Meeting with Paul Dubé, Ontario Ombudsman
Updated: Feb 27, 2021
The interns rounded off their meetings with independent officers of the legislature by meeting with provincial Ombudsman Paul Dubé, who was sworn in as Ombudsman in 2016 to serve a five-year renewable term. The Ombudsman’s role is to enhance government by holding its administrative wing accountable to citizens.
During our conversation, Mr. Dubé explained his responsibility as a watchdog for Ontario. In his words, his role is to be the “guardian of citizen rights.” His purview includes 500+ provincial organizations, 400+ municipalities, public universities, school boards, and more. When citizens make a complaint to the Ombudsman, the office can help people navigate the bureaucracy and rectify unfair administrative conduct, if any. As Mr. Dubé mentioned, the Ombudsman can also prompt broader institutional reforms and conduct systemic investigations.
The Ombudsman’s office also includes roles such as that of the French Language Services Unit and the Children and Youth Unit. These units provide resolutions, investigations, reports, and outlines for their respective foci.
Mr. Dubé revealed that the Ombudsman has had every recommendation that it’s forth for the government accepted, and he was delighted to share why that is. As he explains, numbers and data don’t always work where stories will, and ongoing monitoring and reporting are imperative to success.
The interns really appreciate the chance to learn more about the important work of the Ombudsman and his office. Thank you, Ombudsman Paul Dubé, for taking the time to walk us through your role and for meeting with us!