Ken Pike Retires

Ken Pike’s dedication to our organization, the inclusion movement and New Brunswick is difficult to capture. As he embarks on his well-deserved retirement, we wanted to share a little about what he has accomplished to enhance the lives of individuals with an intellectual or developmental disability in our province.

Shortly after he started working as lawyer in 1985, he was tasked with filing a legal claim for three pairs of parents who wanted to use section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to force the government to change the Schools Act. At that time, the Act prevented their children from attending regular classes in school. These parents began the first Charter challenge in Canada in the field of education – and the most effective. In 1986, the government introduced amendments to the Schools Act which required students with disabilities to be educated in the regular education system, and inclusive education was born, not only in New Brunswick, but also in Canada.

Following this, Ken left his law firm to join the Community Living movement, now known as Inclusion. For nearly 40 years, he has penned countless policy proposals and briefs always asking himself: in this situation, what legislation, regulation, policies and practices would best promote and protect human rights? If people’s human rights are being infringed or ignored, what needs to be changed and what is doable now?

In the words of the late Dr. David Jory, (one of the original six parents referenced above), “Ken has the remarkable gift of being a strong and principled advocate for human rights and for change without unduly annoying the people who can make the changes he wants to see. The changes he proposes are eminently reasonable, based on clear and sound principles. Ken has never sought the limelight, preferring to get on with his work and let that speak for itself. Sometimes the limelight seeks him out – as the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission did in 2008 when he received the New Brunswick Human Rights Award, and in 2020 when he received the Order of New Brunswick.”

Ken will retire April 30th and on May 14th, he will become the 2nd annual recipient of the Dr. David Jory award, the first being Dr. Jory in 2023. Ken, thank you for your dedication and commitment to so many New Brunswickers and their families. Your colleagues will miss you, but your principles will continue to guide us. Enjoy every moment of your retirement.