of Community Legal Clinics of Ontario and served as the staff co-chair of the Association Executive until 2002. He has also sat on many provincial clinic committees over the years.
Hugh will retire from this leadership position at the end of 2021, but leaves behind a compassionate, motivated, and skilled team committed to access to justice, strong ties with communities and agencies across Hamilton engaged in the work of supporting our neighbours and protecting their dignity, and deep, organization-spanning practices of anti-oppression and continuous improvement.
“You have waged an incredible fight for access to justice and the very existence of a critical component to that access in Ontario,” said Sandi Bell, Immediate Past Chair of the Board of Directors of HCLC. “And always with calm, compassion, and thoughtfulness that often exceeded the moment. When it is time to say goodbye, we will do all we can to follow the fierce example you’ve set for us.”
We invite Hugh, our community, and all those across the clinic system who have worked with him on issues from the neighbourhood level up to the provincial to take a moment for reflection today: look back upon the legacy of a tireless champion and take heart in what great passion can accomplish.
The Board of Directors
Hamilton Community Legal Clinic/Clinique juridique communautaire de Hamilton