Correctional facilities continue to bring in the most complaints and inquiries to provincial ombudsman: report (The Trillium)

October 5, 2023

5 October 2023

Ombudsman Paul Dubé released his 2022-23 annual report on Thursday.

Sneh Duggal
The Trillium
October 5, 2023

An inmate was left waiting with “extreme tooth pain” despite making seven requests to see a dentist.

Another was placed in the same range as an inmate charged with stabbing him, and who had also started extorting him.

A third had a seizure, fell and had a concussion, requiring followup care.

These are just a few of the 3,524 complaints or inquiries the provincial ombudsman received about Ontario’s correctional facilities, which remained the top source of cases the office dealt with in 2022-23.

In these instances, following intervention from Ombudsman Paul Dubé’s office, the first inmate was sent to a dentist to have his tooth removed, the second was moved to a different area with a note added to their files to prevent the two inmates from being placed together, and the third was referred to a neurologist.

Dubé’s annual report, covering the period from April 2022 to March 2023, broke down the 24,551 cases his office received by topic, with municipalities coming in second with more than 2,900 cases. Tribunals Ontario was the most complained-about organization, with 2,043 cases, 1,894 of which were about the severely backlogged Landlord and Tenant Board.

"As I say in this report, a great deal has changed in the past few years – in this world, in this province, and in my office. Public services have been strained, and are struggling to repair the gaps exposed during the pandemic. Our work helped expose some of those gaps, and proposed ways to fix them. Of course, not all the results are rosy – there are still areas where progress has been slow, and we will continue to report on those and investigate where necessary," Dubé said in a statement following the release of his report.

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