The year 2004-2005 was one of transition for Ombudsman Ontario, as Ontario’s fifth Ombudsman, Clare Lewis, Q.C., served the final year of his term, retiring at the end of January 2005.

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Contents

 
 

OMBUDSMAN’S MESSAGE

 
The year 2004-2005 was one of transition for Ombudsman Ontario, as Ontario’s fifth Ombudsman, Clare Lewis, Q.C., served the final year of his term, retiring at the end of January 2005. I would like to recognize Mr. Lewis for his work, provincially, nationally and internationally promoting the principles of Ombudsmanship. Mr. Lewis left an Ombudsman office based on a strong foundation with staff dedicated to ensuring fairness and accountability in provincial government service. I had the pleasure of serving as Temporary Ombudsman upon Mr. Lewis’ departure, until April 1, 2005, when Mr. André Marin began his five-year term as Ombudsman.
 
In 2002, the office created a Vision – Looking Forward to 2005. The Vision focused on four primary areas: our public identity, service delivery model, staff, and workplace culture and structure. All staff set out to realize the Vision through the development and implementation of new programs, processes and approaches. In late 2004, we evaluated our progress. At the staff conference this year, the office reflected on how its Vision had become a reality. We had successfully accomplished 52 of the 55 objectives identified and made significant progress on the remaining three.
 
These are exciting times at Ombudsman Ontario, as we welcome Mr. Marin, the sixth Ombudsman of Ontario. He comes to this office with a wealth of experience in investigations and oversight. A former Crown Attorney, he was appointed Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) of the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General in 1996. He left the SIU to become the first Ombudsman for the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces, where he created an effective and credible oversight agency that quickly became renowned for its thorough and objective investigations into issues affecting the well-being of Canadian Forces members and their families.
 
In the coming year we will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Ombudsman’s Office in Ontario. It signals a time for revitalization, new beginnings and new visions.
 
 
Wendy Ray
Temporary Ombudsman
 
 
 

SIGNIFICANT CASES

 

Ministry of the Attorney General

Criminal Injuries Compensation Board


Mr. R
submitted an application to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (the Board) for compensation for his son who had been seriously injured by three assailants. After four years, the case had still not been scheduled for a hearing and Mr. R had withdrawn the application in frustration.
 
Mr. R maintained that the Board had failed to give him adequate information about his eligibility for interim compensation and had unfairly refused to hear his case, even after the assailants were convicted, on the grounds that the assailants had appealed their convictions.
 
Our investigation found that the Board had not advised Mr. R of the reason why it had adjourned the hearing of his application until the criminal appeals were over. In addition, the Board had failed to advise Mr. R that its eligibility criteria for interim compensation had changed and that it was no longer necessary to prove financial need. The Ombudsman made a number of preliminary opinions and recommendations. He recommended that in future, all applicants should be given full information about any relevant legislative changes and be provided with reasons when the Board exercises its discretion to adjourn a hearing pending the final determination of a prosecution. The Ombudsman also recommended that the Board apologize to Mr. R. The Board accepted the Ombudsman’s opinions and recommendations and issued a letter of apology to Mr. R.
 
 

Ministry of Community and Social Services

Family Responsibility Office


Ms A
complained to the Ombudsman that the Family Responsibility Office (the FRO) had failed to file a Writ of Seizure and Sale in the jurisdiction in which the support payor in her case owned property. She claimed that, as a result, the payor was able to sell his property without the FRO having the opportunity to recover any of the substantial arrears owing to her. Our investigation confirmed that the FRO had indeed filed the Writ in the wrong region. Although Ms A had phoned the FRO and questioned whether the Writ was in place, the FRO had not corrected the filing error. Subsequently, the payor was able to sell his property without satisfying Ms A’s support arrears. The FRO agreed with the Ombudsman’s preliminary recommendation to pay Ms A for the frustration caused her by its mistake and to give her a letter of apology. The FRO also updated its policy and procedure on Writs and undertook to provide staff with refresher training.
 
 

Ontario Disability Support Program


Mr. V
and Mr. N complained to the Ombudsman about the Ministry’s delay in responding to their requests for internal review of the Ministry’s decisions to deny them Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) benefits. The regulations made under the Ontario Disability Support Program Act, 1997 state that internal review decisions must be made within 10 days. In Mr. V’s case, the internal review decision process took 71 days and in Mr. N’s case, it took 49 days.
 
During our investigation, the Ministry acknowledged the delay in the internal review process and advised that it had initiated a comprehensive review of procedures. Our investigation revealed that despite the Ministry’s implementation of changes to the internal review process, the internal review backlog had increased. In an investigative summary, the Ombudsman expressed the preliminary opinion that the Ministry’s failure to complete internal reviews within the time frame set out in the regulations was unreasonable and contrary to law and recommended that the Ministry meet its statutory obligation to issue timely decisions.
 
The Ministry responded to the Ombudsman outlining the steps it had taken to decrease the backlog including, the implementation of a new Internal Review and Quality Assurance team, reassignment of additional adjudicators to the team and increased clerical support and daily review of files. In January 2005, the Ministry advised the Ombudsman that the number of internal reviews completed within the 10-day time frame had increased substantially and that all new internal reviews were being completed within the 10-day time frame. The Ministry noted that because of the success of its Internal Review and Quality Assurance process, it had incorporated the process as part of its regular business practices. It noted that the issues identified by the Internal Review and Quality Assurance team assisted it in recognizing staff training needs and significantly improved the quality of decision-making at the initial adjudication stage. Given the steps taken by the Ministry to address his concerns, the Ombudsman closed his investigation.
 

Social Benefits Tribunal


In the fall of 2003
, there was a significant increase in the number of complaints to our office concerning delays in the processing of appeals by the Social Benefits Tribunal (the Tribunal). During the 2003-2004 fiscal year, it often took more than 10 months between the time of scheduling a hearing to the actual date of the hearing itself. The Ombudsman notified the Tribunal of his intent to pursue an investigation on his own motion into the delays in scheduling of hearings and the release of decisions following hearings.
 
One significant reason for the delays was that the number of members, including Francophone members, appointed to the Tribunal was insufficient to meet the demand for hearings. The Tribunal noted that despite its challenges, it had met the legislative time lines for processing appeals (notification of hearing and release of decisions). It acknowledged the delay in scheduling hearings and indicated that it was taking steps to increase the organization’s efficiency and that both the Tribunal and Ministry wanted to ensure that appeals were processed in a timely manner, and that hearings are held within six months of the appeal being filed.
 
The Ombudsman monitored the situation at the Tribunal. After seeing no evidence of steps being taken to improve the situation, he provided the Tribunal and the Ministry with an investigative summary setting out his preliminary opinions and recommendations. The Tribunal replied that since the recent appointment of a new Chair, several initiatives had been undertaken to improve the efficiency at the Tribunal, including on-going discussions with the Ministry.
 
Satisfied with the actions the Ministry and the Tribunal were prepared to undertake to improve the Tribunal’s level of service, the Ombudsman determined not to pursue the investigation further. However, he advised that he would continue to monitor the situation at the Tribunal. In its three-month progress report to the Ombudsman, the Tribunal noted that its caseload/performance indicators had reflected improvement. These included a 26 per cent reduction in the length of time that appellants had to wait for a notice of hearing after filing an appeal, a 42 per cent reduction in the time between filing an appeal to the actual hearing, an increase in the percentage of decisions released within the legislated time frame, a decrease in the length of time taken to issue decisions and a reduction in the number of outstanding decisions with members. The Tribunal had also undertaken a number of measures to increase efficiency, including increasing the weekly caseload of its members, introducing technological improvements, and establishing regional offices. The Ombudsman will continue to monitor the situation at the Tribunal.
 
 

Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities

College of Applied Arts and Technology


Ms W
complained to the Ombudsman about the conduct of a College. Ms W had been a nursing student. She explained that a professor at the College had contacted the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) and released her personal information without her written consent.
 
The College responded to the Ombudsman’s notice of intention to investigate, by stating that it had received information regarding Ms W’s health that it believed was relevant to Ms W’s ability to practice safely as a nurse. It explained that a Nursing Practice Officer at the CNO had been consulted before the professor wrote to the CNO about Ms W.
 
While Ms W was aware that the professor would be contacting the CNO, she had not given her permission. The professor who disclosed the information to the CNO said that Ms W had not seemed concerned that the CNO would be contacted and Ms W had advised that the CNO was already aware of her health information.
 
During our investigation, we reviewed an academic policy document at the College concerning release of student information. The document stated that “in determining the information to be released the interest of the student and the regulations of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act will be considered. According to the regulations contained in this Act, no personal information shall be released without the written consent of the student.”
 
Following receipt of the Ombudsman’s investigative summary and discussions with Ombudsman staff, the College committed to reviewing its current practices and policy relating to the disclosure of student personal information with a view to clarifying the circumstances under which disclosure might be permitted. It also agreed to consider the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act during this review and ensure that both students and staff are made aware of the policy relating to the disclosure of student personal information. The Ombudsman was satisfied with the College’s commitment and closed the file.
 
Ms X complained to our office that, with a grade point average (GPA) of 7.7, she was found ineligible for the Queen Elizabeth II Aiming for the Top Scholarship in her second year of University. According to her school, she had not met the OSAP’s guideline for the Scholarship program of maintaining an average of 80 per cent or its equivalent in GPA or letter grades. The University used a 9 point GPA system under which A+ is 9 (90-100 per cent), A is 8 (80-89 per cent), and B+ is 7 (75-79 per cent). Ms X claimed that she had the equivalent of an average of 80 per cent, but that the University’s method of calculating eligibility was inconsistent with the OSAP guideline. The Ministry had accepted the University’s calculation. When the Ministry was notified of our intent to investigate Ms X’s case, its position was that institutions are responsible for determining grades and it could not interfere in this process. In the course of the investigation, however, the Ministry released an interpretive bulletin to assist institutions in determining what would constitute an average of at least 80 per cent or its equivalent in GPA or letter grades. After receiving this bulletin, the University changed its requirement for maintaining the Scholarship to a 7.6 GPA. Following our investigation, the Ombudsman recommended that the Ministry pay Ms X an amount equivalent to what she would have received in Scholarship funding to the completion of her program, and that the Ministry consult with institutional associations to determine the appropriate equivalency for the purpose of the Scholarship program. The Ministry agreed with the Ombudsman’s recommendations.
 
 
 

CASE UPDATES

 
At times, provincial organizations commit to taking certain steps in response to an Ombudsman investigation. The Ombudsman monitors the implementation of these steps. The following are updates on some of the issues we monitored this year.
 

Family Responsibility Office (FRO), Ministry of Community and Social Services


For a number of years, our office has monitored the FRO’s attempts to implement a new Integrated Service Delivery Model, which would combine a new computer system with a case management model. The Ombudsman has repeatedly expressed the view that the FRO’s computer system needed to be replaced if the FRO were to meet its mandate effectively. The FRO advised that a Request for Proposal for the case management solution closed in August 2004, the evaluation was underway and full implementation of an Integrated Service Delivery Model with supporting new technology was expected in 2006.
 
 

Registrar General Branch, Ministry of Consumer and Business Services


The Ombudsman closed his investigation into the level and quality of service at the Registrar General Branch last year on the basis of steps that the Branch was taking and its objective to return to reasonable levels of service by the end of July 2004. Our office monitored the Branch’s progress this year. The Ministry advised us that by July 2004 the Branch was processing certificates within six to eight weeks. However, the Ombudsman remained concerned about the large backlog of registrations of births, deaths, marriages and change of name applications. The Ministry provided a plan to reduce processing times for these services to six to eight weeks by the spring of 2005. Our review of monthly statistics generated by the Branch indicated that there was significant improvement in the processing times for birth registrations. However, the time to process death and marriage registrations remained high. Change of name applications continue to take a substantial time to process. The Ombudsman continued to receive a significant number of complaints about the Branch, and a total of 1,309 were received this fiscal year, giving it the dubious honour of being the organization most complained against during 2004-2005.
 
Delays in obtaining birth certificates have resulted in additional problems for Ontarians. We received a number of complaints from parents who were having difficulty extending Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) coverage for their children because they did not have birth certificates, although they had applications pending with the Registrar General Branch. Our staff intervened in many cases in which we were able to assist individuals in obtaining OHIP coverage for their children. We were concerned that individuals were not receiving assistance when they first contacted the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care about this problem. As a result of our discussions with that Ministry, front-line staff were reminded of the steps that should be taken to assist individuals who find themselves in this situation.
 
 

Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal, Ministry of Labour


In the 2003-2004 Annual Report, it was reported that the Tribunal had been experiencing significant production problems throughout 2003 because of a limited number of Vice-Chairs on its roster. At that time, the new Minister had reappointed a number of experienced Adjudicators.
 
The Tribunal anticipated that it would be in a position by September 2004 to gradually recover and eliminate most delays. In February 2005, the Tribunal advised that it required a roster of 50 knowledgeable Vice-Chairs to handle its current caseload. It noted that with the appointment of seven new Vice-Chairs, it had increased its roster to 39. The Tribunal hoped to recommend to the Minister a further 11-12 Vice-Chair candidates in April. The Tribunal noted that when the new Vice-Chairs have been integrated into the hearing schedule, it would mean that Vice-Chairs who develop backlogs could be taken off the hearing schedule until their decisions are released, minimizing delays.

 
 

A YEAR IN REVIEW

 

INSIDE OMBUDSMAN ONTARIO

This past year, Ombudsman Ontario continued to improve its service delivery by implementing numerous initiatives, revising existing practices, and continuing to establish valuable networks.
 
Maintaining professional networks with various government agencies and external government offices continued to be a major focus of the Complaint Services teams. Working relationships with agencies including the Ontario Trillium Foundation and Hydro One Networks Inc. ensured the resolution of complaints were dealt with in a speedy and effective manner. Staff participated in information sessions and visited various institutions to broaden their knowledge of government agencies and advance their technical skills. The Corrections team visited more than 20 correctional institutions during the year to better understand the concerns of inmates who call our office with complaints.
 
The successful introduction and integration of the student placement program by Human Resources offered university and college students the opportunity to gain practical work experience in the Ombudsman’s office.
 
In anticipation of the 30th anniversary of the organization to be celebrated in 2005, a historical record of the evolution of the Ombudsman’s office since its inception in 1975 was researched and written – a summary of which can be found elsewhere in this Report. In addition to ongoing campaigns and community outreach activities designed to raise public awareness of Ombudsman Ontario, the 7th annual Ombudsman Ontario Public Service Recognition Awards were presented to four public servants at an official reception hosted by the Ombudsman.
 
Ombudsman Ontario’s Complaint Management System (CMS) was successfully sold and installed to the Government of Botswana and the New Brunswick Ombudsman’s office and demonstrations of the CMS were made to numerous interested parties.
 
Legal Services, in collaboration with other provincial Ombudsman officials and lawyers, created the first draft of Ombudsman Law and Practice in Canada. The document outlines the law and practice of Provincial and Territorial Parliamentary Ombudsman as well as a number of Federal Specialized Ombudsman and it is hoped that the final document will serve as a valuable reference guide for Ombudsman offices across the country. Senior Counsel also conducted investigative training for the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman and for the newly created office of the Complaints Commissioner in the Cayman Islands.
 
 
 
Dear Ombudsman
 
This was the first time in my life that I was involved with asking for assistance from the Ombudsman's Office and because of my dealings with other agencies I was a little dubious as to whether any real effort would be given to my plight. I had no need to be doubtful! Your staff person made me feel comfortable... she told me what she was going to do and within two days it was done.
 
 

COMPLAINTS ABOUT US

Since 1996, Ombudsman Ontario has maintained a system to review complaints from the public and government employees who are dissatisfied with the manner in which Ombudsman Ontario handles a complaint. Our “Complaints About Us” program is a valuable asset in our efforts to improve our service delivery and provide fair and accountable service.
 
Complaints we receive are classified into one of three categories: complaints about decisions, opinions or the disposition of a file; complaints about staff conduct; and complaints about Ombudsman Ontario policies and procedures.
 
During 2004-2005 Ombudsman Ontario received and closed 26 complaints about our office. Complaints may fall into more than one category at the same time. Twenty-two complaints received concerned the decision, opinion or disposition of a file, seven were about staff conduct, while two related to Ombudsman Ontario policies and procedures.
 
Of the 26 complaints received and closed, 15 were resolved on an informal basis and 11 required a more lengthy review of the circumstances involved. The resolutions of the 26 complaints are as follows:
 
·       An apology was issued to complainants in two cases.
·       A letter was sent explaining and upholding the decision in eleven cases.
·       The file review process was explained in four cases.
·       Following a review of the circumstances, the complaint was unsubstantiated in seven cases.
·       One complaint was substantiated and the original complaint received by Ombudsman Ontario was reviewed further.
·       One complaint was abandoned.

If you have a complaint about us, you are encouraged to first discuss the complaint with the Ombudsman Ontario staff member who has been dealing with your file. Alternatively, you may send your complaint to Ombudsman Ontario in writing, by telephone, in person, by fax, TTY, e-mail to info@ombudsman.on.ca or visit our web site at www.ombudsman.on.ca.
 
 

COMMUNITY EDUCATION PROGRAM

The Community Education Program (CEP) team continued to work to increase awareness of Ombudsman Ontario’s services across the province. Connecting to communities using information sessions, conference presentations, keynote speeches, panels and workshops including “How to Complain Effectively” and “Building Blocks for Effective Organizational Complaints Management Development.” The CEP team strategically focused on ensuring that community connectors and service providers have a good understanding of the Ombudsman’s role. Effective awareness of Ombudsman Ontario services among community leaders and service providers helps us effectively reach those more disadvantaged and vulnerable communities such as youth, diverse ethnic racial groups, people with disabilities and those who are economically disadvantaged.
 
This year the CEP team received many requests for workshops, information sessions and speeches. They facilitated over 100 workshops and presented at over 20 major conferences including the Ontario Association of Social Workers, Making Gains Conference (mental health), WIN Conference in Owen Sound, Rural Ontario Sharing Conference, Association of Municipal Employees Conference, Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies, Parents for Children’s Mental Health Conference, Ontario Peer Development Conference, Toronto TESL (Teachers of English as a Second Language), Ontario TESL Conference, Ontario Aids Network Conference, Ontario Kidney Foundation, Opportunities Conference, OCASI Conference (Ontario Communities and Agencies Serving Immigrants), Retired Teachers Conference, First Nations and Inuit Home and Community Care Training and Networking Conference, Joy of Children’s Conference and the Strategic Complaint Management Conference. A comparison of Ombudsman Ontario outreach activities over a 10-year period points to an eight year high with over 665 community outreach activities completed.
 
A Community Open House was attended by over 200 community leaders and organizations who took the opportunity to meet with the Ombudsman and his staff and to hear about the highlights of the Annual Report.
 
During the past year an evaluation of the Community Education Program was undertaken. The achievements of the program are highlighted in a number of areas including:
 
·       Increased number of outreach activities
·       Increased number of total complainants served by Ombudsman Ontario
·       Increased public and community organization awareness (demonstrated in a survey of human service providers)
·       Increased human service agency referrals to Ombudsman Ontario
·       Reduction in non-jurisdictional complaints (the CEP team works to increase awareness of our services and our jurisdiction. Ombudsman Ontario intake staff provide referrals for non-jurisdictional enquiries).
 
 
 
Dear Ombudsman
 
I just wanted to let you know how much the students appreciate the time you take to make these presentations... the students take the message home to their families and friends. It is the best public relations that the office can get.
 
 

“How to Complain Effectively” workshops


One of the most popular workshops developed in the CEP is “How to Complain Effectively.” It is a how-to, hands-on participatory workshop designed to increase skills and confidence for those who are trying to complain effectively. Participants look at the internal and external barriers to effective complaining and why the right to complain is important. We develop a complaints continuum and have an exercise to identify complaining styles. Key questions are asked of participants such as, “What is the role of anger in the complaints process? How can it help or hinder effective complaining?” We identify the key skills, knowledge and attitude needed to be an effective complainer. We provide summary handouts of “SMART” and effective complaining and talk about how Ombudsman Ontario may help in the complaining process.
 
Participants who attend the workshops benefit by:
 
·       Developing increased understanding and awareness of the complaints process.
·       Complaining more effectively.
·       Understanding how Ombudsman Ontario can help to succeed in getting problems with provincial government organizations solved and how it might help make changes so others are treated more fairly.
·       This workshop is also available in a more extensive “Train-the-Trainer” model for staff groups and has been delivered at a number of conferences.
 
 

ARE YOU AN EFFECTIVE COMPLAINER?

EFFECTIVE COMPLAINING QUIZ


1. Are you prepared?
a) I thought about the issue, did some research and came up with a plan.
b) My style is just to do it – jump in feet first.
c) Why should I prepare? They are the ones to blame and who need to work to fix my problem.
 
2. Can you briefly summarize your complaint?
a) It’s taken some work but I can clearly, concisely state my complaint.
b) It’s just too complicated to summarize briefly. I need to explain the context and the details of what really happened for someone to understand.
c) Why should I cater to them? They created this mess; they’d better be prepared to just listen.
 
3. How have you backed up your complaint?
a) Through collecting evidence and documentation.
b) By relating the whole story and its details in an interesting, entertaining way.
c) By crying and showing how damaging the effect has been.
 
4. When you complain would you describe yourself as:
a) Cool, calm and collected.
b) Anxious, confused and uncertain.
c) Tough and demanding, sometimes just losing it: swearing, shouting, insulting.
 
5. Do you ask questions and listen when you complain?
a) I prepare questions in advance and work at listening even if it is challenging.
b) I don’t know: if a question comes to mind I’ll ask it.
c) Why should I? They should be listening to me and asking how they can fix it!
 
6. Are you complaining to the right person or organization?
a) Part of my research was finding out the complaint process and to whom I should take my complaint.
b) It does not matter, they should help me anyway.
c) I’ll give whomever an earful, who cares?
 
7. What role does your anger play in your complaining process?
a) Processing my anger through writing and talking to friends energizes and motivates me, and allows me to let go/detach when I’m officially complaining.
b) I’m aware my anger is sometimes difficult to control because the complaining process is so frustrating.
c) Expressing the full extent of my anger makes people take notice and do something.
 
8. When you complain do you have support?
a) I ask my friends for advice or support. Sometimes I’ve found community organizations that are also very supportive to my complaint process.
b) No, I don’t need help. I know what I’m doing and want to get on with it.
c) Complaining is easy, just vent. I don’t need support for that.
 
9. Do you know what you want to achieve by complaining?
a) I have specific expectations but might be willing to compromise.
b) I don’t know – nobody ever asked me what I want.
c) Who cares if my demands are reasonable or not? I want action!
 
10. Can you describe your process?
a) Complaining can be complicated, so I am keeping a record of all my calls, letters and responses, including the names and positions of people I have spoken to. I also note anything specific like a case or claim number.
b) I’m frustrated at getting passed from one person to another and from one department to another. When I call back, the whole process starts again. Who can keep track?
c) When the phone gets answered, I start yelling. I demand immediate action or else. A few threats never hurt anybody.
 
11. If you have a complaint about the Family Responsibility Office, a birth certificate, OHIP, the Ontario Disability Support Program or other provincial government services, where would you go?
a) If I could not solve the problem successfully, I’d call Ombudsman Ontario: 1-800-263-1830.
b) I don’t know.
c) I’d complain to everybody.
 
12. If you’re not sure your complaint is against a provincial government service where can you go?
a) Ombudsman Ontario will use their database to give you a referral if it’s not a provincial government service.
b) I don’t know.
c) The media.
 
Rate Yourself
 
Count up how many times you answered A, B and C.
 
A _____ B _____ C _____
 
A: 12-9
Excellent complainer. You are likely making changes for the better.
 
B: 9-6
On the right track. Increased organization and self-awareness will make you an effective complainer.
 
C: over 5
You have a lot to learn. You may make things worse for yourself, not better! Ask for support and review effective complaining techniques.
 
Ombudsman Ontario may be able to help you.
1-800-263-1830
 
 

Ombudsman Ontario Organizational Chart As of April 1, 2005


Ombudsman,
André Marin
Administrative Assistant
 
Senior Counsel Legal Services
                       Legal Advisor
            Analyst / Investigator
                       Research Assistant
 
Director Corporate Services
Administrative Assistant
French Language Services Coordinator
Manager Finance & Administration
Administrative Assistant
Accounting Analyst
Client Services Representative
Staff Services Supervisor Human Resources
Administrative Assistant
Training and Employment Supervisor Human Resources
Manager Communications/ Community Education Program
Supervisor, Community Education Program
Administrative Assistant
Ombudsman Representatives
Manager Policy & Information Services
Programmer / Systems Analysts
Records & Archives Technician
End User Support
Word Processing Operator
 
Director Complaint Services
Administrative Assistant
Manager Investigations
Team Leader
Investigators
Administrative Assistant
Manager Generalist
Team Leader
Ombudsman Representatives
Administrative Assistant
Manager Access Centre
Access Representatives
Manager Corrections
Team Leaders
Ombudsman Representatives
Corrections Clerk
Word Processing Operator
 
 

STATEMENT OF EXPENDITURE

Unaudited statement of expenditure for the year ended March 31, 2005

 
Expenditure
2004-2005 Estimates $
2004-2005 Actual $
2003-2004 Actual $
 
Salaries & Wages
5,462,200
5,668,829
5,379,576
Employee Benefits
1,213,500
1,094,354
1,043,618
Transportation & Communication
561,900
390,929
432,306
Services
1,528,000
1,496,346
1,672,219
Supplies & Equipment
259,000
373,980
415,844
Sub Total
9,024,600
9,024,437
8,943,563
Less: Miscellaneous Revenue
(20,568)
(15,937)
Net Expenditure
9,024,600
9,003,869
8,927,626
 
* Note: The above statement has been prepared on a modified cash basis of accounting. At the date of publication, the above financial statement had not been audited, however, the accounts and transactions of Ombudsman Ontario are audited annually by the Auditor General.
 
 
 

30th Anniversary

CELEBRATING 30 YEARS OF THE ONTARIO OMBUDSMAN

 
“As a safeguard against the growing complexity of government and its relationship with the individual citizen, the government will establish the office of a provincial ombudsman – or ombudsperson – to ensure the protection of our citizens against arbitrary judgment or practices.”
– Lieutenant Governor Pauline McGibbon on the announcement of the Province’s first Ombudsman, 1975.
 

Many countries and cultures have developed complaint resolution mechanisms dating back to ancient times. The word Ombudsman is Old Norse for “representative” and its use dates back to 1552. The Parliamentary Ombudsman was instituted in Sweden in 1809 to safeguard the rights of citizens by establishing a supervisory agency independent of the executive branch.
 
During 2005 the Office of the Ontario Ombudsman celebrates its 30th anniversary. The impetus for the creation of an Ombudsman for the Province of Ontario began in the early 1960s when Vernon Singer, Member of Provincial Parliament for Downsview, introduced a private member’s bill calling for the appointment of a “Parliamentary Commissioner” to investigate administrative decisions and acts of officials of the provincial government and its agencies. Mr. Singer continued to introduce the bill for 10 consecutive sessions of the Legislature. On May 22, 1975, Premier Bill Davis announced the creation of the Office of the Ombudsman in the Ontario Legislature. The Ombudsman Act received Royal Assent on July 3, 1975 and was proclaimed in force on July 10, 1975. By this time, six other provincial governments had created Ombudsman offices: Alberta and New Brunswick (1967), Quebec (1968), Manitoba and Nova Scotia (1970) and Saskatchewan (1972).
 
Arthur G. Maloney, Q.C., a prominent criminal lawyer, was appointed as the province’s first Ombudsman. Since the inception of the office, a total of six people have served as Ombudsman: Arthur G. Maloney, Q.C. (1975-1978), Mr. Justice Donald Morand (1979-1984), Dr. Daniel G. Hill (1984-1989), Roberta Jamieson (1989-1999), Clare Lewis, Q.C. (2000-2005) and André Marin, the current Ombudsman, who took office on April 1, 2005.
 
 

Photograph of Arthur G. Maloney

Arthur G. Maloney, Q.C. – 1975-1978


The Ombudsman’s first office was located at 65 Queen Street West in downtown Toronto and the organization’s original logo was a Gryphon suspended over four representations of the floral emblem of Ontario – the Trillium.
 
Public hearings were held throughout Ontario from November 1975 to June 1976. Members of the public were invited to make presentations and suggestions to Mr. Maloney and his staff about issues of concern and ideas of how the office might be of service to Ontario communities.
 
“The office of the Ombudsman was created to serve all the citizens of Ontario,” said Mr. Maloney. “It was deemed of utmost importance that the general public should be afforded an opportunity to express its views on what the office should attempt to accomplish in Ontario and how it should go about doing so.”
 
Within the first months, the Ombudsman received 14,027 enquiries and complaints from the public. Of particular significance, were the complaints from landowners about the expropriation of North Pickering farmlands by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, which subsequently resulted in the Ombudsman holding hearings into the matter. That investigation was finally closed in 1983, seven years after it began. It resulted in a 3,000-page five-volume report.
 
Mr. Maloney resigned in October 1978 and returned to private legal practice.
 
 

Photograph of The Honourable Justice Donald R. MorandThe Honourable Justice Donald R. Morand – 1979-1984


The Honourable Justice Donald Morand was appointed as Ontario’s second Ombudsman in January 1979. Mr. Morand served as a Judge of the Supreme Court of Ontario (Trial Division) prior to his appointment as Ombudsman.
 
Shortly after assuming office, Mr. Morand opened the first Ombudsman regional office in Thunder Bay in June 1979. In April 1980, the North Bay office opened. During his term, a number of outreach and educational initiatives were introduced. The Ombudsman produced a 23-minute public service announcement to provide members of the public with a description of the role and function of the office, which was distributed widely to television stations and cable stations as well as to Ministries, community groups and schools across the province. The blue-coloured pre-addressed confidential envelopes used by inmates in correctional institutions were also introduced. By the end of the fiscal year in March 1981, the office had dealt with a total of 69,154 complaints and enquiries since it opened. Fine-tuning the complaint handling process and initiating several outreach campaigns, helped to streamline the influx of non-jurisdictional complaints.
 
On February 2, 1981, the Office of the Ontario Ombudsman moved to its current more spacious location at 125 Queens Park, where it is has remained for 24 years.
 
In his final annual report, Mr. Morand reflected on his work at the Office and said, “I now have a far better view of the position of the Ombudsman and personally I am more than ever convinced of the need and indeed, the necessity of an Ombudsman for the Province of Ontario.”
 
 

Photograph of Dr. Daniel G. HillDr. Daniel G. Hill – 1984-1989


Dr. Daniel Hill was appointed as Ontario’s third Ombudsman on February 20, 1984. He brought to the office an extensive background in the field of human rights as well as a distinguished record of service in the academic community. Dr. Hill was the first director of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, serving from 1962 to 1971 before going on to serve as the Chair of the Commission until 1973.
 
During his term, Dr. Hill initiated several administrative changes to the office as well as opened four more regional offices. He once said, “Worse than not having an Ombudsman is to have one that nobody knows about. It is my intention to try and reach all our people with the message that we exist – that we exist to inform them of their rights – and to protect those rights against abridgment by administrative agencies.”
 
Among the significant communications and public education initiatives that he introduced were the creation of multilingual fact sheets explaining the service provided by the office and a “Learn about your Ombudsman” campaign involving 432 public service radio announcements across Ontario, transit advertising and newsletters. As well, the Office of the Ombudsman hosted its first open house in December 1987 when more than 300 community members visited the Toronto office.
 
The 10th anniversary of the creation of the Ombudsman’s office was celebrated in 1985. In September 1986, Dr. Hill tabled a position paper suggesting that the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction be expanded to include the following areas: the Ontario New Home Warranty Program, Children’s Aid Societies and public hospitals. In 1988, it was determined that public hearings should be conducted for public and private agencies to participate in discussions on the matter. At the end of Dr. Hill’s term as Ombudsman, this issue was still being debated.
 
 

Photograph of Roberta L. JamiesonRoberta L. Jamieson – 1989-1999


Roberta Jamieson was appointed as Ontario’s fourth Ombudsman on October 30, 1989. She earned the distinction of becoming the first woman in Canada from a First Nation to obtain a law degree and was the Commissioner of the Indian Commission of Ontario before becoming Ombudsman.
 
Ms. Jamieson was the first Ombudsman to serve a full 10-year term.
 
Under her leadership a new logo was introduced and the office became known as Ombudsman Ontario instead of the Office of the Ombudsman.
 
Throughout the mid 1990s, Ms. Jamieson and her office were caught in the midst of social change, economic recession, and major government restructuring, eventually resulting in cutbacks in funding for the Ombudsman’s office.
 
In 1991, Ms. Jamieson launched a six-week outreach campaign in response to a survey that concluded the public did not know about the Ombudsman’s office. As well, she continued to visit rural communities in Ontario and fulfilled her international responsibilities as the Regional Vice President of the International Ombudsman Institute.
 
As Ombudsman, Ms. Jamieson actively promoted conflict resolution and her goals were to resolve complaints in a non-adversarial manner and engage in preventative Ombudsmanship. According to Ms. Jamieson, the Ombudsman could serve as an early warning sign to the government.
 
At the end of her term, Ms. Jamieson remarked that she had “always believed in modeling the Ombudsman office as an organization that sets standards others can follow.” She added, “The concept of equitable treatment, respect for human rights, and accountability and transparency in government must be regarded as part of the very fabric of our democracy.”
 
 
 
Image of Ombudsman Ontario logoThe logo represents the Ombudsman in the centre embraced by three arms each representing the public, the government and the Ombudsman’s Office.
 
 
 



Photograph of Clare LewisClare Lewis, Q.C. – 2000-2005


Clare Lewis served as the fifth Ombudsman of Ontario from January 2000, and was the first Ombudsman to be appointed through a public competition process. Mr. Lewis was also the first Ombudsman to be appointed for a five-year term, following an amendment to the Ombudsman Act in October 1999, which reduced the standard term from 10 to five years.
 
Mr. Lewis came to the office with an extensive legal background. He had been a defence counsel, crown attorney and Provincial Court (Criminal Division) judge. He also had substantial experience in oversight and administrative justice, including acting as Police Complaints Commissioner and Chair of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.
 
As Ombudsman, Mr. Lewis focused on ensuring the relevance and effectiveness of the office in securing fairness in the administration of provincial government service. He believed that the office should adopt a new corporate vision in order to be more effective and efficient. He once said, “It is not how many times we turn the crank that counts, it is how many sausages come out at the end of the machine.” As a result, Ombudsman Ontario’s values were redefined to be: Fairness, Accountability, Integrity, and Respect. A new mission statement was also developed: “Working to ensure fair and accountable provincial governmental service.”
 
In 2001, the office undertook a major one-year pilot project designed to examine how outreach activities in the Greater Toronto Area could be effectively conducted. The pilot project evolved into the Community Education Program (CEP), highlights of which included using a “Connector” model to access human service organizations through large conferences or group sessions in which presentations such as “How to Complain Effectively” and Train-the-Trainer workshops were conducted. To supplement the CEP, advertising in various ethnic media, posters in the Toronto Subway transit system and a new Public Service Announcement in both English and French were developed.
 
As the president of the International Ombudsman Institute, Mr. Lewis made a significant contribution internationally. He was invited to attend several conferences around the world at which he promoted the principles of Ombudsmanship.
 
 

Photograph of André MarinAndré Marin – 2005-


In December 2004, André Marin was unanimously selected through a public competition by members of the Ontario Legislature to serve as the sixth Ombudsman of Ontario.
 
Prior to his appointment, Mr. Marin was Canada’s first Ombudsman for the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces for six-and-a-half years. During that time he was responsible for the investigation of complaints from those serving in the Canadian military, he identified systemic issues and issued recommendations to ensure accountability, transparency and the integration of ethics into Canada’s military.
 
He is considered an expert on creating a credible, impartial and accountable ombudsman office and is often invited to address ombudsman and ethics conferences in Canada and around the world on the issue of accountability of public office holders.
 
Mr. Marin served as Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) of the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General from 1996 to 1998. The SIU is an independent, civilian agency mandated to maintain public confidence in Ontario’s police services by assuring police actions resulting in serious injury or death are subjected to rigorous, independent investigations. Responsible for overseeing the actions of Ontario police officers, he earned a reputation for conducting thorough independent investigations into highly sensitive matters.
 
Before joining the SIU, Mr. Marin was an Assistant Crown Attorney with the Ministry of the Attorney General in Ottawa and became known for prosecuting difficult, high profile and sensitive cases.
 
Following his appointment as the Ombudsman of Ontario, Mr. Marin said he looks forward to taking up his post on April 1, 2005 and added he plans to be an aggressive investigator, especially in areas of health and education.
 
“We’re going to bring accountability to the provincial government,” he said. “Although it’s largely unknown, it is the premier ombudsman’s office in the world. What needs to be done with this job is to put it on the map.”
 
 
 

COMPLAINTS

THE STORY IN NUMBERS


Total Complaints and Enquiries Received:  
Fiscal Years 2000-2001 to 2004-2005

 
2000-2001 – 26,495
2001-2002 – 21,539
2002-2003 – 21,757
2003-2004 – 22,753
2004-2005 – 23,395
 
 
Over the past four years there has been a steady increase in complaints and enquiries received by Ombudsman Ontario. During the 2004-2005 fiscal year, Ombudsman Ontario received 23,395 complaints and enquiries, an increase of 642 complaints and enquiries over the previous year.
 
Two-thirds of the complaints and enquiries concerned provincial government organizations, with the remaining complaints and enquiries dealing with municipal and federal government issues, other jurisdictions, private organizations and the courts.
 
Seventy-six per cent of complaints and enquiries were received by telephone, 16 per cent were submitted by letter or fax while one per cent were communicated in personal interviews with Ombudsman Ontario staff. Less than one per cent were received from a Member of Provincial Parliament or initiated by the Ombudsman as an own motion investigation. Relative to 2003-2004, methods of complaint intake remained virtually unchanged.
 
 

COMPLAINTS AND ENQUIRIES: Received During 2004 -2005

66%     Provincial – 15,750
6%       Municipal – 1,377
5%       Federal – 1,099
20%     Private – 4,602
2%       Courts – 393
1%       Other Provinces/ Countries – 174
 
Complaints and enquiries received via the Internet also remained steady at seven per cent. To facilitate increased public access to our website, our promotional material is published with our website address and linkages from other strategic websites are encouraged.
 
Owing to confidentiality concerns, Ombudsman Ontario responds to electronic communications by mail or telephone.
 
 

At the End of the Year


Only 821 complaints and enquiries remained open at the end of the 2004-2005 fiscal year. As was the case in 2003-2004, the largest proportion of complaints and enquiries was less than one month old (66 per cent).
 

General Provincial Government Complaints and Enquiries* Received: Fiscal Years 2000-2001 to 2004-2005

 
2000-2001 – 8,101
2001-2002 – 5,958
2002-2003 – 6,378
2003-2004 – 7,244
2004-2005 – 7,533
 
* Note: General Provincial Government Complaints and Enquiries include all complaints and enquiries received concerning provincial government organizations, excluding Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services’ correctional facilities, Ministry of Children and Youth Services’ youth facilities, Ontario Parole and Earned Release Board and Probation and Parole Services.
 
 

General Provincial Government Complaint and Enquiry Trends


As the above graph shows, complaints and enquiries about general provincial government organizations increased by four per cent in 2004-2005 (from 7,244 to 7,533). The largest number of complaints and enquiries received about any one organization concerned the Registrar General Branch of the Ministry of Consumer and Business Services (1,309). The Branch experienced a substantial increase of 817 complaints and enquiries over the 492 received in 2003-2004, with over 80 per cent attributable to delays in the issuance of certificates. For the first time in 11 years, the Family Responsibility Office (FRO) was not the most complained about government organization. Although the FRO was the second most frequently complained about agency with 1,076 complaints and enquiries, it actually demonstrated a 26 per cent reduction in total complaints and enquiries over the previous year, when it ranked first.
 
With 642 complaints and enquiries, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) moved from second place last year to the third most complained about organization. WSIB was followed closely by the Ontario Disability Support Program (640 complaints). Together, the top four organizations accounted for almost 50 per cent of general provincial government complaints and enquiries received by Ombudsman Ontario this year. A substantial rise (from 32 to 389) in the number of complaints this year against the Financial Services Commission of Ontario is due to a group of 359 complaints.
 
 

Correctional Facilities


Complaints and enquiries about adult and youth correctional facilities increased by six per cent, from 7,727 to 8,158 between 2003-2004 and 2004-2005. Over 30 per cent of the complaints and enquiries concerned the adequacy of health care provided in the facilities. An additional 18 per cent concerned living conditions in the facilities.
 
 

Top 10 General Provincial Government Organizations Complaints and Enquiries Received: Fiscal year 2004-2005

Rank
Last Year
Rank
This Year
Organization/Program
Complaints/
Enquiries
Percentage
of Total
4
1
Registrar General Branch
1,309
17.38
1
2
Family Responsibility Office
1,076
14.28
2
3
Workplace Safety and Insurance Board
642
8.52
3
4
Ontario Disability Support Program
640
8.50
36
5
Financial Services Commission of Ontario
389
5.16
5
6
Ontario Student Assistance Program
300
3.98
6
7
Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal
213
2.83
9
8
Legal Aid Ontario
165
2.19
8
9
Hydro One Networks Inc.
163
2.16
13
10
Ontario Health Insurance Plan
152
2.15
  

Delivering Results


While 23,395 complaints and enquiries were received during 2004-2005, 23,390 complaints and enquiries were actually closed by the end of the fiscal year.
 
Of all complaints and enquiries closed during 2004-2005, 15,744 concerned provincial government organizations. Complainants received a resolution or a referral in 77 per cent of cases. Five per cent were withdrawn or abandoned by the complainant. Two own motion investigations were initiated during 2004-2005 and four were completed.
 
 

In a Timely Fashion

 
In keeping with our early resolution standards, 79 per cent of provincial complaints and enquiries were resolved within 28 days of receipt. Forty-eight per cent were closed within six days. Cases requiring a formal investigation were resolved in an average of 13.6 months. The increase of 2.6 months in resolution time over the previous year is due to the closing of seven complex and lengthy cases during the year.
 
 

In Order of Frequency the most Common Types of Jurisdictional Complaints Investigated by the Ombudsman This Year Were:

 
Types of Complaints
1
Failure of governmental organization to adhere to own processes, guidelines or policies or to apply them in a consistent manner
2
Adverse impact or discriminatory consequence of a decision or policy on an individual or group
3
Failure to adequately or appropriately communicate with a client
4
Wrong or unreasonable interpretation of criteria, standards, guidelines, regulations, laws, information or evidence
5
Insufficient reasons for a decision or no reasons given
6
Failure to provide sufficient or proper notice
7
Failure to keep a proper record
8
Unreasonable delay
9
Inadequate or improper investigation conducted
10
Denial of service
11
Harrassment by a governmental official; bias; mismanagement; bad faith
12
Omission to monitor or manage an agency for which the governmental organization is responsible
13
Unfair settlement imposed; coercion
 
 

Geographic Distribution of Complainants Excluding Correctional Complainants

28%
South West
26%
City of Toronto
21%
South East
11%
Greater Toronto Area
9%
North East
5%
North West
 

Demographic Profile by Race


Racial Group
Percentage of Individuals Surveyed
White/European
82
Racial Minority*
12
Aboriginal/First Nation
2
No answer
4
* Includes: Black, East Asian/Southeast Asian, South Asian, other racial minority groups and mixed race.
 
 

Demographic Profile – Selected Groups 

Group
Percentage of Individuals Surveyed
People with disabilities
26
Sole-support parents
13
Youth – under age 25
4
Seniors – age 65 and over
9
 
 

Complainant Profile

 
A total of 17,847 people contacted our office this year, representing a slight increase over last year’s number of 17,683. Individuals generally have one issue of concern when they contact Ombudsman Ontario. However, in cases in which more than one issue is raised, each concern is recorded in our electronic information system and pursued to a resolution.
 
The pie chart on the previous page indicates the provincial regions in which complainants (excluding those in adult and youth correctional facilities) resided when they contacted our office with a complaint or enquiry. The provincial region is extracted from postal code information that is requested of all individuals contacting Ombudsman Ontario. The chart demonstrates that close to 30 per cent of current complaints and enquiries are received from individuals living in southwestern Ontario, an area stretching from Windsor to Hamilton, Barrie and Wasaga Beach. This number compares with 35 per cent from this region in the previous year.
 
The City of Toronto saw a substantial increase in the number of individuals contacting our office, rising from 18 per cent in 2003-2004 to 26 per cent in 2004-2005. This significant increase is believed to result from the continued efforts of the Community Education Program team and the ongoing media campaigns targeting the Metro Toronto area.
 
In addition to determining the geographic location of our complainants from the postal code, individuals contacting our office are asked to complete a survey to determine their demographic profile. Completion of the survey is voluntary and anonymous. Information is collected about geographic location, age, race, family status, disability, and household income. The survey results help us identify groups that are under-represented as complainants to our office, relative to their representation in the provincial population. The survey results also identify the type of complaints and enquiries by various groups and provide us with the opportunity to track emerging issues of concern for the Ontario public. This year, just over 75 per cent of complainants who contacted our office completed the survey.
 
 

STATISTICAL CHARTS


Complaints and Enquiries Received 2004-2005 by Provincial Riding (excluding complaints and enquiries about adult correctional and youth facilities)*
 

Riding
Total
Riding
Total
Riding
Total
Algoma – Manitoulin
213
Kenora – Rainy River
200
Prince Edward – Hastings
134
Ancaster – Dundas – Flamborough – Aldershot
86
Kingston and The Islands
403
Renfrew – Nipissing –
Pembroke
125
Kitchener Centre
106
Barrie – Simcoe – Bradford
128
Kitchener – Waterloo
117
Sarnia – Lambton
148
Beaches – East York
147
Lambton – Kent – Middlesex
119
Sault Ste. Marie
356
Bramalea – Gore – Malton – Springdale
96
Lanark – Carleton
132
Scarborough – Agincourt
93
Leeds – Grenville
138
Scarborough Centre
125
Brampton Centre
79
London – Fanshawe
175
Scarborough East
115
Brampton West – Mississauga
102
London General Area
20
Scarborough – Rouge River
66
Brant
74
London North Centre
212
Scarborough Southwest
168
Bruce – Grey – Owen Sound
208
London West
148
Simcoe – Grey
132
Burlington
88
Markham
57
Simcoe North
203
Cambridge
112
Mississauga Centre
75
St. Catharines
110
Chatham – Kent – Essex
124
Mississauga East
63
St. Paul’s
146
Davenport
106
Mississauga General Area
14
Stoney Creek
93
Don Valley East
107
Mississauga South
149
Stormont – Dundas – Charlottenburgh
89
Don Valley West
117
Mississauga West
6
Dufferin – Peel – Wellington – Grey
121
Nepean – Carleton
63
Sudbury
198
Niagara Centre
133
Thornhill
56
Durham
70
Niagara Falls
100
Thunder Bay – Atikokan
161
Eglinton – Lawrence
113
Nickel Belt
133
Thunder Bay General Area
21
Elgin – Middlesex – London
193
Nipissing
187
Thunder Bay – Superior North
197
Erie – Lincoln
105
Northumberland
153
Timiskaming – Cochrane
139
Essex
109
Oak Ridges
89
Timmins – James Bay
140
Etobicoke Centre
73
Oakville
70
Toronto Centre – Rosedale
322
Etobicoke – Lakeshore
111
Oshawa
120
Toronto – Danforth
138
Etobicoke North
129
Ottawa Centre
120
Toronto General Area
55
Glengarry – Prescott – Russell
88
Ottawa General Area
9
Trinity – Spadina
154
Guelph – Wellington
156
Ottawa – Orléans
92
Vaughan – King – Aurora
98
Haldimand – Norfolk – Brant
95
Ottawa South
70
Waterloo – Wellington
76
Haliburton – Victoria – Brock
132
Ottawa – Vanier
101
Whitby – Ajax
91
Halton
113
Ottawa West – Nepean
120
Willowdale
100
Hamilton East
134
Out Of Province/International
514
Windsor General Area
10
Hamilton General Area
14
Oxford
110
Windsor – St. Clair
115
Hamilton Mountain
115
Parkdale – High Park
138
Windsor West
142
Hamilton West
145
Parry Sound – Muskoka
138
York Centre
100
Hastings – Frontenac – Lennox and Addington
198
Perth – Middlesex
83
York North
111
Peterborough
91
York South – Weston
129
Huron – Bruce
134
Pickering – Ajax - Uxbridge
110
York West
69
* Where postal code information is available.
 
 

Complaints and Enquiries Received 2004-2005 About Adult Correctional and Youth Facilities*

BY SUBJECT MATTER
HEALTH – ADEQUACY OF CARE
1029
HEALTH – MEDICATION
680
STAFF CONDUCT
525
PERSONAL/INMATE PROPERTY
460
HEALTH – DELAY
425
LIVING CONDITIONS – FOOD/DIET
371
LIVING CONDITIONS
349
LIVING CONDITIONS – CLEANLINESS, HYGIENE, SANITATION
317
CLASSIFICATION OR TRANSFER WITHIN THE PROVINCIAL SYSTEM
305
RESPONSES TO INMATE REQUESTS
295
LIVING CONDITIONS – BEDDING/MATTRESSES/TOWELS
292
CORRESPONDENCE
270
YARD
233
LIVING CONDITIONS – CLOTHING SIZE, CONDITION ETC.
207
INMATE TRUST ACCOUNT
191
TELEPHONE ACCESS/USE
166
HEALTH – MEDICAL DIET
163
LIVING CONDITIONS – PERSONAL HYGIENE
163
ADMINISTRATION – OTHER
147
CANTEEN
141
LIVING CONDITIONS – HEATING, VENTILATION, AIR
135
DISCRETIONARY PROGRAM DECISIONS/ACCESS TO PROGRAM
130
HEALTH – OTHER
130
HEALTH – CONTINUITY OF CARE (ADMISSIONS)
128
HEALTH – DENTAL – EMERGENCY
113
HEALTH – METHADONE PROGRAM
111
ALLEGATIONS OF EXCESSIVE FORCE – STAFF MISCONDUCT
109
LIVING CONDITIONS – SEGREGATION
108
SECURITY – LOCKDOWN
107
ADMINISTRATION – DELAY
104
LIVING CONDITIONS – LOCKUP
101
ADMINISTRATIVE SEGREGATION
97
INMATE MISCONDUCT ISSUANCE ADJUDICATION
96
ADMINISTRATION – UNFAIRNESS
94
COMMITTAL/SENTENCE CALCULATION
92
HEALTH – DENTAL – PREVENTATIVE OR RESTORATIVE
86
OMBUDSMAN ACCESS (LETTER OR PHONE)
84
CLASSIFICATION OR TRANSFER TO FEDERAL SYSTEM
82
INMATE – INMATE DISPUTES/ASSAULTS
80
DENTAL
79
HEALTH – GLASSES, EYE CARE
75
HEALTH – CONTINUITY OF CARE (TRANSFER)
75
CLASSIFICATION – OTHER
68
RELIGIOUS OR LIFE STYLE DIET
67
VISITING PRIVILEGES
67
RELIGIOUS/SPIRITUAL OBSERVANCE
64
HEALTH – SPECIALIST APPOINTMENTS
63
LEGAL AID
60
POLICY/PRACTICE
57
INSTITUTIONAL DISCIPLINE – OTHER THAN INMATE MISCONDUCT
53
LIVING CONDITIONS – OVERCROWDING
51
SEARCHES
49
TEMPORARY ABSENCE PASSES
43
PROTECTIVE CUSTODY
43
NEWSPAPER SUBSCRIPTIONS/DELIVERY
43
HEALTH – DIAGNOSIS
41
HEALTH – MEDICAL APPLIANCES/DEVICES REQUESTS
39
ADMINISTRATION – NO RESPONSE TO CORRESPONDENCE
38
HEALTH – STAFF CONDUCT
38
HEALTH – PRESCRIPTION REQUEST
37
ADMINISTRATION – BIAS
36
REQUEST FOR PROCEDURAL INFORMATION
36
REQUEST FOR PHONE NUMBER OR ADDRESS
35
RACE RELATED COMPLAINTS
35
INTERMITTENT SENTENCE
34
LIVING CONDITIONS – CELL TIME
33
PRE-RELEASE
29
CONFINEMENT SEGREGATION
28
HEALTH – HOSPITAL VISITS/ADMISSION
27
LOST EARNED REMISSION
25
SPECIAL NEEDS/TREATMENT UNIT
23
HEALTH – DENTAL – DENTAL APPLIANCES/DENTURES
22
HEALTH – HIV/AIDS
19
INMATE INFORMATION GUIDE
18
PAROLE – COMMUNITY SERVICES/PPO
16
EMPLOYMENT – OTHER
13
HEALTH – HEPATITIS
11
LIVING CONDITIONS – IMMIGRATION HOLD
10
INMATE TRANSPORTATION UPON RELEASE
10
ADMINISTRATION – INADEQUATE OR NO COMMUNICATION RECEIVED
10
CHARTER OF RIGHTS/HUMAN RIGHTS
9
HEALTH – SUICIDE WATCH
9
ADMINISTRATION – PROGRAM INFORMATION INADEQUATE
9
HEALTH – SEGREGATION
8
ADMINISTRATION – UNABLE TO OBTAIN FILE STATUS UPDATE
7
HEALTH – SECOND MEDICAL OPINION REQUESTS
7
ADMINISTRATION – EXCESSIVE BUREAUCRACY
6
HEALTH – MEDICAL SEGREGATION
6
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION/PROTECTION OF PRIVACY
6
HEALTH – GYNECOLOGICAL/OBSTETRICAL
5
LIVING CONDITIONS – SMOKING
4
ACCESS TO SERVICES (TECHNOLOGY) – TTY
4
HEALTH – MEDICAL CONFIDENTIALITY/ PRIVACY
4
HEALTH – SMOKING CESSATION ASSISTANCE
3
DECISIONS – DENIAL
3
HEALTH – HUNGER STRIKE – FOOD WATCH
3
BAILIFFS
3
PROBATION
3
FRENCH LANGUAGE SERVICES
3
ADMINISTRATION – FAILURE TO ACT ON NEW INFORMATION
2
DEATH OF INMATE IN CUSTODY
2
HEALTH – PRE-NATAL CARE
2
ALLEGATIONS OF REPRISAL FOR OMBUDSMAN CONTACT
2
MENTAL HEALTH CARE
1
MEALS AT COURT
1
* As any given complaint or enquiry may have multiple subject categories assigned to it, these numbers do not reflect the total number of complaints and enquiries.
 
 

OUTCOME OF COMPLAINTS AND ENQUIRIES: Closed During 2004-2005

 
 
Non-Provincial
Provincial
Resolved in Favour of Complainant
 
2,366
Resolved in Favour of Government
 
1,048
Resolved Independently
 
468
Discontinued by Complainant
 
1,187
Discontinued by Ombudsman
 
123
Inquiry Made/Referral Given/Resolution Facilitated
7,569
10,336
No Action Possible
77
216
Totals of all outcomes
7,646
15,744
 
 

GLOSSARY OF OUTCOMES

The outcome of complaints and enquiries reflects not the legislative authority under which complaints and enquiries are closed but the effective result.
 
Resolved by Ombudsman in favour of complainant: The complaint is either supported after an investigation or some resolution that benefits the complainant is achieved even when the Ombudsman declines to investigate further.
 
Resolved by Ombudsman in favour of the government: The complaint is either not supported after an investigation or it is determined that the organization complained about acted appropriately and no further investigation or enquiry is necessary. In some cases, suggestions for change of policy or practices are recommended to the governmental organizations.
 
Resolved Independently: Our enquiries reveal that the complaint has been resolved either prior to, or independent of, our intervention.
 
Discontinued by complainant: The complaint is abandoned or withdrawn by the complainant.
 
Discontinued by the Ombudsman: The Ombudsman has declined to proceed for the following specific reasons: the complainant has had knowledge of the complaint for more than 12 months; the subject matter of the complaint is trivial or the complaint is frivolous, vexatious or not made in good faith; the complainant has insufficient personal interest in the subject matter of the complaint; the issue has been dealt with or is currently being dealt with in a systemic investigation; or a request to a complainant to provide information has been ignored.
 
Enquiry made/referral given/resolution facilitated: Assistance is given to resolve a complaint or enquiry through discussion, enquiries made concerning the matter and information sharing for example, providing the name and phone number of an appropriate organization with the jurisdiction to deal with the issue.
 
No action possible: No assistance can be given as the problem cannot adequately be defined, the information given does not require the Ombudsman to take action or the complainant is anonymous.
 
 

Complaints and Enquiries Closed 2004-2005 Against Provincial Government Organizations* by Final Resolution

(When a complaint or enquiry is made against a Ministry in general, it is identified as ‘other’.) 
ORGANIZATION
 
Complaint Resolved
by Ombudsman in favour of:
Independently Resolved
 
Investigation Discontinued
 
Enquiry Made/Referral Given/ Resolution Facilitated
No Action Possible
 
Total
Complainant
Gov’t Org.
Gov’t Org.
with Suggest.
by Com’t
 
by Omb.
MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND FOOD
OTHER
1
 
 
 
1
 
9
 
11
AGRICORP
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
 
1
AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS APPEAL TRIBUNAL
1
 
 
 
1
 
2
 
4
MINISTRY OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
OTHER
5
2
 
1
2
 
43
 
53
ASSESSMENT REVIEW BOARD
2
2
 
 
 
1
8
1
14
CHILDREN’S LAWYER
1
1
 
 
2
 
18
 
22
CRIMINAL INJURIES COMPENSATION BOARD
4
1
 
 
1
 
23
 
29
CROWN ATTORNEYS
 
 
 
 
 
 
13
 
13
LEGAL AID ONTARIO
11
22
 
2
8
2
123
3
171
ONTARIO HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
2
24
 
 
3
5
99
1
134
ONTARIO MUNICIPAL BOARD
 
5
 
 
 
 
13
2
20
PUBLIC GUARDIAN AND TRUSTEE
5
5
 
 
5
 
88
 
103
MINISTRY OF CHILDREN AND YOUTH SERVICES
OTHER
 
1
 
 
 
 
9
1
11
OFFICE OF CHILD AND FAMILY SERVICE ADVOCACY
 
 
 
 
 
 
4
 
4
SPECIAL NEEDS PROGRAMS – CHILDREN
2
1
 
 
 
 
8
 
11
YOUTH FACILITIES
7
1
 
6
29
 
31
1
75
MINISTRY OF CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION
OTHER
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
 
1
MINISTRY OF COMMUNITY AND SOCIAL SERVICES
OTHER
2
3
 
2
 
 
49
3
59
ADOPTION DISCLOSURE REGISTER
1
1
 
 
 
 
15
 
17
DISABILITY ADJUDICATION UNIT
9
 
 
2
3
 
31
 
45
FAMILY RESPONSIBILITY OFFICE
216
27
1
23
27
1
807
9
1111
ONTARIO DISABILITY SUPPORT PROGRAM
62
12
 
18
21
3
511
10
637
SOCIAL BENEFITS TRIBUNAL
5
13
 
1
3
3
73
1
99
SOUTHWESTERN REGIONAL CENTRE
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
1
SPECIAL NEEDS PROGRAMS – ADULT
2
1
 
1
1
 
1
1
7
THISTLETOWN REGIONAL CENTRE
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
 
1
MINISTRY OF COMMUNITY SAFETY AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES
OTHER
10
4
 
3
4
 
57
2
80
CORRECTIONAL CENTRES
670
153
 
128
338
58
2023
34
3404
CORRECTIONAL COMPLEXES
222
67
 
50
169
 
788
13
1309
DETENTION CENTRES
260
96
 
79
261
 
1157
55
1908
JAILS
163
59
 
50
166
3
665
13
1119
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF CORONER
1
1
 
 
1
 
5
 
8
ONTARIO CIVILIAN COMMISSION ON POLICE SERVICES
 
1
 
 
1
 
8
 
10
ONTARIO PAROLE AND EARNED RELEASE BOARD
2
1
 
 
1
 
13
 
17
ONTARIO PROVINCIAL POLICE
2
1
 
2
 
1
26
1
33
PROBATION AND PAROLE SERVICES
1
1
 
 
2
 
36
 
40
TREATMENT AND CORRECTIONAL CENTRES
21
10
 
7
6
 
118
4
166
MINISTRY OF CONSUMER AND BUSINESS SERVICES
OTHER
2
2
 
 
2
 
26
 
32
ALCOHOL AND GAMING COMMISSION OF ONTARIO
4
 
 
 
 
 
13
 
17
LAND REGISTRY/TITLES
 
1
 
 
 
 
7
 
8
LICENCE APPEAL TRIBUNAL
1
 
 
 
1
1
6
 
9
ONTARIO RACING COMMISSION
 
 
 
 
1
 
4
 
5
REGISTRAR GENERAL BRANCH
456
3
 
45
19
5
811
3
1342
MINISTRY OF CULTURE
OTHER
 
 
 
 
 
 
5
 
5
ART GALLERY OF ONTARIO
 
 
 
 
1
 
 
 
1
ONTARIO ARTS COUNCIL
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
 
1
ONTARIO TRILLIUM FOUNDATION
 
 
 
 
1
 
4
 
5
MINISTRY OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND TRADE
OTHER
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
 
1
LIQUOR CONTROL BOARD OF ONTARIO
 
 
 
 
1
 
10
1
12
ONTARIO LOTTERY AND GAMING CORPORATION
 
1
 
 
3
 
17
 
21
MINISTRY OF EDUCATION
OTHER
2
 
 
 
 
 
21
2
25
MINISTRY OF ENERGY
OTHER
 
 
 
 
 
 
4
 
4
HYDRO ONE NETWORKS INC
25
4
 
5
5
1
111
2
153
ONTARIO ENERGY BOARD
 
2
 
 
 
 
9
 
11
MINISTRY OF THE ENVIRONMENT
OTHER
2
2
 
 
3
1
28
2
38
DRIVE CLEAN PROGRAM
4
1
 
 
 
1
9
 
15
MINISTRY OF FINANCE
OTHER
2
4
 
 
1
 
13
1
21
FINANCIAL SERVICES COMMISSION
3
360
 
1
2
2
24
1
393
MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT CLAIMS FUND
 
 
 
 
 
 
4
 
4
MUNICIPAL PROPERTY ASSESSMENT CORPORATION
4
1
 
1
1
 
41
1
49
PROVINCIAL TAX PROGRAMS
1
1
 
 
1
 
6
 
9
RETAIL SALES TAX
1
4
 
1
2
1
28
1
38
MINISTER RESPONSIBLE FOR FRANCOPHONE AFFAIRS
OFFICE OF FRANCOPHONE AFFAIRS
 
1
 
 
 
 
1
 
2
MINISTRY OF HEALTH AND LONG TERM CARE
OTHER
17
4
 
3
3
2
88
 
117
ASSISTIVE DEVICES/HOME OXYGEN PROGRAMS
2
1
 
 
 
 
17
 
20
COMMUNITY CARE ACCESS CENTRE
1
2
 
1
3
1
31
 
39
CONSENT AND CAPACITY BOARD
 
 
 
 
 
 
2
 
2
DRUG PROGRAMS BRANCH – ONTARIO DRUG BENEFIT PROGRAM
 
 
 
 
 
 
8
 
8
DRUG PROGRAMS BRANCH – SECTION 8 REQUESTS
2
 
 
 
 
 
12
 
14
DRUG PROGRAMS BRANCH – TRILLIUM DRUG PROGRAM
10
 
 
1
2
 
52
 
65
HEALTH PROFESSIONS APPEAL AND REVIEW BOARD
1
8
 
 
 
4
19
 
32
HEALTH SERVICES APPEAL AND REVIEW BOARD
1
3
 
 
 
 
8
 
12
LONG TERM CARE BRANCH
1
 
 
 
 
 
4
 
5
NORTHERN HEALTH TRAVEL GRANT
2
2
 
1
2
 
15
1
23
ONTARIO HEALTH INSURANCE PLAN
18
4
 
9
6
2
125
1
165
ONTARIO HEPATITIS C ASSISTANCE PLAN
2
 
 
 
1
1
3
 
7
PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITALS/MENTAL HEALTH CENTRES
4
 
 
 
 
 
41
3
48
PSYCHIATRIC PATIENT ADVOCATE OFFICE
 
 
 
 
2
 
5
 
7
MINISTRY OF LABOUR
OTHER
 
 
 
 
 
 
15
1
16
EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES BRANCH
7
4
 
1
 
 
47
2
61
FAIR PRACTICES COMMISSION
 
 
 
 
 
 
5
 
5
GRIEVANCE SETTLEMENT BOARD
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
 
1
OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY
 
 
 
 
 
 
4
1
5
OFFICE OF THE EMPLOYER ADVISER
 
 
 
1
 
 
 
 
1
OFFICE OF THE WORKER ADVISER
2
 
 
2
2
 
15
 
21
ONTARIO LABOUR RELATIONS BOARD
1
7
 
1
2
1
26
10
48
WORKPLACE SAFETY AND INSURANCE APPEALS TRIBUNAL
9
50
 
 
6
12
149
3
229
WORKPLACE SAFETY AND INSURANCE BOARD
17
5
 
4
8
 
606
9
649
MANAGEMENT BOARD OF CABINET
MANAGEMENT BOARD SECRETARIAT
2
 
 
1
3
 
9
2
17
ONTARIO PENSION BOARD
 
 
 
 
1
1
2
 
4
ONTARIO REALTY CORPORATION
1
 
 
 
 
 
1
 
2
ONTARIO SECURITIES COMMISSION
 
 
 
 
 
 
5
 
5
MINISTRY OF MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS AND HOUSING
OTHER
1
 
1
 
 
1
20
 
23
LINE FENCES REFEREE
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
 
1
ONTARIO MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT BOARD
1
 
 
 
1
 
3
 
5
ONTARIO RENTAL HOUSING TRIBUNAL
10
12
 
 
8
4
123
3
160
MINISTRY OF NATURAL RESOURCES
OTHER
2
4
 
 
1
1
25
1
34
CROWN LAND
1
1
1
 
 
 
16
 
19
LICENCES/TAGS
1
 
 
 
1
 
6
 
8
ONTARIO PARKS
 
1
 
 
2
 
7
 
10
MINISTRY OF NORTHERN DEVELOPMENT AND MINES
OTHER
1
 
 
 
 
1
3
 
5
ONTARIO NORTHLAND TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
 
1
MINISTRY OF TOURISM AND RECREATION
NIAGARA PARKS COMMISSION
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
 
1
MINISTRY OF TRAINING, COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES
OTHER
3
1
1
3
2
 
16
 
26
APPRENTICESHIPS/WORK TRAINING
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
 
1
COLLEGES OF APPLIED ARTS AND TECHNOLOGY
5
1
 
3
3
 
41
 
53
ONTARIO STUDENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
20
10
 
5
12
1
259
2
309
TVONTARIO
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
 
1
MINISTRY OF TRANSPORTATION
OTHER
2
3
 
 
1
 
43
 
49
DRIVER LICENSING
11
7
 
4
5
 
123
1
151
GO TRA