New Ontario Ombudsman to start April 1: Mr. Paul Dubé

New Ontario Ombudsman to start April 1: Mr. Paul Dubé

February 17, 2016

17 February, 2016

(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.

(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.

Photo of Paul Dubé

Prior to his appointment as Ontario Ombudsman, Mr. Dubé served within the federal government as Canada’s first Taxpayers’ Ombudsman, from 2008 to 2014. “I am honoured by this appointment, and I look forward to serving the people of Ontario,” Mr. Dubé said. “It’s a privilege to join the Ontario Ombudsman’s office, whose work I have admired and respected for many years.”

Mr. Dubé will be relocating to Toronto. Ms. Barbara Finlay remains the Acting Ombudsman until his term begins.


Biography of J. Paul Dubé

Born in Calgary, Alberta, Mr. Dubé spent his adolescence in Dalhousie, New Brunswick, where he was valedictorian of his high school graduating class. After high school he attended the University of Ottawa and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science (B.A.). Mr. Dubé went on to earn a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, followed by a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree in law at the University of Windsor in Ontario.

While at the University of Windsor, Mr. Dubé was awarded the Cassels Brock and Blackwell Centennial Prize for Legal Practice Skills for his clinical work at Legal Assistance of Windsor (1991).

Following his admissions to the Law Society of Upper Canada and the Law Society of New Brunswick in 1992, Mr. Dubé began his legal career in private practice in New Brunswick. He specialized in criminal litigation and demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the protection of rights conferred by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the promotion of procedural fairness. Over the course of his legal career, Mr. Dubé gained a reputation as an effective advocate for all people, especially the economically disadvantaged.

A passion to promote access to justice motivated Mr. Dubé to be actively involved in the legal community, serving as President of the Restigouche Barristers Association (1993-2004), and as ad-hoc member of the Council of the Law Society of New Brunswick (1993-1998). He also served on the New Brunswick Legal Aid Committee (1992-2004) and participated in the establishment of the New Brunswick Legal Aid Services Commission (2004). Mr. Dubé taught the French section of the New Brunswick Bar Admission course on Criminal Procedure from 1997 to 2005.

As a result of his work with Legal Aid New Brunswick, Mr. Dubé was a co-recipient of the Canadian Bar Association Pro Bono Award in 2003.

From 2000-2004, Mr. Dubé served as Vice-Chair and Alternate Chairperson of the New Brunswick Labour and Employment Board, where he conducted quasi-judicial hearings under that province’s Industrial Relations Act, Employment Standards Act, and Human Rights Act. His strong sense of fairness and impartiality were important assets in that role.

In 2008, Mr. Dubé was appointed federal Taxpayers’ Ombudsman and tasked with the creation of a new office to uphold the Taxpayer Bill of Rights and promote fairness in the Canada Revenue Agency’s treatment of, and service to, taxpayers. As an independent and impartial Taxpayers’ Ombudsman, Mr. Dubé oversaw the review of thousands of taxpayer complaints with a view to resolving them at the lowest level possible. He published five Annual Reports as well as eight Special Reports on systemic issues of fairness and service. All of his recommendations were accepted and implemented.

Mr. Dubé’s recommendation to the Minister of National Revenue also led to an amendment of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights and the addition of Article 16 (protection from reprisal) in June 2013.

Mr. Dubé has been actively involved in the ombudsman community, serving two terms as a member of the Board of Directors of the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman, where he contributed to discussions and decisions on a variety of issues, such as governance and continuing education.