We had the pleasure of meeting with Paul Dubé , the Ontario Ombudsman. The Ontario Ombudsman is an independent Officer of the Legislature who works impartially to resolve complaints about government and public sector entities. The Office of the Ombudsman plays an important role in Ontario’s democratic process as it strives to enhance fairness, accountability, and transparency in the public sector.
Mr. Dubé spoke to our cohort about his role in conflict resolution and the intake of public complaints. The Office prioritizes resolving complaints at the lowest level possible. To do so, they make informal inquiries and requests for information with the relevant parties to learn more about their processes and policies. If they are unable to resolve the matter informally, the Ombudsman may decide to conduct a formal investigation. This would entail notifying the organization in question, potentially conducting interviews, and requesting documents or other relevant evidence. If required, the Ombudsman may launch a systemic investigation.
A key takeaway from this meeting was the Office’s emphasis of a reconciliatory rather than an adversarial approach. This approach helps uphold the integrity of the Office and ensure discussions are kept fair and impartial.
A big thank you to Mr. Dubé for speaking to us about the important work he does to uphold Ontario’s democratic rights!