April 9, 2020
9 April 2020
Statement by the Ombudsman: Our service to citizens during the coronavirus emergency
In accordance with the guidance of public health authorities and the provincial government, the office locations of Ombudsman Ontario have been closed since March 16. Despite this, my staff and I continue to work from home during the provincial state of emergency and remain available to assist the people of Ontario.
March 23, 2020
23 March 2020
Statement by the Ombudsman: COVID-19 – Message to the public
As I write this, Ontario is in an unprecedented state of emergency, due to the global outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Millions of people are working from home and practicing “social distancing” as frontline health care workers and public sector leaders work to contain the outbreak and ensure that tests and treatment are available for those who need them.
March 13, 2020
13 March 2020
Statement by French Language Services Commissioner Kelly Burke on the coronavirus
Health is a priority sector. For francophones and francophiles, French language services are essential to remaining informed and obtaining the care they need in the language of their choice. It is important that our health care professionals have access to proper tools and trainings to offer French language services.
January 13, 2020
13 January 2020
Ombudsman appoints Kelly Burke as new French Language Services Commissioner
Ombudsman Paul Dubé today announced that Ms. Kelly Burke has joined his office as Ontario’s new French Language Services Commissioner. Ms. Burke, an Assistant Deputy Minister and lawyer with several years’ experience in senior roles within the Ontario Public Service, including the Ministry of Francophone Affairs, begins work in her new position this morning.
May 7, 2019
7 May 2019
Ombudsman’s new open meeting case digest (Municipal World)
Imagine you are an Ontario municipal councillor, perusing the agenda for your next meeting, and you see that a new report by the municipality’s integrity commissioner is scheduled to be discussed behind closed doors. You wonder, is that appropriate?
March 15, 2019
15 March 2019
Ombudsman to host international language conference June 26-27
(TORONTO – March 15, 2019) – Join Ombudsman Paul Dubé, as well as ombudsmen, language commissioners and language rights experts from around the world at a conference in June discussing the protection and promotion of linguistic minorities.
October 31, 2018
31 October 2018
Ombudsman reviewing more than 1,000 complaints about Ontario Cannabis Store
Ontario Ombudsman Paul Dubé today confirmed that his office has received more than 1,000 complaints about the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) since it opened October 17. Most are from customers frustrated with delayed deliveries, billing problems and poor customer service.
July 18, 2018
18 July 2018
Niagara Region infringed journalist’s rights: Ombudsman
Ontario Ombudsman Paul Dubé today called on the Regional Municipality of Niagara to apologize publicly to a local journalist and a citizen blogger for seizing their property and ejecting them from a council meeting last December. The region’s actions were unreasonable, unjust, wrong and contrary to law, Mr. Dubé’s investigation found.
December 29, 2017
29 December 2017
The Ombudsman's Top 10 Stories of 2017
Ombudsman Paul Dubé’s second year in office was distinguished by our first-ever investigations in the broader public sector (related to municipalities and school boards), important reforms in correctional services and policing, and connecting with a wider range of stakeholders than ever before. Here’s our annual top 10 list of key developments in the past year.
December 14, 2017
14 December 2017
Ombudsman to investigate incident at Niagara council meeting
Ontario Ombudsman Paul Dubé today informed the Regional Municipality of Niagara that he will conduct a formal investigation into an incident at a council meeting on December 7, when a journalist and a citizen blogger were reportedly asked to leave the premises and had their property seized.
August 11, 2017
11 August 2017
Toronto’s school bus woes demonstrate the risks of reinventing the wheel (TVO)
It was, as they say, a teachable moment. In September 2016, at a time when parents have more than enough on their minds, Toronto’s school bus network was in chaos: some buses showed up late in the mornings, others not at all. And at the end of the day, drivers in some cases dropped kids off long distances from where they were supposed to.
June 27, 2017
27 June 2017
Ombudsman lauds new era of oversight - Annual Report 2016-2017
Greater oversight of public sector bodies will improve accountability and services to Ontarians, provided it is consistent and effective, Ontario Ombudsman Paul Dubé notes today in his latest Annual Report, marking the first full year of his term and his office’s expanded mandate.
December 30, 2016
30 December 2016
Ombudsman’s top 10 stories of 2016
It’s been a year of historic change for our office, as the Ombudsman’s mandate doubled and we were able to help Ontarians with a whole new range of issues in the broader public sector. Here are 10 of the key developments of the past year.
December 29, 2016
29 December 2016
Ontario Ombudsman marks one year of oversight of municipalities and universities
As the new year approaches, the Office of the Ontario Ombudsman is set to mark one year of oversight of municipalities and universities. Since the historic new jurisdiction took effect Jan. 1, the office has received some 3,176 public complaints and inquiries about municipalities, and 232 about universities.
December 2, 2016
2 December 2016
Ombudsman to investigate segregation process in Ontario jails
Ontario Ombudsman Paul Dubé today announced an investigation into how the province tracks and reviews the placement of inmates in solitary confinement in its correctional facilities, in light of serious issues raised in an increasing number of complaints.
October 27, 2016
27 October 2016
Police oversight reform long overdue: Ombudsman
Ontario Ombudsman Paul Dubé today released his submission to the province’s Independent Police Oversight Review, calling for new legislation to make police oversight bodies more effective, accountable and transparent.
September 26, 2016
26 September 2016
Ombudsman to investigate Toronto school busing issues
Ombudsman Paul Dubé today announced his office will conduct a systemic investigation into recent school busing problems at the Toronto District School Board and Toronto Catholic District School Board.
September 9, 2016
9 September 2016
Ombudsman to assess Toronto school busing issues
After hearing about problems with busing of students in the Toronto District School Board and Toronto Catholic District School Board, Ontario Ombudsman Paul Dubé has directed staff to assess the issues to determine whether or not a systemic investigation is warranted.
September 6, 2016
6 September 2016
Ontario Ombudsman marks one year of school board oversight
As the new school year begins, the Office of the Ontario Ombudsman is marking one year of oversight of school boards, after receiving 701 complaints and inquiries in the first year of its new mandate.
August 30, 2016
30 August 2016
Ombudsman congratulated for report (Sarnia Observer)
I would like to congratulate the Ontario Ombudsman, Paul Dubé, on the thoroughness of his report on developmental services in Ontario (Sarnia Observer, Aug 26). The report highlights situations of crisis and challenges of access into services for adults with developmental disabilities. The crisis circumstances described within the report are unacceptable.
July 4, 2016
4 July 2016
Focus: New ombudsman on the scene (Law Times)
Paul Dubé is walking in the hallway of his 10th floor Bay Street office when an older man wearing a plaid shirt suddenly approaches him. “Excuse me, sir, are you the ombudsman?” the man eagerly asks. “I have a case here.”
June 29, 2016
29 June 2016
Report after Sammy Yatim’s death slams police training (Toronto Star)
Citing an “urgent need” for improvements to police training, Ontario’s Ombudsman is calling for the province to create a regulation requiring police to deescalate and use communications techniques in all possible conflict situations before resorting to force.
May 25, 2016
25 May 2016
Ombudsman to investigate Brampton procurement practices
Ontario Ombudsman Paul Dubé today announced an investigation into the city of Brampton’s procurement practices, focusing on the administration of its purchasing by-laws, policies and procedures regarding non-competitive procurements.
May 10, 2016
10 May 2016
Abolish indefinite segregation: Ombudsman
Ontario Ombudsman Paul Dubé today urged the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services to abolish the practice of placing inmates indefinitely in segregation and develop alternatives to protect the rights of the vulnerable.
May 10, 2016
10 May 2016
Ontario ombudsman calls for end to long-term solitary confinement in jails (Globe and Mail)
In a scathing appraisal of Ontario prison practices, the provincial Ombudsman is pushing for a ban on long-term solitary confinement, a move that would make the province the first jurisdiction in Canada to apply United Nations guidelines to the draconian form of incarceration. Ombudsman Paul Dubé made the recommendations on Tuesday, part of an exhaustive submission to the province’s continuing review of solitary confinement – formally termed “segregation” – in its 27 correctional facilities.
April 1, 2016
1 April 2016
New Ontario Ombudsman takes office
New Ontario Ombudsman Paul Dubé took his oath of office today, beginning a five-year term as the province’s independent, impartial watchdog. Mr. Dubé is the province’s seventh Ombudsman since the office was established in 1975.
February 17, 2016
17 February 2016
New Ontario Ombudsman to start April 1: Mr. Paul Dubé
Mr. J. Paul Dubé of Ottawa has been appointed as Ontario’s seventh Ombudsman for a five-year term, to begin April 1, 2016. His appointment by an all-party committee of the Legislative Assembly was announced yesterday and approved by unanimous vote in the Legislature.
January 15, 2016
15 January 2016
How do we help the first responders who endure trauma when helping us? (The Globe and Mail)
Late one night in the summer of 2014, Bill Rusk, a police sergeant in Owen Sound, Ont., was crouched on the roof of a downtown store, watching the window of a second-floor apartment in the building next door. His squad had come to bust up a drug deal, and had been told that a violent man was hiding inside with a sawed-off shotgun.
December 31, 2015
31 December 2015
Ombudsman begins taking complaints about Ontario municipalities and universities on New Year’s Day
Beginning tomorrow – January 1, 2016 – the Ontario Ombudsman is officially able to take complaints about the province’s 444 municipalities and 21 publicly funded universities. This historic expansion of the Ombudsman’s mandate is the result of the Public Sector and MPP Accountability and Transparency Act, 2014, which also extended the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction to school boards on September 1, 2015.
December 31, 2015
31 December 2015
The Ontario Ombudsman’s Top 10 Things to Know for 2016
A year-end Top 10 list is an annual tradition here at the Office of the Ontario Ombudsman. As we wrap up our milestone 40th year and welcome an historic expansion of our mandate on January 1, Acting Ombudsman Barbara Finlay has designed this list to help Ontarians get to know us better. Without further ado, here are her Top 10 Things To Know for 2016.
October 30, 2015
30 October 2015
Ombudsman’s office marks 40 years of helping citizens, improving governance
Milestone coincides with historic expansion of mandate - The Office of the Ontario Ombudsman today celebrates 40 years of helping citizens resolve issues with the provincial government. The occasion comes as the office embarks on an historic expansion of its mandate – something the first Ombudsman began calling for in 1975.
September 24, 2015
24 September 2015
Ombudsman’s office releases submission on carding
The Office of the Ombudsman of Ontario today publicly released its submission to the government on the subject of police street checks. The submission was made in August as part of the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services’ public consultation on the practice often known as “carding.”
September 16, 2015
16 September 2015
Acting Ombudsman of Ontario named
Barbara Finlay has been named acting Ombudsman of Ontario, pending the Legislative Assembly’s selection process to fill the position permanently. Ms. Finlay has served with the Ontario Ombudsman’s office since 2005 as Deputy Ombudsman and Director of Operations. She has previously worked as Director General of Operations for the National Defence and Canadian Forces Ombudsman, and as an Assistant Crown Attorney and part-time law professor.
August 31, 2015
31 August 2015
Ombudsman begins taking complaints about school boards September 1
Beginning tomorrow, September 1, the Ontario Ombudsman is officially able to take complaints about the province’s 82 school boards. The historic new expansion of the Ombudsman’s mandate was granted with the passage of Bill 8, the Public Sector and MPP Accountability and Transparency Act, 2014.
July 28, 2015
28 July 2015
Ombudsman marks decade of progress in 2014-2015 Annual Report
Ontario Ombudsman André Marin today released his tenth annual report, marking the end of an historic year – and decade – that saw the largest investigation in the history of the office, the enactment of legislation extending the Ombudsman’s mandate to municipalities, school boards and universities, and an 86% increase in complaints received since 2009-2010.
June 5, 2015
5 June 2015
Information for new Hydro One complainants
As of June 4, 2015, the Ombudsman no longer has oversight of Hydro One. This oversight was removed in the passage of the Building Ontario Up Act (Budget Measures) 2015. If you have a new complaint about Hydro One, please refer to these options.
June 4, 2015
4 June 2015
Ombudsman no longer able to take Hydro One complaints
Ontario Ombudsman André Marin today reminded customers of Hydro One that his office is no longer able to take complaints about the utility, now that royal assent has been given to Bill 91, the Building Ontario Up Act (Budget Measures) 2015.
May 25, 2015
25 May 2015
Ombudsman urges corporate culture overhaul, ongoing oversight of Hydro One
Egregious billing, customer service problems; Utility “lost sight of its public interest purpose”.
Ombudsman André Marin today called on Hydro One to overhaul its corporate culture to focus on customers and transparency, and urged the government to preserve independent oversight of the utility in the public interest.
May 21, 2015
21 May 2015
Ombudsman oversight coming soon to municipalities, universities and school boards
The public will be able to complain to the Ontario Ombudsman about school boards as of September 1, 2015, and about municipalities and universities as of January 1, 2016, now that the dates have been proclaimed for the relevant sections of the Public Sector and MPP Accountability and Transparency Act to come into force.
May 14, 2015
14 May 2015
Statement from Ontario's Independent Legislative Officers
Ontario’s Independent Officers of the Legislative Assembly are calling on the provincial government to reverse plans in the Budget Bill that they believe will significantly reduce important oversight powers.
January 27, 2015
27 January 2015
Brighter days ahead for municipal accountability: Ombudsman
After seven years of “patchwork” enforcement and widespread confusion about the rules requiring them to hold open meetings, there is good news for Ontario municipalities and the citizens seeking to hold them accountable, Ontario Ombudsman André Marin says today in his latest report.
December 14, 2011
14 December 2011
Government failing to support police watchdog: Ombudsman
Ontario Ombudsman André Marin today renewed his call for effective legislation to support the province’s police watchdog, after his latest investigation found the responsible ministry has actively undermined it.
June 10, 2011
10 June 2011
Ombudsman welcomes regulation of non-emergency medical transfers
Ontario Ombudsman André Marin today thanked the Ministries of Transportation and Health and Long-Term Care for acting on his recommendations and committing to regulate the industry that handles non-emergency transportation of hundreds of thousands of patients every year.
May 12, 2011
12 May 2011
Herceptin coverage extended – Ombudsman suspends investigation
Ontario Ombudsman André Marin today suspended his investigation into the province’s limited funding of Herceptin, after the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care decided it would fund the drug for patients with breast cancer tumours of one centimetre in diameter or less.
February 23, 2011
23 February 2011
Ombudsman releases information on G20-related police complaints
Ontario Ombudsman André Marin today released information on 112 complaints received by his Office about police conduct during the June 2010 G20 summit in Toronto. The information, requested by the Ontario Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) in the course of its ongoing investigations, was also tabled in the Legislature and posted on the Ombudsman’s website.
December 9, 2010
9 December 2010
Ontario Ombudsman statement on G20 arrests and detentions
Ontario Ombudsman André Marin today issued a brief additional statement about his special report Caught in the Act. The statement addresses issues and questions surrounding the use of police powers granted by the province’s enactment of Regulation 233/10 under the Public Works Protection Act.
November 29, 2009
29 November 2009
Ontario uncaps Avastin funding in wake of Ombudsman probe
Ontario Ombudsman André Marin today welcomed the province’s announcement that it will uncap the funding of Avastin for colorectal cancer patients. Mr. Marin recommended that the “absurd and indefensible” cap be lifted two months ago in his report, A Vast Injustice.
October 1, 2009
1 October 2009
Statement by Ontario Ombudsman André Marin on Avastin funding
Yesterday, I issued A Vast Injustice, a report on my investigation into the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s decision-making concerning the funding of Avastin for colorectal cancer patients. The basic premise of my report is that although the Ministry is entitled to consider cost in deciding whether to fund a cancer drug such as Avastin, any limit on the duration of funding should be supported by sound medical evidence.
June 3, 2008
3 June 2008
Ombudsman calls for clarity on new home warranty program
Ontario Ombudsman André Marin today called on the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services to clarify its relationship with Tarion Warranty Corp. in its communications with new homeowners and the general public.
May 31, 2006
31 May 2006
Ontario’s most vulnerable are losing out
Ontario’s disabled have lost out on disability benefits to the tune of at least $6 million, as a result of delays in processing their applications for support by the Ministry of Community and Social Services’ Ontario Disability Support Program and the impact of a provincial regulation, which limited retroactive benefit payments to four months.
March 28, 2006
28 March 2006
MPAC in credibility crisis
The Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) is experiencing a crisis of credibility and must take real and concrete steps to improve public confidence in the assessment system, Ombudsman André Marin said at a press conference announcing the release of his report on the investigation into the transparency of the property assessment process and the integrity and efficiency of decision-making at MPAC.
September 1, 2005
1 September 2005
Ombudsman finds Ministry bound by its own red tape
Bureaucratic obfuscation, errors, excuses and omissions are just some of the criticisms Ombudsman André Marin leveled at officials at the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in his report titled, "From Hope to Despair".