The PUSH for MUSH

HOW DOES ONTARIO MEASURE UP?

UPDATE:

On July 9, 2014, the Ontario government reintroduced historic legislation that will, if passed, open Ontario’s MUSH sector to Ombudsman oversight for the first time.

First introduced on March 24, 2014, the bill – the Public Sector and MPP Accountability and Transparency Act – died on the order paper when the Legislature was dissolved for the June 12 election. It was first introduced as Bill 179, and reintroduced in July as Bill 8. It has passed first reading.

The bill will give the 
Ontario Ombudsman direct oversight of municipalities, universities and school boards. It will also create a new Patient Ombudsman for complaints about hospitals and long-term care homes, and give the existing Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth the power to investigate children’s aid societies.

In releasing his Annual Report on June 23, 2014, Mr. Marin said: Although this bill wasn’t quite everything I dreamed it would be, I was pleased to have been consulted on its first incarnation,” and he signalled to the government that his office stands ready “to offer more constructive input on how MUSH bodies can be held to account.”

Related documents on the bill (formerly known as Bill 179):


The Ombudsman's authority, as established by the Ombudsman Act to oversee the delivery of public services, has not been modernized in more than 35 years. Ontario has fallen behind in oversight of non-governmental organizations providing critical public services referred to as the “MUSH” sector - municipalities (except for the ability to investigate complaints about closed meetings in some cases), universities, school boards, hospitals, nursing homes and long-term care facilities, police, and children’s aid societies. The Ombudsman of Ontario's authority with respect to this sector is the most limited in Canada.

How the mandate of Ontario’s Ombudsman compares to other Canadian Ombudsman in key public service areas:

Provinces Boards
 of
Education
Child Protection Services Public Hospitals Nursing Homes and Long-
Term Care Facilities
Munici-palities Police Comp-
laints Review Mecha-
nism
Univer-sities
Ontario No No No No No1 No No
Alberta No Yes Yes2 Yes3 No Yes No
British Columbia
Yes Yes Yes4 Yes Yes No Yes
Manitoba No Yes Yes5 Yes6 Yes Yes7 No
New Brunswick Yes Yes8 Yes9 Yes Yes Yes10 No

Newfoundland and Labrador

Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Nova Scotia Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Quebec No Yes11 Yes Yes No Yes No
Saskatchewan
No Yes Yes Yes No Yes No
Yukon
Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No12 No

Amended: June 2, 2014

  1. In Ontario, the Ombudsman has jurisdiction to investigate complaints about some municipal closed meetings.
  2. In Alberta, the Ombudsman has jurisdiction to investigate complaints about the patient concerns resolution processes of hospitals.
  3. In Alberta, the Ombudsman has jurisdiction to investigate complaints about the patient concerns resolution processes of long-term care facilities and nursing homes.
  4. In British Columbia, the Ombudsman also has jurisdiction over regional health boards and regional hospital districts.
  5. In Manitoba, the Ombudsman has jurisdiction to investigate complaints about regional health authorities, which operate and dispense all services for hospitals.
  6. In Manitoba, the Ombudsman has jurisdiction to investigate complaints about regional health authorities, which operate and dispense all services for long term care homes.   
  7. In Manitoba, the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction over police, which are municipal, flows from his jurisdiction over municipalities. The Ombudsman also has jurisdiction over the Law Enforcement Review Agency (LERA), which is part of the Justice Department.
  8. In New Brunswick, the Ombudsman is prevented from investigating a matter that is or has been investigated or reviewed by the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate. 
  9. In New Brunswick, the Ombudsman has jurisdiction over Regional Health Authorities, which operate, own and dispense all services for hospitals.
  10. In New Brunswick, the Ombudsman has jurisdiction over the New Brunswick Police Commission. The Commission is not included in the Schedule to the Ombudsman Act, but the Ombudsman has a working agreement with the Commission allowing them to review Commission files.
  11. In Quebec, the Protecteur du citoyen has some jurisdiction over administrative procedural matters relating to child protection services provided by the directors of youth protection.
  12. The only police force operating in the Yukon is the RCMP, a federal body.

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