Ron Chaplin

Ron began volunteering with the AIDS Committee of Ottawa in 1993, when his career as a big business lobbyist was cut short due to HIV-related illness. He was elected to the Board of Directors from 1994 to 1998, serving his final year as Board Chair. Thereafter, he was asked to chair the annual AIDS Walk Ottawa campaign, at the time the region’s largest fundraising event helping fund up to a dozen local agencies. After stepping down, he was from 2002 through 2006 coordinator of the Ruby Ribbon Club campaign finding sponsors from the business community to underwrite the AIDS Walk expenses, working in association with local realtor Bill Renaud.

From 1998 through 2008, Ron was Chair of the Ottawa-Carleton Council on AIDS, a roundtable of local AIDS service organizations, health-care providers, municipal and provincial health departments, and other non-profit agencies. During this period, he was the local spokesmen for a number of harm-reduction and AIDS awareness activities, including World AIDS Day. In 2005, working through the Council, he brought together community members and service providers to create the African and Caribbean Health Coalition of Ottawa, now a program of the AIDS Committee of Ottawa.

Also in 1993, Ron began active volunteer work with Egale Canada, where he was given the role of Director of Parliamentary Relations. Working closely with Executive Director John Fisher, Ron appeared before parliamentary committees and coordinated meetings with Members of Parliament. In the year 2000, following the approval of an omnibus bill extending marital benefits to same-sex common-law couples, Ron moved on to other endeavours.

More recently, Ron has advocated for the recognition of same-sex relationships within the Anglican Church. In 2007, he moved a successful motion to have the Ottawa diocese to approve a rite for the blessing of same-sex marriages; and in 2016 played a critical role in the successful recount of a motion calling on the Anglican Church of Canada to permit the marriage of same-sex couples. The same year, the Bishop of Ottawa announced a protocol permitting local clergy to officiate at such marriages ceremonies.