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.
June 27, 2017
27 June, 2017
Ombudsman lauds new era of oversight - Annual Report 2016-2017
(June 27, 2017 – TORONTO) 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
(TORONTO – December 29, 2016) 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
TORONTO (December 2, 2016) – 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
TORONTO (October 27, 2016) – 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
TORONTO (September 26, 2016) – 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
TORONTO (September 9, 2016) – 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
(TORONTO – September 6, 2016) 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.
June 29, 2016
29 June, 2016
Ombudsman urges province to ensure police are trained in de-escalation
(TORONTO – June 29, 2016) Ontario Ombudsman Paul Dubé today called on the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services to save lives by requiring police across the province to use de-escalation techniques in conflict situations before resorting to lethal force.
May 25, 2016
25 May, 2016
Ombudsman to investigate Brampton procurement practices
(TORONTO – May 25, 2016) 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 19, 2016
19 May, 2016
Reports on two Ombudsman investigations in final stages
(TORONTO – May 19, 2016) Ontario Ombudsman Paul Dubé confirmed today that he expects to release reports on two of his office’s in-depth systemic investigations in June and July, once required processes are complete.
May 10, 2016
10 May, 2016
Abolish indefinite segregation: Ombudsman
(TORONTO – May 10, 2016) 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.
April 1, 2016
1 April, 2016
New Ontario Ombudsman takes office
Aims to build on investigative legacy and relationships as mandate expands
(TORONTO – April 1, 2016) 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
(TORONTO – February 17, 2016) 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.
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.
December 4, 2015
4 December, 2015
Ombudsman closes last Hydro One case – oversight ends today
(TORONTO – December 4, 2015) The Office of the Ontario Ombudsman has closed its last Hydro One case, as the utility no longer comes under the watchdog’s scrutiny, Acting Ombudsman Barbara Finlay announced today.
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
(TORONTO, September 16, 2015) – 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
TORONTO (August 31, 2015) – 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
TORONTO (July 28, 2015) – 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
(TORONTO – June 4, 2015) 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 21, 2015
21 May, 2015
Ombudsman oversight coming soon to municipalities, universities and school boards
(TORONTO – May 21, 2015) – 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
(TORONTO — May 14, 2015) 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.
March 11, 2015
11 March, 2015
Ombudsman receives 10,000+ complaints about Hydro One, urges utility to stop “cruel, deceitful” threats to customers
(TORONTO – March 11, 2015) Just 13 months after launching an investigation into billing and customer service problems at Hydro One, Ontario Ombudsman André Marin announced today his office has received more than 10,000 complaints about the utility – its highest total, by far, for any investigation to date.
January 27, 2015
27 January, 2015
Brighter days ahead for municipal accountability: Ombudsman
(TORONTO – January 27, 2015) 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
TORONTO (December 14, 2011) - 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.
August 16, 2011
16 August, 2011
Ombudsman to investigate handling of excessive force in Ontario jails
TORONTO (August 16, 2011) – Ontario Ombudsman André Marin today announced a systemic investigation into how the province deals with the use of excessive force against inmates by Ontario jail guards, sparked by numerous complaints that such incidents are being covered up or ignored.
March 31, 2011
31 March, 2011
Ombudsman to investigate OPP handling of stress injuries
TORONTO (March 31, 2011) – Ontario Ombudsman André Marin today announced he is launching an investigation into how the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) deals administratively with operational stress injuries (OSI) among its members. He will also investigate the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services’ administrative processes relating to OSI in police services across Ontario.
February 23, 2011
23 February, 2011
Ombudsman releases information on G20-related police complaints
TORONTO (February 23, 2011) – 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.
July 14, 2009
14 July, 2009
Ontario Ombudsman calls on government to better protect students: Ministry incompetence led to private career college “disaster”
Ontario Ombudsman André Marin today urged the province’s Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities to get tougher on unscrupulous private career colleges. His latest special report, Too Cool For School, outlines the “unmitigated disaster” of Bestech Academy, an unregistered, illegal operation which the Ministry tolerated for more than two years – while actually paying for several students to attend classes there, and subsequently even hiring its president to work in the Ministry.
June 4, 2009
4 June, 2009
Ombudsman to investigate Ontario’s limited funding of cancer drug
Ontario Ombudsman André Marin has launched an investigation into the provincial Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s funding of Avastin, a drug for colon cancer patients. The province’s funding of Avastin is limited to 16 two-week cycles, regardless of patient response to the treatment. The Ombudsman is investigating whether the Ministry’s decision to limit funding in this way was informed and reasonable.
April 29, 2009
29 April, 2009
Ombudsman finds closed Oshawa meeting illegally involved lobbying, not just ‘education’
Ontario Ombudsman André Marin has found a city of Oshawa committee met inappropriately behind closed doors with a private business in a “lobbying” session that was supposed to be for “education and training” purposes only. “This is the very type of conduct that municipalities should scrupulously avoid occurring in a closed committee meeting,” he says in his report, The ABCs of Education and Training.
April 27, 2009
27 April, 2009
Ontario Ombudsman censures Oshawa for "pirating" report
Ontario Ombudsman André Marin today tabled a report signalling to municipalities that they must respect the law when they engage the services of his office. In his report, Pirating our Property, the Ombudsman found the city of Oshawa’s failure to co-operate with his office to be contrary to law.
March 24, 2009
24 March, 2009
Ombudsman to investigate Hamilton/Niagara-area LHIN
Ontario Ombudsman André Marin announced today he is launching an investigation into the decision-making process of the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant Local Health Integration Network (HNHB LHIN), including its approach to its mandate of “community engagement” when it deals with proposals for the restructuring of health services.
January 8, 2009
8 January, 2009
Ombudsman to investigate oversight of Bestech Academy
Ombudsman André Marin today announced an investigation into the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities’ oversight of Bestech Academy, a private vocational college in Stoney Creek.
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 23, 2008
23 May, 2008
Ombudsman to investigate closed meetings in Oshawa
Ontario Ombudsman André Marin served notice to the mayor and council of the City of Oshawa this week that he is investigating a complaint about closed meetings held by city council.
February 26, 2008
26 February, 2008
Ombudsman calls for new law to avert legal aid “fiascos”
Ontario Ombudsman André Marin today called on the province to change the law to prevent further legal aid fiascos like the Richard Wills murder case – and to take whatever steps possible to recover some of the $1.1 million it cost taxpayers. He warned that the situation is not beyond repetition if things are left the way they are.
October 22, 2007
22 October, 2007
Ombudsman to investigate closed meetings free of charge
Ontario Ombudsman André Marin today welcomed new provisions of the Municipal Act, 2001 and the City of Toronto Act, 2006 that will allow people to complain to his office about closed municipal meetings if their municipality has not appointed its own investigator.
June 7, 2007
7 June, 2007
Ontario Ombudsman to Investigate Special Investigations Unit
Ontario Ombudsman André Marin today announced the launch of a systemic investigation into the province’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU). The SIU is the civilian agency responsible for probing police actions involving serious injury or death of members of the public. The SIU reports to the Ministry of the Attorney General.
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. “Thousands of Ontario’s most vulnerable citizens have become losers in a cruelly insensitive and intensely bureaucratic waiting game” Mr. Marin notes in his latest report titled “Losing the Waiting Game.”
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".