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JPubiicatioo* 




3B^. ^^^^^ JLmSk 

Ontario 






Standing Committee 
on the Ombudsman 



Nineteenth Report 1991 




2nd Session 35th Parliament 
41 Elizabeth II 



The National Library of Canada has catalogued this publication as follows: 

Ontario. Legislative Assembly. Standing Committee on the Ombudsman. 
Report 

Title from cover. 

Report year ends Mar. 3 1 . 

Continues: Ontario. Legislative Assembly. Select Committee on the Ombudsman. 

Report of the Select Committee on the Ombudsman. ISSN 0702-0562. 

ISSN 0832-7270 = Report - Standing Committee on the Ombudsman (Toronto). 



II 



1. Ombudsman— Ontario— Periodicals. I. Title. 
KE0892. 04057 1992 354.713009T05 



C-9 1-0890544 Rev 



STANDING COMMITTEE ON THE OMBUDSMAN 




COMITE PERMANENT DE LOMBUDSMAN 



Ontario 



LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY 
ASSEMBLEE LEGISLATIVE 



TORONTO, ONTARIO 
M7A 1A2 



The Honourable David Warner, M.P.P. 
Speaker of the Legislative Assembly 

Sir, 

Your Standing Committee on the Ombudsman has the honour to present its Nineteenth Report 
1991 and commends it to the House. 




Mark Morrow, M.P.P. 
Chair 



Queen's Park 
May, 1992 



MEMBERSHIP OF THE 
STANDING COMMITTEE ON THE OMBUDSMAN 



MARK MORROW 
CHAIR 



CHRISTEL HAECK 
VICE-CHAIR 



ZANANA AKANDE 



FRANK MICLASH 



DENNIS DRAINVILLE 



NOEL DUIGNAN 



BILL MURDOCH (Grey) 
ANTHONY PERRUZZA 



JIM HENDERSON 



DAVID RAMSAY 



PAUL R. JOHNSON 



ELIZABETH WITMER 



Franco Carrozza 
Clerk of the Committee 



Paul Murray 

Counsel to the Committee 

and 

Research Officer 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



Page No. 



PARTI: INTRODUCTION 1 

PART II: SEVENTEENTH REPORT OF THE OMBUDSMAN 1 

(a) Organization and Operation of the Ombudsman's Office 1 

(b) Ombudsman's Jurisdiction Clarified 2 

(c) Matters Outstanding from Previous Ombudsman and 

Committee Reports 3 

(i) Ministry of Health - Mr. and Mrs. J 3 

(ii) Ministry of Health - Mr. K, Mr. & Mrs. L, Ms. M 4 

(iii) Ministry of the Environment 5 

(iv) Ministry of Education - Mrs. H 12 

PART III: EIGHTEENTH REPORT OF THE OMBUDSMAN 14 

(a) Organization and Operation of the Ombudsman's Office 14 

(b) Changes in the Format of the Annual Report 15 

PART IV: EIGHTEENTH REPORT OF 18 

THE STANDING COMMITTEE ON THE OMBUDSMAN 18 

(a) Debate by Legislature 18 

(b) Responses of Governmental Organizations to Recommendations 
Contained in the Report 18 

(c) Amendments to Regulations Under the Ombudsman Act 19 

PART V: DEVELOPMENTS WITH RESPECT TO THE SPECIAL 

REPORT OF THE STANDING COMMITTEE ON FARM "Q" LTD. 20 

PART VI: REPORT ON EXPANSION OF THE JURISDICTION 

OF THE OMBUDSMAN BY THE STANDING COMMITTEE 22 

PART VII: PROCEDURES FOR REVIEWING THE FINANCIAL AFFAIRS 

OF THE OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN 23 

(a) Review of the Estimates of the Ombudsman 24 

(b) Annual Audit Conducted by the Provincial Auditor 26 

PART VIII: DEVELOPMENTS IN THE INTERPRETATION OF THE 

OMBUDSMAN'S MANDATE 28 

(a) Role of the Ombudsman After Making a Report to the Legislature 28 



PART IX: COMMUNICATIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC 33 

(a) Developments in the Committee's Procedures for Reviewing 
Communications from the Public 34 
(i) Release of Documents by the Ombudsman to the Committee 34 
(ii) Disclosure of Information Concerning the 

Ombudsman's Investigation 36 

(b) Outcome of the Committee's Review of Particular Complaints 40 
(i) Ministry of Community and Social Services - Mrs. H 41 
(ii) Board of Examiners in Psychology - Mr. V 42 
(iii) Ministry of Correctional Services - Mr. W 45 
(iv) Workers' Compensation Appeals Tribunal - Mr. S 48 
(v) Ministry of the Attorney General - Mr. A 49 
(vi) Ontario Energy Corporation - Mr. R.S. 51 

PART X: REVIEW OF THE OMBUDSMAN ACT 55 

SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS 59 



1 

PARTI: INTRODUCTION 

This Report reviews the Ombudsman's Annual Reports for the fiscal years 1989- 
90 and 1990-91, as well as responses to the Standing Committee's Eighteenth 
Report, its Special Report on Farm "Q" Ltd., and its Report on Expansion of the 
Jurisdiction of the Ombudsman. 

In addition, this Report reviews and comments on the following matters which 
concern the work of the Committee and the Ombudsman: 

• The Ombudsman's role after making a report to the Legislature; 

• The manner in which the financial affairs of the Office of the Ombudsman 
are reviewed; and 

• The Committee's procedures for reviewing communications from the 
public which comment on the work of the Ombudsman. 

In this latter respect, the Report also reviews the Committee's consideration of 
particular communications from the public which it has received since the 
Committee's last report, and sets out the Committee's recommendations on these 
cases. Finally, the Report comments on the need for a general review of the 
Ombudsman Act. 

PART II: SEVENTEENTH REPORT OF THE OMBUDSMAN 
(a) Organization and Operation of the Ombudsman's Office 

The Ombudsman reports that during the 1989-90 fiscal year she took steps, 
through a reorganization of her management structure, to achieve greater 
consistency in handling requests for assistance, public education and 
administration across the nine District Offices. She also reports that, in particular, 
she took steps to improve the delivery of services to francophone clients by 
creating the position of French Language Services Officer. This position provides 
advice and assistance to senior staff regarding the provision of services to 



francophone clients, and also provides outreach services to Ontario's francophone 
community. 

The Ombudsman also reports that she further implemented the siting model for 
district offices developed in recent years by relocating the Ottawa office to a 
smaller and more cost-effective site, moving the Windsor office to a more central 
and independent site, reopening an office in North Bay, and beginning 
negotiations for a more visible and accessible office site in Kenora. 

The present Ombudsman has also continued the work of her predecessors in 
undertaking public education to make the services of the Ombudsman better 
known. We continue to see this as a necessary component of the Ombudsman's 
work. 

(b) Ombudsman's Jurisdiction Clarified 

In the Committee's Eighteenth Report we noted that two court actions had been 
commenced by governmental organizations challenging the statutory authority of 
the Ombudsman to investigate their activities. Decisions have now been made in 
both these cases and in both instances the positions put forward by the 
Ombudsman were upheld. 

In the first case, the previous Ombudsman had applied for a declaration that he 
had jurisdiction to investigate an act of the Board of Radiological Technicians. In 
this respect, the Board had taken the position that the Ombudsman had no 
authority to investigate it because of its status as an independent body supervising 
a self-regulating profession. The Ombudsman took the position that this board 
was no different than the Health Disciplines Board, which the Divisional Court in 
1979 determined was within the Ombudsman's investigative jurisdiction. The 
court held in favour of the Ombudsman thereby confirming that the Ombudsman 
has the authority to investigate complaints against this Board. 



The second case concerned whether the Ombudsman had jurisdiction to investigate 
the actions of civil servants carrying out their duties under the authority of an 
Order-in-Council. The Attorney General argued that because Orders-in-Council 
are the product of cabinet deliberations the Ombudsman has no jurisdiction to deal 
with them in any way. The Ombudsman argued that while the Ombudsman is 
prohibited from investigating the basis on which the Executive Council arrived at 
a particular decision, the Ombudsman does have jurisdiction to consider the effect 
of those decisions and to recommend that such decisions be reconsidered by 
government. The court again held in favour of the Ombudsman deciding that the 
Ombudsman may inquire into the effect of Orders-in-Council on the administration 
at large and on the affected public. 

(c) Matters Outstanding from Previous Ombudsman and 
Committee Reports 

(0 Ministry of Health - Mr. and Mrs. J 

Special Report of the Ombudsman on Mr. and Mrs. J. considered in Standing 
Committee Report No. 17 

This matter concerned the Ministry of Health's refusal to cover the cost of donor 
sperm required by Mrs. J for the purposes of artificial insemination. In its 
Seventeenth Report the Committee recommended: 

That the Ministry of Health arrange to provide 
donor sperm to Mr. and Mrs. J at no cost as soon 
as an acceptable test has been developed to ensure 
that donor sperm is free from the HIV virus. 

In the Committee's Eighteenth Report it noted that the Ministry had accepted the 
Committee's recommendation and had begun the process of approving a policy 
through which the province would cover the cost of donor sperm, including the 
public funding of semen cryobanks. However, the Ministry commented at that 
time that it had, in developing its policy, encountered a number of unanticipated 
delays of both a medical and legal nature, among which was the fact that there 
was not yet a fully satisfactory HIV screening test. 



The Ministry advises that there now exists an acceptable HIV screening test. 
However, the Ministry has nonetheless decided not to proceed with funding of 
donor sperm at this time and has not therefore arranged to provide donor sperm at 
no cost to Mr. and Mrs. J. In this respect, the Ministry states that in this period 
of fiscal restraint, public funding of semen cryobanks is not a priority of the 
Ministry of Health. As well, in the Ministry's view the development of policy 
with respect to the payment for donor sperm must be undertaken in the context of 
a national framework on the use of new reproductive technologies, and in 
coordination with the federal government. However, such a national framework 
at present awaits the release of the Report of the Royal Commission on New 
Reproductive Technologies, which is expected within the next six months. Until 
that report is released, the Ministry does not foresee implementing a policy with 
respect to the funding of donor sperm. 

The Committee recognizes the importance of the Ministry's reasons for delaying 
the development of a general policy in this area. We do however hope that the 
Ministry will continue to monitor national developments in this respect, and 
address the Committee's concerns at the appropriate time. 

(n) Ministry of Health - Mr. K. Mr. & Mrs. L. Ms. M 

Special Report of the Ombudsman on Mr. K. Mr. & Mrs. L., Ms. M considered 
in Standing Committee Report No. 17 

This matter concerned the Ministry of Health's restriction of companion travel 
grants under the Northern Health Travel Grant Program to those persons 
travelling with persons under the age of 18. In its Seventeenth Report the 
Committee recommended that: 

The Ministry of Health amend Ontario Regulation 
596/85 in order to remove all age restrictions 
pertaining to the provision of companion travel 
grants under the Northern Health Travel Grant 
Program. 



The Ombudsman reported in her 1989-90 Annual Report that the program under 
which travel grants are provided was under review by the Ministry. The 
Ministry has since revoked Ontario Regulation 596/85 and replaced it with Ontario 
Regulation 311/91. The new regulation has removed the age restrictions on grants 
and now provides that: 

S. 4 A grant for a companion may be paid only if the travel is 
by aircraft, train or commercial bus and either, 

(a) the patient is less than sixteen years old; or 

(b) the referring health professional gives a written opinion, 
before the travel takes place, that the patient is unable for 
health or safety reasons to travel without a companion. 

Grants are therefore now available to anyone who is able to establish that there is 
a health or safety need for a companion to accompany a patient. The Committee 
commends the Ministry for its response to the recommendations of the 
Ombudsman and the Committee in this instance. 

(iiO Ministry of the Environment 

Complaint No. 10 in Ombudsman Report No. 11 considered in Standing 
Committee Report No. 12 

This matter concerned the issue of the complainant's entitlement to claim and, in 
the appropriate circumstances, be awarded interest on monies found due and 
payable to him pursuant to The Public Works Creditors Payment Act. 

In 1979 the complainant had made a claim against the Ministry of the 
Environment in relation to the rental of construction equipment to a contractor that 
was under contract to the Ministry. Following the Ministry's refusal to accept his 
claim he asked the Ombudsman to investigate his complaint. The Ombudsman did 
so and in response to the Ombudsman's recommendation the Minister referred the 
claim to an adjudicator. The adjudicator awarded the complainant $27,730.00 for 
rental charges, but did not award an amount for interest charges on the claim. 



On February 29, 1980 the complainant wrote to the Ombudsman's office and 
complained against the Ministry for failing to pay the interest charges. The 
Ombudsman investigated the complaint and recommended as follows: 

That the Minister cancel his decision to accept the 
adjudicator's recommendation not to pay the 
complainant's claim for interest; that the Minister 
accept and consider the claim for interest as one 
properly made under the Public Works Creditors 
Payment Act. 

The Minister refused to do so. Nonetheless, the Ombudsman chose not to send a 
copy of his report to the Premier. However, following the appointment of a new 
Ombudsman, on the request of the complainant, the new Ombudsman exercised 
his discretion and on March 22, 1984, referred the matter to the Premier for 
consideration. 

The matter was referred to the Committee which considered the Ombudsman's 
recommendations. The Committee agreed with the Ombudsman's conclusions and 
therefore in its Twelfth Report recommended: 

That the Minister of the Environment accept in 
principle that the Crown may, in the appropriate 
circumstances, pay a claimant interest due pursuant 
to a term of a contract with a contractor; and 

That the Minister of the Environment consider the 
merits of the complainant's claim for interest owing 
on the principal amount in question and formulate a 
decision whether or not to pay such claim. 

The Ministry's response to the Committee's recommendation was to accept in 
principle that it could in fact pay interest in appropriate circumstances and to 
consider the claim on its merits. However, having done so, it decided against 
paying interest. The Ombudsman was not satisfied with this response and 
questioned whether the Ministry, given its entrenched position, could have decided 
the question with objectivity. 



The Ombudsman raised his concerns with the Committee which agreed that, in 
fairness to both the Ministry and the complainant, the matter needed to be 
assessed by someone other than the Ministry. In its Thirteenth Report, presented 
to the House in April, 1986, the Committee therefore recommended: 

That an independent adjudicator be appointed to 
assess the matter of whether or not interest is owed 
to the complainant. 

The Ministry accepted this recommendation and entered into negotiations with the 
complainant with respect to the terms of reference for the adjudication. In this 
respect, the Ministry prepared draft terms of reference which it proposed but 
which the complainant and the Ombudsman found unacceptable. As a result, the 
parties again appeared before the Committee on September 23, 1986. The 
Committee considered the concerns of the parties and recommended the following; 

That the adjudication be styled as a hearing in the 
ordinary course, with an opportunity given to the 
parties to call and lead any evidence they consider 
appropriate; 

That the principal amount upon which interest is to 
be calculated be clearly stated as a sum not to 
exceed $27,730.00; 

That the rate of interest applied by the adjudication 
be determined in accordance with the Courts of 
Justice Act; and 

That the costs of adjudication be paid by the 
Ministry, except for the complainant's legal costs. 

The Committee continued to monitor this situation and in March, 1988 again 
invited the Ministry to appear before it to explain why no progress had been made 
toward the appointment of an adjudicator. While the Ministry agreed to make an 
offer as to the terms for the adjudication to the complainant within a week, this 
was not done and the Committee again asked the Ministry to appear before it on 
May 25, 1988. At that time, the Ministry apologized for the manner in which this 



8 

case had been handled and gave assurances that steps would be taken immediately 
to finalize the terms of the arbitration. 

An agreement on the terms of the arbitration was reached in September, 1990. 
With an agreement in place the complainant and the Ministry proceeded to act 
upon it. This first required the selection of an arbitrator. Pursuant to the terms 
of arbitration the parties were to each nominate 3 persons from whom an 
arbitrator was to be selected. The agreement further provided that in the event no 
nominee was acceptable to both parties then: 

. . . either party may request the Ombudsman to 
designate an adjudicator from among the six persons 
so nominated and the Ombudsman may do so within 
60 days of being requested to do so. 

This clause had been included in the agreement with the knowledge and consent of 
the previous Ombudsman, and had formed part of the draft terms of arbitration 
presented to the Committee in September, 1986. 

The complainant and the Ministry were unable to agree upon a suitable arbitrator. 
As a result, by letter dated November 1, 1990 the complainant wrote to the 
Ombudsman requesting that she select an arbitrator from among those nominated. 
On December 17, 1990, counsel for the Ombudsman confirmed receipt of this 
letter and stated that their office was reviewing the material and would be 
contacting him as soon as the Ombudsman had made a decision. On March 27, 
1991, the Ombudsman wrote to the complainant's solicitor to inform him that she 
would not select an arbitrator as requested. In particular, the Ombudsman stated: 

Notwithstanding any informal assistance which the 
staff of the former Ombudsman may have provided 
to assist the parties to resolve this matter, given the 
inordinate amount of time which the parties have 
allowed to pass since the 1979 recommendation and 
the fact that the responsibilities within the 
Ombudsman's legal mandate have been fulfilled, I 
see no further role to be played by me or my staff 
in this matter. 



The Ombudsman's decision not to select an arbitrator had the effect of frustrating 
the arbitration agreement, making it necessary to reach a new agreement on the 
mechanism to select an arbitrator. Since the complainant was not confident that 
the Ministry would be agreeable to a new approach he contacted the Committee 
and asked if it could convince the Ombudsman to select an arbitrator. 

As requested by the complainant, in December, 1991 the Committee discussed 
with the Ombudsman her refusal to select an arbitrator. The Ombudsman 
reiterated her view that her office had fulfilled its responsibilities in this case. In 
particular, she stressed two things. First, however previous Ombudsman may 
have interpreted their mandate, in her view she did not have the power to provide 
the assistance requested. Second, she stated that in this instance the previous 
Ombudsman had completed the Office's responsibilities once he made a report to 
the Legislature. The Act, she argued, does not provide for her to play any further 
role once this is done. 

The Committee has a number of concerns with respect to what has occurred in 
this matter. We continue to be concerned at the unconscionable length of time it 
has taken to resolve this matter. We realize that there have been a number of 
reasons for the series of delays which have occurred, but feel that it is fair to say 
that the Ministry of the Environment must bear the primary responsibility in this 
regard. We also have considerable concerns with the manner in which the present 
Ombudsman has responded to the request of the parties to select an arbitrator. 
The fact is that throughout the protracted negotiations which have occurred the 
Office of the Ombudsman has played a key role in pushing this matter forward 
and bringing to the Committee's attention delays on the part of the Ministry. In 
turn, the complainant has placed considerable reliance on the Ombudsman. This 
reliance is manifested by the inclusion in the arbitration agreement of the clause 
which provided that the Ombudsman would select an arbitrator in the event that 
the complainant and the Ministry were unable to agree on one. As we have noted 
above, the previous Ombudsman had agreed to perform this role and was aware 



10 

that the parties had placed this clause in the agreement in reliance on the fact that 
he would so act. 

We appreciate that different Ombudsmen may have different interpretations of 
their powers. However, we believe that people dealing with the Office of the 
Ombudsman must be able to rely on the views and agreements expressed by it. In 
particular, we believe that the Ombudsman should be particularly accommodating 
in attempting to ensure that the public is not prejudiced by a change in approach 
that she may take as compared with previous Ombudsmen. 

The Ombudsman has argued that the Act does not expressly empower her to assist 
the parties in the manner her predecessor had agreed to act. In this respect, we 
note that there are a number of functions which this Ombudsman and others 
perform that are not expressly mandated by the Act. These include assisting 
parties not strictly within her jurisdiction by providing referrals or making 
inquiries on their behalf, and engaging in public education with respect to the 
work of the Ombudsman. As well, the Ombudsman herself notes in her most 
recent report that she helped facilitate a satisfactory resolution in 2,303 cases even 
though the cases were "not strictly within her jurisdiction. " 

We do not question the propriety of the Ombudsman acting in this way. We 
believe that these are natural and necessary functions which are integral to the 
fulfilment of the objects of the Act, and that they are consistent with the direction 
of the Supreme Court of Canada that the Act receive a "broad, purposive 
interpretation consistent with the unique role the Ombudsman is intended to 
fulfil." We believe, however, that providing informal assistance to parties to 
assist them in reaching a settlement of their dispute, as was asked of the 
Ombudsman here, is also a natural function for the Ombudsman to perform. In 
addition, it is a function which we believe would, by giving the Act a "broad, 
purposive interpretation," be permitted in the way the other functions the 
Ombudsman continues to perform would be. Therefore, while we believe that it 
may have been a matter of discretion as to whether the Ombudsman chose to fulfil 



11 

her predecessor's undertaking to select an arbitrator, we believe that it was open 
to her to have chosen to so act. 

In summary, we note that the complainant and the Ministry have placed reliance 
on the Office of the Ombudsman to select an arbitrator. We also note that the 
Ombudsman was asked to simply select one name from a list of six nominees 
which were provided to her, an act we believe was within her power to perform. 
She was not asked to in some way enforce the recommendation of the 
Ombudsman or the Committee. 

We also note the extraordinary circumstances concerning the complainant's claim, 
particularly the delay of some 12 years in responding to his claim. In this respect, 
we are concerned by the Ombudsman's reference, in her response to the 
complainant, to the "inordinate amount of time which the parties have allowed to 
pass since the 1979 recommendation." This suggests that the complainant is in 
part responsible for the delay which has occurred since 1979. However, as our 
review above indicates, the complaint in question was not made until 1980, the 
Ombudsman did not refer his report to the Premier until 1984, and it was not until 
1986 that the Ombudsman suggested that someone other than the Ministry 
consider the claim for interest. As well, the bulk of the delay from that time until 
May, 1988 was, by their own admission, attributable to the Ministry. To suggest, 
as we believe the Ombudsman has, that the complainant is in some way 
responsible for the unconscionable manner in which he has been treated, reflects a 
lack of understanding on the part of the Ombudsman of the implications of her 
refusal to act as requested. 

Given all of the above we feel strongly that the Ombudsman should have agreed to 
select an arbitrator. However, since she has taken the position that the Act does 
not empower her to do this we believe it would be inappropriate for the 
Committee to recommend that she do so. Nonetheless, as we have indicated 
above, we have serious concerns about her interpretation of her mandate in this 



12 

regard. In order to prevent the recurrence of a similar situation in the future we 
believe the Act should be clarified and therefore recommend: 

1. That consideration be given to amending the Ombudsman Act to 

provide that the Ombudsman has the power, on the request of 
a complainant and a governmental organization, to assist them 
in reaching a settlement of their dispute. This possible 
amendment should be considered as part of a more general 
review of the Ombudsman Act to be conducted by this 
Committee. 

In light of our decision not to recommend that the Ombudsman select an 
arbitrator, we have taken steps to ensure that the complainant and the Ministry 
make alternative arrangements to agree on an arbitrator. As a result of the further 
discussions which have occurred, the complainant and the Ministry have now 
agreed on a person to select an arbitrator in place of the Ombudsman, and that 
person has agreed to do so. We are confident that this matter will now proceed 
but will continue to monitor it closely. 

(iv - ) Ministry of Education - Mrs. H 

Special Report of the Ombudsman on Mrs. H considered in Standing Committee 
Report No. 17 

This case concerned the Ministry of Education's decision denying Mrs. H a 
survivor allowance under the Teachers' Superannuation Fund. This decision was 
based on the relevant provisions of the Teachers ' Superannuation Act and the 
Teachers ' Superannuation Act, 1983 which limited the circumstances in which a 
dependent's allowance was payable to a surviving spouse of a deceased person. 
The Committee considered the case and in its Seventeenth Report made the 
following recommendations: 

That the Ministry of Education cause the Teachers' 
Superannuation Commission to pay Mrs. H survivor 
benefits as of August 8, 1985, and that the Ministry 
of Education, within three months of this motion, on 
or about November 22, 1988, report to this 
Committee on the advisability of extending this 



13 



benefit as a matter of right to spouses of Teachers' 
Superannuation Fund members adversely affected. 

That the Committee direct the working group (as set 
up by the Minister of Education) to deal with the 
issue of Mrs. H's pension and the general issue of 
pensions, as soon as possible. 

That the Minister of Education in conjunction with 
any other governmental organization it deems 
necessary, issue an ex gratia payment to Mrs. H as 
soon as possible, effective from the first day of the 
month following the date of her inquiry for same, 
until the amended provision is in force. Such a 
payment can be made through the annual budgetary 
process, so that no question will arise as to the 
authority of the Ministry to make the payments; and 



That the Minister of Education in conjunction with 
any other governmental organization he deems 
necessary, make spousal payments to any other 
surviving spouses who have been denied a full 
dependent or survivor allowance by the Teachers ' 
Superannuation Act or the Teachers ' Superannuation 
Act, 1983, payable from the first day of the month 
following the date of their request for a benefit as a 
result of this recommendation. 



At the time of the Committee's Eighteenth Report the Committee noted that these 
recommendations remained outstanding and that it would be seeking an 
explanation from the Ministry as to why their implementation had been delayed. 

The Ombudsman notes in her 1989-90 Annual Report that the necessary 
amendments have now been adopted and payment has been made to Mrs. H. The 
amendments are found in the Teachers' Pension Act, 1989, as amended, and in 
particular ss. 70-72 of Schedule 1 of that Act. The Committee commends the 
Ministry of Education for its response to the recommendations of the Committee 
and the Ombudsman. 



14 
PART III: EIGHTEENTH REPORT OF THE OMBUDSMAN 

(a) Organization and Operation of the Ombudsman's Office 

There have been a number of developments in the work of the Ombudsman during 
the 1990-91 fiscal year. The Ombudsman reports that during the year the North 
Bay office was reopened and that the Kenora office was relocated to a more 
visible and accessible location. As well, to increase accessibility a TDD 
(Telecommunication Device for the Deaf) line for communicating with persons 
who are hearing impaired or deaf was installed in the Ombudsman's central office. 

The Ombudsman also reports that she has reorganized her administration into 
three directorates: Human Resources, Community Access and Intake, and 
Investigative and Legal Services. She also hired a consultant to develop a salary 
plan for her employees and began to implement an internal staff identification and 
tracking system to assist her in developing employment equity policies, goals and 
timetables for achievement. The Ombudsman also began a program of cross- 
cultural sensitivity training for employees to operate on a continuing basis. 

The Ombudsman also reports that in the winter of 1990-91 she commissioned a 
survey to assist her in identifying the public's awareness of the services which the 
Ombudsman offers. This survey was conducted by telephone and took place 
between February 18 and March 3, 1991. 

Some of the survey findings, as reported by the Ombudsman, are as follows: 

• One person in five said they had a complaint in their dealings with 
government administration. Most frequently, the complaint was about 
excessive delay or an unfair decision, and most had done nothing about the 
complaint. 

• Those most vulnerable have a higher proportion of complaints. 

• 69% of people are aware of the Ombudsman, and generally had an 
accurate perception of the Ombudsman's jurisdiction and mandate - but 
awareness was higher among those with greater education and lower 
among the more vulnerable. As well, awareness of the Ombudsman was 



15 

low in comparison with the Ontario Human Rights Commission (95%) and 
the Workers' Compensation Board (97%). 

• 52% of Ontarians feel that they are not well protected against unfair 

government action. This sense is particularly marked among those who 
are most vulnerable. 

The Ombudsman adds that the survey revealed that the Ombudsman's network of 
regional offices is particularly important in promoting the perception of easy 
access to the services of the Ombudsman. 



The Ombudsman indicates that she is carefully studying the survey and 
formulating initiatives to ensure that Ontarians recognize the role the Ombudsman 
can play in improving the quality of government administration. She has indicated 
that she will be in a position to comment on the steps to be taken in her next 
Annual Report. 

Finally, the Ombudsman reports that it was unnecessary, in order to have her 
recommendations implemented, for her to seek the intervention of the Legislative 
Assembly during the past fiscal year. There have, therefore, for the purposes of 
the Committee's work, been no recommendation denied cases which it has had to 
consider. 

(b) Changes in the Format of the Annual Report 

The format of this Annual Report is substantially changed over previous years. 
The Ombudsman has indicated that these changes are directed toward making the 
Report more inviting, and form part of a more general approach of attempting to 
make the Ombudsman's services more accessible. 

We share the Ombudsman's view of the importance of making her services more 
accessible and agree that her Annual Report can play a role in that regard. The 
new format does present the information in a more inviting and accessible manner 
and we commend the Ombudsman for her efforts in initiating these changes. The 



16 

Ombudsman also indicates that the new format has led to some cost savings 
related to a less expensive cover and to the decision to make French-language and 
English-language copies available separately. 

While the Committee is generally pleased with the new format, it does have 
concerns with respect to some of the information which has been omitted. The 
information which has been omitted and which the Committee would like to see 
included in future reports is: 

• comparative data from the previous fiscal year; 

• graphs which show the number of complaints brought against a particular 
governmental organization, and the stage at which those complaints were 
resolved; and 

• the tables which indicate the status of any recommendations outstanding 
from previous years. 

The Committee has found each of these items of information to be helpful in the 
past. We believe that including comparative data from the previous fiscal year 
would enable the Committee to easily identify changes in the nature and size of 
the Ombudsman's caseload. Similarly, we believe that the graphs which set out 
the number of complaints brought against a particular governmental organization, 
and the stage at which those complaints were resolved, were useful in assisting the 
Committee in monitoring the nature and distribution of the Ombudsman's 
workload and government responsiveness. In this respect, in the Committee's 
recent meetings with the Ombudsman she indicated that she is considering ways in 
which to evaluate the performance of governmental organizations, and that, in 
particular, she is looking into examining government response times to 
Ombudsman inquiries and recommendations. While we hope the Ombudsman will 
pursue these matters and look forward to receiving the Ombudsman's comments 
on them in the future, we also believe that the information previously included 
should continue to be included in the Ombudsman's Reports. 



17 

As we noted, we are also concerned with the omission from the Ombudsman's 
report of the tables which show the status of all Ombudsman and Committee 
recommendations still outstanding from previous years. These tables had, in the 
past, served as a way of monitoring the progress which had been made in 
achieving the implementation of recommendations. Such monitoring is of critical 
importance in maintaining pressure on governmental organizations to address such 
recommendations . 

We believe therefore that these tables should continue to be included in the 
Ombudsman's reports. We recognize that the Ombudsman's decision to eliminate 
the tables was based on her view that this practice was outside her mandate 
because it required her involvement in cases after she had reported to the 
Legislature on the case, and it is her position that she has no authority to act once 
she has reported to the Legislature. We disagree with the Ombudsman's 
interpretation of her mandate in this regard and present our reasons in this respect 
later in the section entitled "Role of the Ombudsman After Making a Report to the 
Legislature". 

In summary, we believe that the information discussed above which has been 
omitted in the present annual report should be included in all future annual 
reports. We therefore recommend: 



2. That the Ombudsman include in his or her Annual Reports the 
following information: 

(a) comparative data from the previous fiscal year; 

(b) graphs which show the number of complaints brought 
against a particular governmental organization and the 
stage at which those complaints were resolved; and 

(c) tables which indicate the status of any recommendations 
outstanding from previous years. 



18 

PART IV: EIGHTEENTH REPORT OF 
THE STANDING COMMITTEE ON THE OMBUDSMAN 

(a) Debate by Legislature 

The Eighteenth Report of the Standing Committee on the Ombudsman was tabled 
in the Legislature on December 6, 1989. There has been no debate of the 
Committee's Report. 



(b) Responses of Governmental Organizations to Recommendations 
Contained in the Report 

(i) Ministry of Health - Ms. W 



In its Eighteenth Report, the Committee considered a complaint which concerned 
the Ministry of Health's refusal to reimburse Ms. W for the cost of renting an 
electric breast pump, which she required for the feeding of her prematurely born 
baby. In its Report the Committee made the following recommendations: 

The Ministry of Health should further consider 
including, as an insured service, the cost of electric 
breast pumps specifically for feeding premature 
infants, by amending its criteria for defining 
"special appliances" in Section 53(1) 9 of Regulation 
452 under the Health Insurance Act , such that breast 
pumps are excluded from this category, and 
included under Section 39 of Regulation 452, 
specifically for premature babies when prescribed by 
a physician or the medical staff of a hospital. 

The Ministry of Health should also develop clear 
criteria for managing the Assistive Devices 
Program. 

The Ministry should re-evaluate the adequacy of the 
process through which it determines what programs, 
devices, and benefits are funded by the Ministry of 
Health. 



19 

In her 1989-90 Report the Ombudsman reported that the Ministry had undertaken 
and completed a review of its Assistive Devices Program, and that a report was 
expected to be made public in the near future. 

Following these developments, we wrote to the Ministry of Health to determine 
what steps had been taken toward the fulfilment of the Committee's 
recommendations, and to request copies of any reports in this regard. 
Unfortunately, we have not yet received the Ministry's response. However, the 
Ministry of Health has advised that in the near future it will provide to the 
Committee a full report on the steps it has taken toward the implementation of the 
Committee's recommendations. 

We look forward to receiving the Ministry's response and to reporting on the 
progress which has been made in the implementation of the Committee's 
recommendations . 



(c) Amendments to Regulations Under the Ombudsman Act 

In its Eighteenth Report, the Committee recommended: 

That section 4(ii) of Regulation 697 under the 
Ombudsman Act be amended to state: 

No member of the Ombudsman's staff shall express 
to anyone other than the Ombudsman, or delegate of 
the Ombudsman, any opinion, recommendation, or 
other similar comment respecting the matter being 
investigated or respecting anything else arising out 
of the investigation. 

This recommendation has not been implemented. For this to occur the Assembly 
must adopt the Committee's Report, and specifically this amendment, since it is 
the Assembly which has the power to amend regulations made under the 
Ombudsman Act. As we noted above, the Assembly has not yet debated and 
adopted the Committee's Eighteenth Report. 



20 

This is the only recommendation in the Committee's Eighteenth Report which has 
not been adopted. We believe this amendment is important and therefore 
recommend: 



That section 4(ii) of Regulation 697 under the Ombudsman Act 
be amended to state: 

No member of the Ombudsman's staff shall 
express to anyone other than the Ombudsman, or 
delegate of the Ombudsman, any opinion, 
recommendation, or other similar comment 
respecting the matter being investigated or 
respecting anything else arising out of the 
investigation. 



PART V: DEVELOPMENTS WITH RESPECT TO THE SPECIAL 
REPORT OF THE STANDING COMMITTEE ON FARM "Q" LTD. 

On April 19, 1990 the Special Report of the Standing Committee on Farm "Q" 
Ltd. was tabled and debated. The motion to adopt the Report was moved and 
carried on June 28, 1990. 

This Special Report concerned a case in which the Ministry of Agriculture and 
Food had refused to implement the Ombudsman's recommendation that it 
compensate Farm Q for losses Farm Q claimed it suffered as a result of its 
reliance on inaccurate data produced and published by the*Ministry in 1984. The 
matter came before the Committee. After a series of recommendations which 
proved to be ineffective in obtaining a resolution of this matter, the Committee 
delivered its Special Report in which it made the following recommendation: 

Whereas the Committee has determined that the 
Ministry of Agriculture and Food should 
compensate for losses suffered, if any, in the subject 
case, the Committee resolves that the quantum of 
damages, if any, be determined by expeditious and 
binding arbitration of a single arbitrator to be named 
by the Office of the Ombudsman and the Ministry 
of Agriculture and Food. In the absence of 
agreement, then by three arbitrators, one to be 



21 

designated by the Office of the Ombudsman and one 
to be determined by the Ministry of Agriculture and 
Food and a third to be chosen by the two previously 
designated arbitrators. The award of two of these 
three arbitrators shall be binding. The rules of the 
arbitration shall be the Rules for the Conduct of 
Arbitrations of the Arbitrators' Institute of Canada. 
Cost of the arbitration shall be borne equally by the 
Office of the Ombudsman and Ministry of 
Agriculture and Food. 

Following receipt of this recommendation, the Ombudsman informed the 
Committee that the Ombudsman Act did not grant her the jurisdiction to undertake 
the course of action recommended. As a result, the arbitration did not proceed 
and the complainant approached the Committee requesting that it address the 
problems presented by the Ombudsman's position. 

The Committee met to consider the matter in April, 1991. It was decided that the 
Ombudsman should not be involved in the arbitration and that the recommendation 
made in its Special Report should be amended accordingly. The Committee 
therefore passed the following resolution: 

Whereas the Committee has determined that the 
Ministry of Agriculture and Food should 
compensate for losses suffered, if any, in the subject 
case, the Committee recommends that the parties 
submit to a process of binding and expeditious 
arbitration to determine the quantum of damages. 
The Committee further recommends that the parties 
agree to the following terms of the arbitration: The 
arbitration should be conducted by a single 
arbitrator to be named by Farm Q Ltd. and the 
Ministry of Agriculture and Food. In the absence 
of agreement, then the arbitration should be 
conducted by three arbitrators, one to be designated 
by Farm Q Ltd., one to be designated by the 
Ministry of Agriculture and Food and the third to be 
chosen by the two previously designated arbitrators. 
The award of two of these three arbitrators shall be 
binding. Failing the agreement of two arbitrators 
then the decision of the third appointed arbitrator 
shall be binding. The rules of the arbitration shall 
be the Rules for the Conduct of Arbitrations of the 



22 

Arbitration and Mediation Institute of Canada Inc. . 
Costs of the arbitrator(s) should be borne by the 
Ministry of Agriculture and Food. Costs of the 
parties should be awarded by the arbitrator(s) in 
his/her discretion. 

The Committee's amended recommendation was delivered to both Farm Q and the 
Ministry of Agriculture and Food. Subsequently, Farm Q and the Ministry 
attempted to negotiate the terms of arbitration but were unable to reach an 
agreement in this respect. As a result, in August, 1991 counsel for Farm Q 
contacted the Committee and asked that it look into the situation to determine 
whether it could assist in resolving the matter. The Committee reviewed the 
responses of both parties to its recommendation and had discussions with each side 
in an attempt to identify the points of disagreement. In the course of those 
discussions, the Committee was informed by the Ministry that it was in the 
process of finalizing an offer to settle the matter, which it subsequently presented 
to Farm Q. Farm Q considered the offer and in December, 1991, Farm Q and 
the Ministry of Agriculture and Food reached a settlement agreement which 
provided that the Ministry would pay Farm Q $250,000 as a full and final 
settlement of Farm Q's claim against the Ministry. The Ministry stated, however, 
that it continued to deny legal liability, and that it did not recognize the case as a 
precedent. 

Although the Committee is concerned at the length of time it took to resolve this 
matter, it commends both parties for their efforts in reaching a settlement and 
preventing any further delays. 



PART VI: REPORT ON EXPANSION OF THE JURISDICTION 
OF THE OMBUDSMAN BY THE STANDING COMMITTEE 

On November 23, 1989, the Report on Expansion of the Jurisdiction of the 
Ombudsman by the Standing Committee was tabled and debated. The report has 
not yet been adopted. 



23 

The Committee's report examined the possibility of expanding the Ombudsman's 
jurisdiction to include Public Hospitals, Children's Aid Societies and the Ontario 
New Home Warranty Program. These had been areas which a 1986 position 
paper by the previous Ombudsman, Dr. Hill, had recommended be added to the 
Ombudsman's jurisdiction. Although Dr. Hill felt that the ombudsman function 
should be extended in a number of other areas as well, he believed that the Office 
of the Ontario Ombudsman could only accommodate expanded jurisdiction over 
the areas noted. 

The Committee's report concludes that the Ombudsman's jurisdiction should not 
be expanded into the areas suggested. However, in this respect, two members of 
the Committee dissented and would have supported an expansion of the 
Ombudsman's jurisdiction. 

We have reviewed the Committee's conclusions. We believe the question of 
expanded jurisdiction is one of importance. However, we recognize that it is also 
a question which requires an assessment of a number of complex considerations 
including the availability of resources, the existence of adequate alternative means 
of redress and the possession of expertise in the area to be reviewed. We believe 
therefore that it is a question which should form part of the comprehensive review 
of the Act we have recommended elsewhere. Accordingly, we recommend: 

4. That the question of expansion of the Ombudsman's 

jurisdiction form part of a more general review of the 
Ombudsman Act to be conducted by the Committee. 



PART VII: PROCEDURES FOR REVIEWING THE FINANCIAL AFFAIRS 
OF THE OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN 



The Committee has a number of concerns with respect to the manner in which the 
financial affairs of the Office of the Ombudsman are currently reviewed. In this 
respect, the Committee has two areas of particular concern: 



24 

• the manner in which the estimates of the Ombudsman are reviewed; and 

• the scope of the audit performed annually by the Provincial Auditor. 

(a) Review of the Estimates of the Ombudsman 

In the Second Report of the Select Committee on the Ombudsman (1977) it was 
recommended that the Committee's terms of reference be expanded to include the 
review of the Ombudsman's estimates. This recommendation followed similar 
recommendations in the Final Report of the Select Committee on the Fourth and 
Fifth Reports of the Ontario Commission on the Legislature (1976) and in the 
Report of the Select Committee on the Rules and Guidelines for the Ombudsman 
(1975). These recommendations, as the Committee suggests in its Second Report, 
reflected the fact that, by the nature of its terms of reference and continuing 
relationship with the Office of the Ombudsman, the Committee acquires the 
knowledge, experience and insight into that office to enable it to enquire into the 
Ombudsman's estimates. Following these earlier recommendations and the 
Committee's continued support for them, in 1983 the terms of reference of the 
Committee were officially expanded to include the responsibility of reviewing and 
reporting on the estimates of the Ombudsman. The Committee fulfilled this 
responsibility annually until 1989. 

In 1989 the responsibility for reviewing the estimates of the Ombudsman was 
assigned to the Standing Committee on Estimates. At that time, it was decided 
that this specialized committee should be created to examine the estimates of all of 
the over 40 Ministries and Offices of the Legislature, including the estimates of 
the Ombudsman. The procedure followed by the Standing Committee on 
Estimates, as set out in Standing Orders 54-64, provides that all estimates are 
tabled no later than five sessional days following the presentation of the budget. 
These estimates are deemed to be referred to the Standing Committee on Estimates 
which must select not fewer than six and not more than 12 ministries and offices 
to be considered. Any estimates which are not selected for consideration by the 



25 

Committee are automatically deemed to be passed by the Committee and are 
reported back to the House. 

The estimates of the Ombudsman have not been selected for consideration since 
this procedure was adopted in 1989. As a result, in each of those years the 
Ombudsman's estimates have been approved without any review. As a 
consequence, the estimates of the Ombudsman have not been considered in 
committee since our Committee last reviewed the estimates for the 1987-88 fiscal 
year. 

The Committee is concerned with this situation. The Committee's responsibility 
to review and report on the affairs of the Office of the Ombudsman, we believe, 
includes ensuring that the financial affairs of the Ombudsman are properly 
reviewed. We do not believe that the estimates of the Ombudsman are being 
adequately reviewed. In this regard, we recognize that the Standing Committee on 
Estimates is neither expected nor able to consider the estimates of all ministries 
and offices each year. While we also recognize that a procedure may be 
developed wherein each of the estimates will be considered on a regular basis, we 
believe that such a level and frequency of review will not be sufficient to enable 
our Committee to fulfil its mandate. At the same time, while we appreciate that 
the Standing Committee on Estimates may possess an expertise in the procedure of 
reviewing estimates, we believe this Committee's specialized knowledge of the 
Ombudsman's operations provides it with an equally valuable and unique expertise 
to review the estimates of the Ombudsman. We therefore believe that it would be 
appropriate for the estimates of the Ombudsman to be excepted from those 
estimates to be considered by the Standing Committee on Estimates, and that they 
instead be referred to the Standing Committee on the Ombudsman. We therefore 
recommend: 

5. That the Standing Orders be amended to provide that the 

estimates of the Ombudsman are not to be referred to the 
Standing Committee on Estimates as they are at present, but 
are instead to be referred to the Standing Committee on the 
Ombudsman which shall review them from time to time as they 



26 

become available, and report on them to the Legislature and 
make such recommendations as the Committee deems 
appropriate. 



(b) Annual Audit Conducted by the Provincial Auditor 

The Ombudsman Act provides as follows: 

S. 10 The accounts and financial transactions of 
the office of the Ombudsman shall be 
audited annually by the Provincial Auditor. 

The purpose and value of audits are expressed in the Provincial Auditor's 
description of the primary and secondary goals of his or her mandate. These are: 

• to assist the Legislature in holding the Government and its administrators 
accountable by reporting to the Legislature on the quality of the 
administration's stewardship of public funds; and 

• to assist Deputy Ministers /agency heads in holding their administrations 
accountable by reporting to them on the quality of the ministries'/agencies' 
stewardship of public funds. 

There are different types of audits which may be carried out, varying in terms of 
the scope of financial activities which are examined. The most rigorous type of 
audit is referred to as a "value for money" audit and requires the auditor "to 
report on any cases observed where money was spent without due regard to 
economy or efficiency, or where appropriate procedures were not taken to 
measure the effectiveness of programs." A "compliance" audit involves an 
"assessment of whether transactions and other aspects of operations are in 
compliance with legislative and administrative requirements." Finally, an "attest 
(financial)" audit involves an opinion as to "whether the operations and financial 
position of the entity have been fairly presented in compliance with the entity's 
stated accounting policies." 

As noted above, the Ombudsman Act provides that the Office of the Ombudsman 
is to be audited annually. The audits which have been conducted of the 



27 

Ombudsman's office since its creation in 1975 have primarily been attest audits, 
although there have on occasion been compliance and value for money 
components. However, to the extent the Provincial Auditor has undertaken any 
value for money assessments, these occurred primarily prior to 1984. 

We have some concern about the length of time that has passed since any form of 
value for money audit of the Ombudsman has been undertaken by the Provincial 
Auditor. Given the important functions such audits are intended to perform and 
the role they can play in improving the service provided by the organization 
involved, we believe that there would be considerable value in undertaking such 
audits on a regular basis. This view is borne out, we believe, by the fact that the 
Provincial Auditor considers all major ministry programs for audit over a regular 
five-year period and such audits are primarily of a value for money character. In 
contrast, for agencies such as the Ombudsman there is no guarantee of a regular 
review of a value for money nature, although the Provincial Auditor does select 
approximately six agencies per year for which some degree of value for money 
audit will be carried out. However, since there are approximately 60 such 
agencies the likely frequency with which any agency will be reviewed would be 
approximately every 10 years. 

We are aware that the Provincial Auditor has limited resources and that this 
affects the frequency with which such audits can be carried out. We also 
recognize that if our Committee believes that there is a need for such an audit it 
has a responsibility to bring this to the auditor's attention. In this respect, we 
believe that too long a period has passed without a detailed assessment of the 
economy or efficiency with which money is spent in the Office of the 
Ombudsman. We believe therefore that it would be appropriate at this stage for a 
value for money audit to be undertaken of the Office of the Ombudsman. We 
therefore recommend: 

6. That the Provincial Auditor conduct a value for money audit of 

the operations of the Office of the Ombudsman. 



28 



PART VIII: DEVELOPMENTS IN THE INTERPRETATION OF THE 

OMBUDSMAN'S MANDATE 

(a) Role of the Ombudsman After Making a Report to the Legislature 



The Ombudsman's power to make a report to the Legislature, in circumstances 
where a governmental organization has not adequately responded to her 
recommendations, has long been considered a valuable tool in bringing pressure to 
bear on the government to respond to the recommendation. To make this tool 
more effective, such reports are referred to our Committee which reviews the 
Ombudsman's recommendations and the governmental organization's response, 
and then makes recommendations to the Assembly. In the past, during and after 
the Committee's review, the Ombudsman continued to be involved in monitoring 
and assessing any developments in the governmental organization's position, and 
in communicating with the complainant and the Committee in this regard. This 
typically was necessary where, for example, a governmental organization had 
refused an Ombudsman's recommendation to change a policy or procedure, but 
then, after appearing before the Committee, agreed to reconsider its policy. In 
such instances the Ombudsman would monitor the governments review of its 
policy and in some cases comment to the Committee on whether the ultimate 
response was adequate. 

While this is the role previous Ombudsmen have played in these circumstances, 
the present Ombudsman has taken the position that once she has submitted a 
report to the Legislature she has both fulfilled her responsibilities under the Act 
and exhausted her powers. In particular, she has discontinued the practice which 
previous Ombudsmen undertook of monitoring cases after they had reported to the 
Legislature. This has led to the elimination from her annual reports of the tables 
which showed the status of all cases in which governmental organizations had not 
yet implemented the recommendations of the Ombudsman and the Committee. 
This was also the basis on which she refused to provide information which the 
Committee had requested concerning the status of certain outstanding cases. 



29 

We are concerned with the Ombudsman's discontinuance of these practices and 
the implications this has for the effectiveness of the Ombudsman process. In our 
view, there must be some procedure for monitoring the government's response to 
recommendations of the Ombudsman and the Committee. Without such a 
procedure, the government can use the passage of time to avoid the public scrutiny 
which the reviews of the Ombudsman and the Committee bring to bear on 
governmental practices. This, we believe, would both lessen the likelihood of a 
governmental organization changing a practice or decision which is found to be 
unreasonable, and undercut the ability of the Ombudsman to obtain adequate 
responses in future instances. 

We also believe that the Ombudsman is the person best able to fulfil this 
responsibility. In this respect, the Ombudsman is both primarily responsible for 
investigating the actions of government and has the best institutional ability and 
resources to perform these functions. For these reasons, we believe it is a natural 
and necessary role for the Ombudsman to continue to monitor and assess actions 
taken by governments in response to his or her recommendations, whether they 
occur before or after a report has been made to the Legislature. This view was 
held by previous Ombudsmen and, we believe, is the best way to ensure that the 
objects of the Ombudsman Act are achieved. 

While we believe that the Ombudsman should perform this role, there is the 
further question of whether the Ombudsman is correct in stating that the 
Ombudsman Act does not empower her to perform it. In this respect, the Act 
does not expressly address the role to be played by the Ombudsman following the 
making of a report to the Legislature. Therefore, if the Ombudsman does have 
the power to continue to involve himself or herself in a matter once a report has 
been made to the Legislature, it would need to be because she has an implicit 
power to do so. 

While the courts have not addressed this specific question, they have, in the 
context of a decision by the Ombudsman to reinvestigate a case, considered the 



30 

more general question of whether he or she has any power to act after a report has 
been delivered to the Legislature. In the case in question, Re Ombudsman of Ont. 
and the Queen in Right of Ont. (1980) 117 D.L.R. (3d) 613 (O.C.A.), aff g 
(1979) 26 O.R. (2d) 434 (H.C.J.), the Ministry of Housing, in resisting such an 
investigation, argued precisely that the Ombudsman had no further power to act 
once a report had been submitted to the Legislature. In considering the Ministry's 
position the lower court judge, Evans, C.J.H.C., commented that a "... problem 
created by limiting the Ombudsman's powers in this way arises where relevant 
evidence cannot reasonably be detected until a later date or when there has been a 
change of circumstances which would affect the conclusions and recommendations 
of the Ombudsman." Later Evans, C.J.H.C. concludes: 

I have come to the conclusion that the Ombudsman 
implicitly has a continuous function and has the 
power to further investigate subject to certain 
restrictions. In considering the provisions of the 
Ombudsman Act, 1975, I have been driven to this 
conclusion by the nature of his function, the broad 
discretionary powers to investigate and to report and 
the freedom granted to the Ombudsman to act of his 
own motion. 

This decision was upheld in the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal agreed 
that the Ombudsman had the power to reinvestigate a case, and was particularly 
careful not to place artificial constraints on when such an investigation could be 
undertaken. 

While both the decisions of the lower court and the Court of Appeal in this case 
focus on the Ombudsman's power to reinvestigate a case, in doing so they clearly 
establish that the Ombudsman does have some implicit power to act after he or 
she has reported to the Legislature. In addition, we believe the Court of Appeal is 
particularly careful not to artificially limit the scope of those powers. 

Both these aspects of the decisions are important, we believe, in considering the 
question of whether the Ombudsman has the power to continue to monitor cases 
after she has reported to the Legislature. First of all, these decisions determine 



31 

that the Ombudsman's powers do not in fact end once he or she has reported to 
the Legislature. This at least creates the possibility that the Ombudsman has the 
power to perform the monitoring role we discussed earlier. More importantly, the 
Court of Appeal decision in particular suggests that a flexible, practical approach 
should be taken to interpreting the provisions of the Ombudsman Act. Such an 
approach has in fact been taken by previous Ombudsman, and in some instances, 
by the present Ombudsman, as they have found that it has been necessary to stray 
outside the strict terms of their mandate and exercise implied powers to effectively 
fulfil their functions. As we have also indicated earlier, we do not question the 
propriety of this approach since we believe it is consistent with the Supreme Court 
of Canada's direction that Ombudsman legislation receive a "broad, purposive 
interpretation consistent with the unique role the Ombudsman is intended to play." 

If such an approach is taken to the issue in question, we believe it is open and 
reasonable for an Ombudsman, and this Committee, to interpret the Ombudsman's 
powers such that he or she would implicitly have the power to continue to monitor 
developments with respect to the implementation of the recommendations of the 
Ombudsman and the Committee. Such an interpretation of the Ombudsman's 
powers would more fully give effect to the purpose of reporting to the Legislature, 
which we believe is to provide a mechanism to bring to bear additional pressure 
on a governmental organization to implement the Ombudsman's recommendation. 

In summary, the Committee is convinced that it is a natural and necessary function 
for the Ombudsman to monitor the actions taken by a governmental organization 
in response to his or her recommendations, whether or not they occur after a 
report is delivered to the Legislature. We believe it is also a part of this function 
to continue to assess the appropriateness of the government's response and, where 
it might be useful, to bring those developments to the attention of the Committee, 
along with the Ombudsman's comments. We also believe that the Ombudsman 
has the power to act in this way. We believe that this power is implicit and 
follows both from the decisions of the lower court and the Court of Appeal in the 



32 

case of Re Ombudsman of Ont. and The Queen in Right of Ontario, and from 
giving the Act a broad and purposive interpretation. 

We have given serious consideration to how best to implement our conclusions. 
In this respect, we believe that the actions in question are ones which each 
Ombudsman is not only entitled to perform but, for the reasons we have given, 
should perform. We believe therefore that these directions should be embodied in 
rules made under s. 15 of the Ombudsman Act, which empowers the Assembly to 
make "general rules for the guidance of the Ombudsman in the exercise of his or 
her functions under this Act. " By virtue of that section, such rules are also 
deemed to be regulations for the purposes of the Regulations Act. We therefore 
recommend as follows: 



7. That the following be established as a rule under s. 15 of the 

Ombudsman Act: 

S. 9 (1) Following the submission of a report to the 
Assembly pursuant to s. 21(4) of the Act, the 
Ombudsman shall continue to monitor the 
governmental organization's response to his or 
her recommendations and to recommendations 
made by the Standing Committee on the 
Ombudsman in relation to the Ombudsman's 
report. 

(2) For the purposes of ss. (1), such 

monitoring shall include continuing to 
assess the adequacy of the governmental 
organization's further response, bringing 
developments in this respect to the 
attention of the Standing Committee on 
the Ombudsman, and reporting in the 
Ombudsman's Annual Reports on the 
status of all such recommendations 
outstanding. 



33 
PART IX: COMMUNICATIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC 

The Committee has, since its creation, received and considered communications 
from the public concerning the operations of the Ombudsman. It does this 
through its Sub-committee on Communications from the Public which is directed 
to review and respond to these communications. 

The communications received primarily concern the Ombudsman's investigation of 
an individual's complaint, and question either the Ombudsman's conclusions or 
handling of the investigation. The Sub-committee has taken its mandate in 
reviewing these complaints to be to determine whether the treatment and 
investigation of the complaint by the Ombudsman was full, fair and adequate in 
the circumstances. The Sub-committee does not review the correctness or 
reasonableness of the Ombudsman's decisions, and in that sense does not act as a 
"court of appeal" from the Ombudsman. Its primary interest is therefore in the 
procedural fairness of the investigation. If the Sub-committee determines that the 
Ombudsman's investigation was incomplete or improper then it may ask the 
Ombudsman to address its concerns. 

The Committee continues to believe that this is a valuable role for it to perform. 
We believe it is important that individuals have some avenue to voice their 
concerns about the fairness of the Ombudsman's investigation. In the past the 
Ombudsman has seen this as a valuable way to respond to concerns about the 
service provided by his or her office. This, we believe, was in part a recognition 
that like the organizations it investigates, the Office of the Ombudsman is an 
institution with the same potential for maladministration. As the body responsible 
for overseeing the affairs of the Ombudsman, the Committee has therefore adopted 
the reviewing of complaints as an important part of its responsibilities. We will 
continue to perform this role in order to assist the Ombudsman in providing the 
public with the highest quality service possible. 



34 

(a) Developments in the Committee's Procedures for Reviewing 
Communications from the Public 

Since the Committee's last report it has been necessary to address a number of 
issues related to Committee procedures with respect to its review of 
communications from the public. These have included the following: 



• The procedures concerning the release of documents by the 
Ombudsman to the Committee. 

• The disclosure of information to the Committee concerning the 
Ombudsman's investigation of complaints. 



The issues related to each of these are addressed in turn in this section of the 
Report. 

(i) Release of Documents by the Ombudsman to the Committee 

The Committee's procedures, as set out in its Twelfth Report (1984), and 
confirmed with revisions in its Seventeenth Report (1989), express the following 
principle with respect to the sharing of documentation between the Ombudsman 
and the Committee: 

Except in very unusual circumstances, all 
information, correspondence and reports exchanged 
between the communicant and the Committee and 
between the Ombudsman and the communicant are 
shared between the Committee and the Ombudsman. 
Because of the confidentiality required by the 
Ombudsman by his Act, documents exchanged 
between Ombudsman and persons and organizations 
other than complainant are not released to the 
Committee, except as they may be quoted or cited 
in the Ombudsman's report to the complainant. 



35 

The procedures also provide that the Ombudsman may require the complainant's 
written authorization before providing the documents to the Committee which had 
been exchanged between the Ombudsman and the communicant. 

In June and July, 1990, the Clerk of the Committee wrote to the Ombudsman to 
request documentation in relation to two matters which were being considered by 
the Committee. In both instances the complainant's written authorization to 
provide the documents was provided. The present Ombudsman responded to 
these requests in August, 1990, stating that the Ombudsman Act did not permit her 
to forward the documentation requested to the Committee. In taking this position 
she relied particularly on s. 12 of the Act which provides that the Ombudsman 
shall not "disclose any information received by him or her as Ombudsman," 
subject to certain exceptions related to the preparation of her reports. 

The Committee met in April, 1991 to consider the Ombudsman's refusal to release 
the documents requested. The Committee had serious concerns with respect to the 
Ombudsman's interpretation of her oath of secrecy as expressed in s. 12. 
Nonetheless, the Committee noted that it would be possible to obtain all of the 
documentation required directly from the complainant, since those documents 
would either be in his or her possession or could be obtained by him or her from 
the Ombudsman directly. This approach had the advantage of enabling the 
Committee to proceed immediately with a number of complaints which were 
outstanding and whose consideration had been delayed by these developments. 

The Committee adopted this approach and amended its procedures to provide that 
in the future it would obtain the necessary documents directly from the 
complainant. Nonetheless, the Committee continues to believe that the 
Ombudsman's interpretation of the Act in this respect is questionable and presents 
an unnecessary obstacle to the Committee in its review of complaints from the 
public. 



36 

(ii) Disclosure of Information Concerning the Ombudsman's Investigation 

As indicated above, the Committee's primary purpose in reviewing complaints 
from the public is to examine the Ombudsman's handling of the investigation. In 
completing this review it is often necessary for the Sub-committee to obtain 
further information from the Ombudsman and to request explanations for certain 
actions taken by her. The types of information typically requested are: 



Information concerning the Ombudsman's handling of a particular 
investigation. For example, in a case involving a 2 1/2 year delay by the 
Ombudsman, the Ombudsman was asked whether there was anything 
exceptional which contributed to the delay in question. 

Information clarifying the Ombudsman's conclusions in her report to a 
complainant. For example, in one case where it was not clear whether the 
Ombudsman had addressed an important issue, the Committee asked her to 
clarify her findings and to indicate her reasons in this regard. 

Information concerning the Ombudsman's general investigative and 
reporting procedures. 



The Committee has recently encountered problems in obtaining information from 
the Ombudsman. While the Ombudsman is prepared to provide information which 
concerns her general investigative and reporting procedures, she has taken the 
position that she is prevented by the Act from commenting on particular cases she 
has investigated. This has led to her refusal to provide information with respect to 
a number of questions the Sub-committee has asked in relation to complaints it 
was investigating. The questions the Ombudsman has refused to answer are of the 
first two types noted above - questions concerning her handling of an 
investigation, and questions asking clarification of aspects of her reports to 
complainants. 

The Committee has reviewed the Ombudsman's refusal to provide the information 
in question. While the Committee shares the Ombudsman's view that her oath of 
secrecy is important to the achievement of her work, we also believe that its scope 
is not unlimited. We believe that in defining the scope of the oath of secrecy, and 



37 

therefore in determining what information may be disclosed by the Ombudsman, 
consideration should be given to whether disclosure would be consistent with 
achieving the purposes of the oath of secrecy, as well as the terms of the 
Ombudsman Act. 

The purposes of the oath of secrecy, as we have identified them, are on the one 
hand, to enable the Ombudsman to obtain information by assuring complainants of 
her strict confidentiality requirements, and on the other, to provide a balance 
against the Ombudsman's extensive investigative powers. We have considered the 
impact the disclosure of the information we have requested would have on' the 
achievement of these purposes. The types of information which we have 
requested, as noted above, concern the Ombudsman's handling of an investigation 
and clarification of the content of the report she has provided to a complainant. 
We believe that disclosure of these types of information would not diminish the 
purposes of the Ombudsman's oath of secrecy. 

In particular, in our view disclosure of the first type of information, which 
concerns the Ombudsman's own actions - for example, the reasons for the 
Ombudsman's delay in processing a complaint - would only affect the 
Ombudsman. It would not, in most instances, have an impact on anyone who has 
provided information to her. Similarly, disclosing to the Committee information 
which clarifies the Ombudsman's report to a complainant who has asked the 
Committee to examine his or her complaint, and who has provided the Committee 
with a copy of the report, would not prejudice anyone's confidentiality 
expectations. We do recognize that without the complainant's authorization, it 
would quite likely be inappropriate for the Ombudsman to either provide the 
Committee with a copy of an individual's report, or to clarify its contents. This 
we believe would be the case because the Act does not appear to contemplate 
these reports being made public. However, as we have indicated, we believe that 
obtaining the complainant's authorization to provide the information would remove 
the Ombudsman's confidentiality responsibility. 



38 

We also believe that the actual language of s. 12 does not include, and therefore 
does not prevent the Ombudsman from disclosing, information concerning the 
actions of the Ombudsman. Section 12 provides that the Ombudsman must not 
"disclose any information received by him or her as Ombudsman." In our view, 
the term "information received" was intended to cover information and documents 
which the Ombudsman acquires or receives in the course of her investigation and 
was neither intended nor reasonably interpreted would include information about 
the Ombudsman's handling of an investigation. 

This interpretation of s. 12 would also seem to be consistent with other provisions 
of the Act which require the Assembly to review the affairs of the Office of the 
Ombudsman (s. 11) and to make rules for the guidance of the Ombudsman in the 
exercise of her functions (s. 15). To fulfil these responsibilities the Assembly, 
through the Committee, requires information with respect to the Ombudsman's 
actions or omissions in particular cases in order to properly assess her work and 
to make reasonably informed recommendations. 

In conclusion, we believe that neither the language nor the purpose of the 
Ombudsman's oath of secrecy as found in s. 12 would prevent the Ombudsman 
from disclosing information which concerns the Ombudsman's handling of a 
particular case. We therefore believe that it is information which may be 
disclosed by the Ombudsman. We recognize that information related to clarifying 
a complainant's report might well fall within the scope of the Ombudsman's oath 
of secrecy. However, we believe that where the complainant affected has asked 
the Committee to examine his or her complaint and has provided the Committee 
with a copy of his or her report, then disclosure of such information would not be 
inconsistent with the purposes of the oath of secrecy. In our view, given this fact, 
and so long as the Ombudsman is provided with the complainant's authorization to 
provide such information, disclosure of this information might also be permitted. 

Although we believe the information in question may be disclosed by the 
Ombudsman, we recognize that she disagrees with our position. In light of this 



39 

we believe it would be inappropriate to direct that she provide information to the 
Committee which she believes she is prevented from disclosing. We have 
therefore considered the option of directing the Ombudsman, in appropriate cases, 
to provide the information the Committee requires directly to the complainant, 
who would pass it on to us. However, while this may address the Committee's 
immediate problem in assessing and reaching decisions on the complaints under 
review, we believe the Ombudsman's interpretation of s. 12 presents broader 
problems with respect to the Committee's fulfilment of its responsibilities which 
must be addressed. 

We therefore believe that a court application to determine the scope of the 
Ombudsman's oath of secrecy should be brought. We have raised this possibility 
with the Ombudsman. In this respect, she responded as follows: 

I am quite satisfied with the interpretation which I 
am giving to the meaning of s. 13 (now s. 12) and 
see no need to have any further clarification of what 
seems to me to be quite clear, appropriate and 
routine internationally. 

For the reasons which we have expressed above, we disagree with the 
Ombudsman's view that there is no need to clarify s. 12. We believe that her 
interpretation of the Act is questionable and more importantly will continue to 
prevent the Committee from fulfilling its responsibilities under the Ombudsman 
Act. 

Accordingly, the Committee recommends as follows: 

8. That the Ombudsman bring an application pursuant to s. 14(5) 
of the Ombudsman Act to clarify the meaning of s. 12 and in 
particular to determine whether it prevents her from: 

(a) releasing documents to the Committee which were 
exchanged between the Ombudsman and the 
complainant and with respect to which the complainant's 
written authorization to release the documents has been 
obtained; 



40 



(b) disclosing information to the Committee concerning her 
handling of an investigation; and 

(c) disclosing information to the Committee clarifying the 
content of her report to a complainant where the 
complainant has authorized the Committee to make 
enquiries on his or her behalf, and has authorized the 
Ombudsman to release such information to the 
Committee. 



As we have stated above, we believe these documents and this information should 
be made available to the Committee. Therefore, in the event that such an 
application determines that the Ombudsman is prevented by the Act from 
providing the documents and information noted then we recommend as follows: 

9. That consideration be given to amending s. 12 of the 

Ombudsman Act to provide that the Ombudsman is not 
prevented from disclosing the information referred to in 
Recommendation 8 above, and that this form part of a more 
general review of the Ombudsman Act to be conducted by this 
Committee. 



(b) Outcome of the Committee's Review of Particular Complaints 

As we have noted above, the Committee, through its Sub-committee on 
Communications from the Public, receives and considers complaints from the 
public. In reviewing these complaints the Sub-committee will examine the 
Ombudsman's handling of an investigation, but will not as a rule review the 
correctness or reasonableness of the Ombudsman's decisions. In most instances, 
the Committee finds that in fact the Ombudsman has conducted the investigation 
properly. However, in some instances the Committee will recommend that the 
Ombudsman take some action. This section of the report provides a summary of 
the Sub-committee's activities and recommendations with respect to its review of 
complaints it has received since the Committee's last report, and notes those 
instances in which the Committee has adopted a Sub-committee recommendation 
that some further action be taken by the Ombudsman. 



41 

In addition to identifying problems in the Ombudsman's investigation of particular 
cases, the Committee also watches general trends in the complaints that it 
receives. In this respect, the Committee notes that two themes which recur in the 
complaints considered in this report are those of excess delay in the review of 
complaints, and lack of clarity in the Ombudsman's reporting of her conclusions. 
While the number of complaints received by the Committee presents a limited 
basis on which to assess the systemic nature of these problems, we trust that the 
Ombudsman will nonetheless consider these problems carefully. 

The Sub-committee on Communications from the Public has reviewed nine 
complaints from the public since the Committee's last report. In three of the 
cases, the Sub-committee considered the criticisms made about the Ombudsman's 
handling of the investigation and concluded that the Ombudsman's investigation 
was complete and fair. In each of the other cases, following a review of the 
complaint the Sub-committee recommended that some further action be taken by 
the Ombudsman. 

(i) Ministry of Community and Social Services - Mrs. H 

There was one aspect of Mrs. H's criticisms of the Ombudsman's handling of her 
investigation which the Sub-committee determined merited further investigation. 
This concerned the period of approximately two and one-half years which passed 
from the receipt of Mrs. H's complaint in July, 1988 to the completion of the 
Ombudsman's final report on November 6, 1990. The Sub-committee was 
naturally concerned about the length of time it took to consider this complaint. It 
therefore wrote to the Ombudsman asking, among other things, whether there was 
anything exceptional which contributed to the delay in processing Mrs. H's case. 
The Ombudsman did not respond to this question since she took the position that 
she was prevented from doing so by her oath of secrecy. For the reasons which 
we have indicated earlier in this report, we disagree with the position taken by the 
Ombudsman in this respect. 



42 

The Sub-committee believes that a delay of two and one-half years in processing a 
complaint seems excessive and requires some explanation. Of particular concern 
is the apparent inactivity between November 22, 1989, when the Ombudsman 
wrote to Mrs. H to indicate the preliminary results of her investigation, and 
November 6, 1990 when the Ombudsman provided her final report on the matter 
to Mrs. H. As a result, the Sub-committee has concluded that the Ombudsman 
should be directed to convey to Mrs. H the reasons for the delay in addressing her 
complaint. 

In this respect, the Committee adopts the following Sub-committee 
recommendation: 



10. That the Ombudsman inform Mrs. H, within 30 days of the 

tabling of this report, of the reasons for the delay in processing 
her complaint and, in particular, convey to her the reasons for 
the delay during the period from November 22, 1989 to 
November 6, 1990. 



The Sub-committee will continue to monitor this matter and will await a response 
from Mrs. H as to the explanation of the delay provided by the Ombudsman. 

(ii) Board of Examiners in Psychology - Mr. V 

Mr. V made two criticisms of the Ombudsman's investigation of his complaint 
which the Sub-committee believed merited further action. 

1 . The first concerned whether the Ombudsman had considered all relevant 
issues in assessing the reasonableness of the Board's review of Mr. V's complaints 
concerning a psychologist. In this respect, Mr. V noted that the Board had, in 
assessing his complaint, relied on the following policy: 

Where a person submits more than one complaint 
against a psychologist and the Committee 
investigates the first complaint and finds it to be 
without merit and then finds the second complaint to 



43 

be without merit, the Committee may decide that 
there are no grounds for further investigation and no 
reasons to ask the psychologist for further 
information, if it received yet another complaint of 
the same type. 

Mr. V's criticism was that while the Ombudsman reviewed the Board's 
compliance with this procedure, she did not, in her report, address the 
reasonableness of the procedure itself. 

The Sub-committee reviewed the Ombudsman's report and agreed that the 
Ombudsman did not appear to have directly addressed the reasonableness of this 
policy. The Sub-committee therefore wrote to the Ombudsman asking that she 
provide clarification of her conclusion as to the reasonableness of the Board of 
Examiners' policy, and requesting that she provide the reasons for her decision in 
this regard. The Ombudsman did not respond to this question since she took the 
position that she was prevented from doing so by her oath of secrecy. As we 
have indicated, we disagree with her position in this regard. 

Without the information requested the Sub-committee is unable to assess whether 
the Ombudsman complied with her mandate in these circumstances. The 
Committee therefore adopts the following Sub-committee recommendation: 

11. That the Ombudsman indicate to Mr. V, within 30 days of the 
tabling of this report, whether she considered the 
reasonableness of the Board's policy, and if so, provide to Mr. 
V her conclusions and reasons in this regard. 

2. A second concern raised by Mr. V concerned the Ombudsman's response 
to his criticism that no appeal mechanism existed from decisions of the Board of 
Examiners in Psychology to the Health Disciplines Board. The Ombudsman's 
response in this respect was as follows: 

I am not in a position to comment on the 
appropriateness of the Health Disciplines Act in the 
circumstances, nor is it within my mandate to make 
conclusions regarding the governance of health care 



44 

professionals under the various Acts administered by 
the Ministry of Health. 

The Sub-committee was concerned with this statement and the limits on the 
Ombudsman's jurisdiction which it suggested. In particular, this statement raised 
the question of whether the Ombudsman felt that it was within her jurisdiction to 
identify and make recommendations with respect to inadequacies in the law, such 
as. in this case, the absence of an appeal mechanism. It therefore wrote to ask the 
Ombudsman in what circumstances she will recommend amendments in the law 
and direct a governmental organization to take steps toward the implementation of 
such amendments. In response, the Ombudsman wrote that she will do so in a 
range of circumstances, most commonly when she finds as a result of an 
investigation that a law operates unfairly or adversely impacts on an individual or 
group of individuals. 

Given the Ombudsman's response, the Sub-committee believes it is unclear why 
she decided that it was inappropriate to comment on the Health Disciplines Act in 
these circumstances. The Committee therefore adopts the following Sub- 
committee recommendation: 

12. That the Ombudsman convey to Mr. V, within 30 days of the 
tabling of this report, her reasons for deciding that it was 
inappropriate to comment on the failure of the Health 
Disciplines Act to provide for an appeal mechanism from 
decisions of the Board of Examiners in Psychology. 

The Sub-committee will monitor this matter and will await a reply from Mr. V as 
to the Ombudsman's response to the Committee's recommendations. In a related 
development, the Committee notes that the recently enacted Psychology Act, 1991 
and the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 now provide for an appeal 
mechanism from decisions of the Board of Examiners in Psychology (now the 
College of Psychologists of Ontario) and have therefore addressed Mr. V's 
concerns in this last respect. The Sub-committee has advised Mr. V of these 
developments. Nonetheless, the Committee remains concerned with the 



45 

Ombudsman's interpretation of her mandate in these circumstances and therefore 
will review the Ombudsman's reply when it is received. 

(in) Ministry of Correctional Services - Mr. W 

There are two aspects of Mr. Ws case which the Sub-committee believes merit 
further action. 

1. The first relates to the vagueness of the Ombudsman's report to the 
complainant. In this respect, Mr. Ws complaint had concerned the manner in 
which the Ministry where he worked managed a reclassification process which had 
eliminated the complainant's position and created a new position. This 
reclassification affected employees in different regions of the province. The 
process followed for reclassifying employees in the complainant's position varied 
from region to region. In one of the regions, all employees in the complainant's 
classification were automatically reclassified to the new position. However, in the 
complainant's region he was required to either apply for and sit an examination 
for the newly created position, or be demoted. Mr. W believed that treating the 
regions differently was unfair and therefore refused to sit the examination, as a 
result of which he was demoted. He complained to the Ombudsman arguing that 
his employer's unequal treatment of employees was unreasonable and that he was 
therefore justified in refusing to sit the examination. He requested that he be 
reclassified to the new position by way of redress. 

The Ombudsman reviewed his complaint. She considered separately the 
reasonableness of Mr. Ws demotion and the reasonableness of the 
reclassification process. With respect to the reclassification process itself, the 
Ombudsman stated that it was unreasonable to impose different requirements on 
similarly situated staff for the same positions. She therefore concluded that the 
inconsistencies and variations in staff treatment related to the reclassification 
process in question were unreasonable. In consequence, she stated that she had 
taken steps to ensure that such difficulties were addressed by the Ministry. She 



46 

added that in response to her concerns the Ministry had recognized that, regional 
autonomy notwithstanding, staff should be treated consistently and fairly if in 
similar situations. 

While the Ombudsman concluded that the reclassification process was 
unreasonable, she decided that Mr. W's demotion had, nonetheless, been 
reasonable. In this respect, she stated that even if the reclassification process was 
itself unreasonable, it was not unreasonable to expect that the complainant might 
have participated in the competition despite his objections. 

While it is not within the Sub-committee's mandate to review the Ombudsman's 
conclusion that Mr. W's demotion was reasonable, the Sub-committee is 
concerned with the vagueness of the Ombudsman's conclusions with respect to the 
reasonableness of the reclassification process. In this respect, the Sub-committee 
felt that the Ombudsman should have indicated what she believed would have been 
a reasonable approach to the reclassification process, and should have indicated 
the specific steps that she had recommended the Ministry take to ensure that the 
inconsistencies in question are not repeated. As a result, the Sub-committee wrote 
to the Ombudsman to ask that she provide this information. She refused to do so 
for the reasons stated earlier in this report. 

We agree with the Sub-committee that in these circumstances the complainant 
should have the benefit of a full and complete statement of the Ombudsman's 
conclusions. The Committee therefore adopts the following Sub-committee 
recommendation: 



13. That the Ombudsman inform Mr. W, within 30 days of the 

tabling of this report, of her conclusions as to what she believed 
would have been a reasonable approach to the reclassification 
process, and of the specific steps that she recommended the 
Ministry take to ensure that the inconsistencies in question are 
not repeated. 



47 

2. The second aspect of Mr. W's case which merited further investigation 
was the period of time it took to consider his complaint. A period of 
approximately two years passed from the receipt of Mr. W's complaint in 
March, 1989 to the completion of the final report in March, 1991. The Sub- 
committee was concerned at the apparent delay in considering Mr. W's complaint 
and therefore wrote to the Ombudsman asking, among other things, whether there 
was anything exceptional which contributed to the delay in processing his case, 
and in particular, whether there was any explanation for the delay from August 
28, 1989 until October, 1990, a period during which there seemed to be little 
activity in the file. The Ombudsman did not respond to this question since she 
took the position that she was prevented from doing so by her oath of secrecy. 
For the reasons which we have indicated earlier we disagree with the position 
taken by the Ombudsman in this respect. 

The Sub-committee believes that a delay of two years in processing a complaint 
seems excessive and requires some explanation. Of particular concern is the 
apparent delay between August 28, 1989 and October, 1990 when little activity 
appears to have taken place. As a result, the Sub-committee has concluded that 
the Ombudsman should be directed to convey to Mr. W the reasons for the delay 
in addressing his complaint. 

The Committee therefore adopts the following Sub-committee recommendation: 

14. That the Ombudsman inform Mr. W, within 30 days of the 

tabling of this report, of the reasons for the delay in processing 
his complaint and, in particular, convey to him the reasons for 
the delay during the period from August 28, 1989 to October, 
1990. 

The Sub-committee will monitor this matter and will await a reply from Mr. W 
as to the Ombudsman's response to the Committee's recommendations. 



48 
(iv) Workers' Compensation Appeals Tribunal - Mr. S 

There is one aspect of Mr. S's case which the Sub-committee believes merits 
further action. It concerns the Ombudsman's response to Mr. S's request that his 
case be reopened. The Ombudsman concluded that she did not, in the 
circumstances, have the authority to reinvestigate Mr. S's case. In reaching this 
conclusion, the Ombudsman relied on the following statement of her authority: 

The Ontario Court of Appeal in the case of Re 
Ombudsman and the Queen in Right of Ontario 
(1980), 117 D.L.R. (3d) 613, concluded that the 
Ombudsman's power to re-investigate should be 
limited to an investigation of evidence not 
previously known to him/her whether or not it could 
have been previously discovered. 

The Sub-committee has reviewed this statement of the Ombudsman's authority to 
reinvestigate and is of the view that it does not accurately describe the scope of 
her power to reinvestigate. The Sub-committee noted, in this respect, that while 
the statement quoted may reflect the decision of the lower court in the case 
referred to, the Court of Appeal took a more flexible approach to this question. 
In this respect, Arnup J. A., speaking on behalf of the Court of Appeal, stated: 

I repeat in this context what I have said earlier, that 
it would not be appropriate to lay down in definitive 
terms the limits of the exercise of discretion of the 
Ombudsman in all circumstances as to when he can 
and when he cannot investigate a matter in respect 
of which some investigation has already been made. 
We do not think that the further investigation of the 
Ombudsman is precluded by any lack of "new 
evidence " in the sense in which that term should be 
used when considering the activities of the 
Ombudsman. 



The Court therefore does not place fixed limits on when the Ombudsman may 
reinvestigate a case, and expressly states that a further investigation will not be 
precluded by a lack of "new evidence." Accordingly, the Court's decision does 



49 

not appear to limit the Ombudsman's power to re-investigate in the manner in 
which the Ombudsman has indicated in her response to Mr. S. 

The Sub-committee raised its concerns in this regard with the Ombudsman who 
has agreed that she has a broader discretion to re-investigate a matter than was 
suggested in her response to Mr. S. While the Sub-committee is satisfied with the 
Ombudsman's response, it remains concerned with the fact that at the time she 
responded to Mr. S's request she relied on an inaccurate statement of her 
authority. While this may not have affected her ultimate decision to reopen his 
case, the Sub-committee believes that it would be appropriate for the Ombudsman 
to reconsider Mr. S's request. 

We agree with the Sub-committee's conclusions and therefore adopt the following 
Sub-committee recommendation: 

15. That the Ombudsman reconsider Mr. S's request that the 
Ombudsman reopen her investigation into his complaint 
concerning the Workers' Compensation Appeals Tribunal. 

The Sub-committee will monitor this matter and will await a reply from Mr. S as 
to the Ombudsman's response to the Committee's recommendation. 

(v) Ministry of the Attorney General - Mr. A 

The aspect of the Ombudsman's investigation of Mr. A's case which requires 
further action concerns the manner in which the previous Ombudsman followed up 
the recommendations which he made in his report. 

The previous Ombudsman, in his report to Mr. A, commented as follows: 

Accordingly, I have made a recommendation to the 
Attorney General that he consider implementing the 
recommendations of the Professional Organizations 
Committee with respect to the establishment of a 



50 

Lay Observer to consider complaints from members 
of the public about the manner in which the Law 
Society handles complaints about lawyers. My 
recommendation is presently under review at the 
Ministry. 

Mr. A's criticism was that he was never informed by the Ombudsman of the 
outcome of this review and of whether any steps taken by the Ministry were 
satisfactory to the Ombudsman. 

The Sub-committee wrote to the Ombudsman asking that she provide information 
with respect to the result of the Ministry's review in this instance and the 
Ombudsman's position as to whether the Ministry's response was adequate and 
appropriate. The Sub-committee also asked the Ombudsman to provide 
information with respect to her policy for following up final reports where the 
Ministry has not fully responded to the report at the time it is delivered to the 
complainant. For the reasons discussed earlier, the Ombudsman refused to 
provide the information which concerned the Ministry's response in these 
particular circumstances. However, she did provide information with respect to 
her policy on following up cases more generally, which she indicated includes 
monitoring the governmental organization's actions and requesting a status report 
after a reasonable period of time. She added that in essence the matter is not 
closed until the Ombudsman reviews the governmental organization's actions in 
implementing the recommendation. 

Mr. A has indicated to the Sub-committee that he has not been informed of the 
Ministry's ultimate response to the Ombudsman's recommendation. The Sub- 
committee believes that, in accordance with the Ombudsman's policy for following 
up cases, this information should be provided to Mr. A. The Committee agrees 
and therefore adopts the following Sub-committee recommendation: 

16. That the Ombudsman convey to Mr. A, within 30 days of the 
tabling of this report, the result of the Ministry's review of the 
Ombudsman's recommendation and the Ombudsman's position 
as to whether the Ministry's response was adequate and 
appropriate. 



51 

The Sub-committee will monitor this matter and will await a reply from Mr. A as 
to the Ombudsman's response to the Committee's recommendation. 

(vi) Ontario Energy Corporation - Mr. R.S. 

This complex matter concerned a series of agreements entered into between Mr. 
R.S. and the Ontario Energy Ventures Limited (OEV), a former wholly-owned 
subsidiary of the Ontario Energy Corporation (OEC). The agreements related to 
the expansion of Mr. R.S.'s business from research and development of energy 
related products to the marketing of those products. In particular, the agreements 
provided for OEV's investment of venture capital in the project and OEV's later 
involvement in the management of the projects themselves. Mr. R.S. claimed 
that, in the course of their dealings, the OEV acted unreasonably in a number of 
ways. 

There are three aspects of Mr. R.S.'s case which require further action. They 
relate to Mr. R.S.'s criticisms that the Ombudsman failed to consider relevant 
issues, that she failed to contact material witnesses, and that the delay in 
completing the investigation of the complaint was excessive. 

1. One of the issues which Mr. R.S. believes the Ombudsman failed to assess 
was the reasonableness of the actions of the OEV while acting on the board of 
"Sales" at a time when the OEV was in a minority position on that Board. Of 
particular concern was the failure of the OEV to take steps to stop certain 
improper activities carried out by a Mr. P.S., the President and Chief Executive 
Officer of "Sales," and a former officer of the OEV. In her report the 
Ombudsman states that "because of OEV's minority position on that Board, the 
matter of the Board sanctioning P.S.'s actions is outside of my jurisdiction." 
While the Sub-committee does not disagree with the Ombudsman's conclusion that 
the Board's actions per se are outside her jurisdiction in these circumstances, the 
more pertinent question is whether the actions of the OEV while acting on that 
Board are reviewable by her. This is of great importance because the votes the 



52 

OEV cast on the Board could have ultimately determined the actions to be taken 
by that Board in sanctioning Mr. P.S. In this respect, the Ombudsman's report 
does not appear to directly address the reasonableness of the OEV's actions while 
participating on the Board in these circumstances, or the impact its actions had on 
Mr. R.S. 

As a result of the Sub-committee's concern with the Ombudsman's apparent 
failure to consider this issue, it wrote to the Ombudsman to ask her to inform Mr. 
R.S. as to whether she believed the actions of the OEV in these circumstances 
were within her jurisdiction to review, and if so, of her conclusions as to the 
reasonableness of the actions taken by the OEV in the circumstances in question. 
The Ombudsman refused to provide this information to Mr. R.S. at the 
Committee's request, stating that in her view the proper course was for Mr. R.S. 
to make the request himself. However, the Ombudsman did respond that as a 
general matter she may review the conduct of a governmental organization's 
representative while acting on a board. 

Since the Ombudsman does not appear to have addressed the actions of the OEV 
in question, and given her agreement that such actions are reviewable by her, the 
Sub-committee believes that the information requested should have been provided 
to Mr. R.S. While it appears the Ombudsman has refused to provide this 
information to Mr. R.S. only because the request came from the Sub-committee, 
we agree with the Sub-committee that whether the request comes from Mr. R.S. 
or the Sub-committee the information in question should be provided. 

The Committee therefore adopts the following Sub-committee recommendation: 

17. That the Ombudsman indicate to Mr. R.S., within 30 days of 
the tabling of this report, whether she considered the 
reasonableness of the actions taken by the OEV with respect to 
the sanctioning of P.S., and if so, that she provide to Mr. R.S. 
her conclusions and reasons in this regard. 



53 

The second issue which Mr. R.S. believes the Ombudsman failed to consider was 
whether the OEV had acted unreasonably in denying Mr. R.S. an opportunity to 
cancel the loan agreement at a time when the OEV had advanced only $75,000. 
In response to this complaint, the Ombudsman noted that Mr. R.S. had signed a 
legally-binding Loan and Shareholding Agreement and then signed a subsequent 
financing agreement which superseded the earlier one. She then concluded as 
follows: 

In my view, by affixing his signature on these 
documents, Mr. S signified his agreement to abide 
by the terms contained therein. In light of the fact 
that he accepted new financing terms from OEV, I 
cannot support his allegations that OEV acted 
unreasonably in this instance. 

The Ombudsman's conclusion appears to be that the OEV did not act 
unreasonably since it had simply acted pursuant to the legal terms of its 
agreements in responding to Mr. R.S.'s request to cancel the loan. The 
Ombudsman does not appear to consider whether the OEV acted reasonably in 
insisting that the strict terms of the agreement be complied with. 

The Sub-committee believes that the Ombudsman was entitled to examine not just 
whether the OEV had the right or power to do what it did, but whether it acted 
reasonably and in good faith in the enforcement of that right or exercise of that 
power. This would require, among other things, considering whether the OEV 
acted reasonably in refusing to accept Mr. R.S.'s offer to repay the loan. Since, 
as indicated, in the Sub-committee's view the Ombudsman's report did not directly 
address this issue, it wrote to the Ombudsman to ask that she inform Mr. R.S. as 
to whether she had considered the reasonableness of the OEV's refusal to accept 
his offer to repay the loan, and if so, whether she found that refusal to be 
reasonable. 

As noted above, the Ombudsman has refused to provide such information to Mr. 
R.S. at the request of the Sub-committee, suggesting that Mr. R.S. should raise 



54 

his concerns with her directly. As we stated above, we believe that whether the 
request comes from Mr. R.S. or the Sub-committee the information in question 
should be provided. The Committee therefore adopts the following Sub-committee 
recommendation: 

18. That the Ombudsman indicate to Mr. R.S., within 30 days of 
the tabling of this report, whether she considered the 
reasonableness of the OEV's refusal to accept Mr. R.S.'s offer 
to repay the loan, and if so, whether she found that refusal to 
be reasonable. 

2. The second area of criticism the Sub-committee considered concerned the 
Ombudsman's failure to contact witnesses. Mr. R.S. stated that at the beginning 
of the investigation he indicated to the Ombudsman that Mr. L.O., a former 
General Manager of one of the companies involved in the transactions in question, 
was an important witness. Although Mr. L.O. called the Ombudsman to offer his 
views, Mr. R.S. states that Mr. L.O. was never contacted by the Ombudsman for 
an interview. Mr. R.S. stated that the Ombudsman's Office had also failed to 
seek the opinion of an industry-related person concerning the reasonableness of the 
actions of the OEV and OEC, although it had indicated that it would do so. 

While the Sub-committee recognizes that the Ombudsman has a broad discretion to 
determine how she conducts her investigation, it felt that Mr. R.S.'s concerns 
were important and therefore wrote to the Ombudsman and asked her to indicate 
why a greater effort was not made to interview Mr. L.O. and why the opinion of 
an industry-related person was not sought. As noted above, she refused to 
provide such information. The Committee agrees with the Sub-committee that this 
information should be provided and therefore adopts the following Sub-committee 
recommendation: 

19. That the Ombudsman inform Mr. R.S., within 30 days of the 
tabling of this report, of the reasons why a greater effort was 
not made to interview Mr. L.O., and of the reasons why the 
opinion of an industry-related person concerning the 
reasonableness of the actions of the OEV and OEC, as 
compared to industry standards and procedures, was not 
obtained. 



55 

3. Mr. R.S.'s third criticism concerned the period of time it took to consider 
his complaint. The Sub-committee noted that approximately two and one-half 
years passed from the time Mr. R.S. approached the Ombudsman in September, 
1987 to the time the Ombudsman delivered her final report in June, 1990. In 
addition to the usual concerns with delays of this length, Mr. R.S. pointed out that 
in this instance the delay resulted in his file being transferred at least twice. Mr. 
R.S. commented that these transfers substantially affected the effectiveness with 
which the Ombudsman reviewed and considered his complaints against the OEV. 

We recognize that the transfer of files is inevitable. However, the likelihood of 
such transfers increases with the length of time it takes to dispose of a case, a fact 
which illustrates the serious dangers of delay. As in all circumstances where the 
delay in completing an investigation is of this nature, we believe some explanation 
of the reasons for the delay is warranted. The Committee therefore adopts the 
following Sub-committee recommendation: 

20. That the Ombudsman inform Mr. R.S., within 30 days of the 
tabling of this report, of the reasons for the delay in processing 
his complaint. 

PART X: REVIEW OF THE OMBUDSMAN ACT 

The Committee has on a number of occasions dating back to 1978 made 
recommendations concerning the need to introduce amendments to the 
Ombudsman Act. These recommendations have followed and supported proposals 
made by a number of previous Ombudsmen in this respect. Some of the 
particular amendments that previous Ombudsmen have proposed are: 

• to allow the Ombudsman to comment publicly when the Ombudsman 
believes it is in the public interest; 

• to require the Ombudsman to conduct educational programs to better 
inform the public about his or her responsibilities; 

• to broaden the Ombudsman's power to bring an application concerning the 
interpretation of the Act; 



56 

• to permit the government to make monetary payments to people who have 
suffered a loss as a result of government action; and 

• to allow governmental organizations to reconsider their decisions where 
their current legislation does not provide for this. 

Although previous Ombudsmen have raised the need for amendments repeatedly, 
no action had been taken in this regard until the previous government introduced 
Bill 80 - An Act to amend the Ombudsman Act and the Child and Family Services 
Act, 1984. This bill contained a number of valuable amendments which would 
have addressed a range of concerns Ombudsmen have raised with respect to the 
Act. These included amendments: 

• expanding the scope of investigations and the power to make reports; 

• authorizing Ministries to make payments pursuant to a recommendation of 
the Ombudsman; 

• expanding the Ombudsman's responsibilities to include engaging in public . 
education to inform members of the public of the Ombudsman's function; 
and 

• enabling the Ombudsman to bring applications concerning the 
interpretation of the Act. 

However, it should also be noted that Bill 80 included amendments which would 
have limited the Ombudsman's power to review the merits of tribunal decisions as 
well as decisions of Cabinet. The Committee understands that the previous 
Ombudsman did not support these particular amendments, and the present 
Ombudsman has concerns with respect to some of the amendments in Bill 80. 

Bill 80 received first reading on November 21, 1989 but did not proceed past this 
stage, and is now no longer before the Legislature. As indicated, not all of the 
amendments contained in Bill 80 were supported by either the previous or the 
present Ombudsman. Nonetheless, its demise means that the concerns originally 
raised by previous Committees and Ombudsmen remain unaddressed. The 
Committee contacted the Attorney General to determine whether he intended to 
introduce some or all of the amendments included in Bill 80. The Attorney 



57 

General has indicated that he is not, at this time, considering re-introducing the 
amendments included in Bill 80. However, he commented that he would welcome 
the Committee's views on the need for these or any other amendments. 

The amendments proposed by previous Ombudsmen reflected responses to specific 
needs that had arisen over the course of the many years that the Office of the 
Ombudsman has operated. We continue to believe that those amendments should 
be considered by the Legislature. However, we also believe that the present 
amendments may not reflect all of the changes which the Act may require and 
which a comprehensive review of the Office of the Ombudsman might reveal. In 
this respect, we have identified in this Report a number of aspects of the Act 
which require clarification and which should therefore be considered as part of a 
comprehensive review of the Act. More importantly, we note that 17 years have 
passed since the Act was adopted and in that time no comprehensive review of its 
effectiveness has been undertaken. We believe it is natural at this stage in the 
history of the Office of the Ombudsman in Ontario that such a comprehensive 
review be undertaken of the Ombudsman Act, in order to assess as a whole how 
effective it is in achieving its objectives, and to identify how it might be 
improved. 

This review should involve consultation with the public and with the Ombudsman 
and government officials. Such a review might also benefit from considering 
developments in other jurisdictions during this period. The Committee notes that 
a similar review was recently undertaken of the Office of the Commonwealth 
Ombudsman in Australia, the first review of that Office since its creation 15 years 
earlier. The results of this review may provide some useful experience with 
which to compare our own experiences. 

Given this Committee's responsibility for reviewing the affairs of the Office of the 
Ombudsman and our extensive knowledge of its operations, we believe it would 
be natural to direct our Committee to conduct this review. The need for 
amendments has been before the government for a very long time. We believe 



58 

therefore that this review should be undertaken without delay and that this 
Committee should be directed to make arrangements to hold hearings and to report 
to the Legislature by December 15, 1992. 

Accordingly, we recommend: 

21. That the Standing Committee on the Ombudsman undertake a 
comprehensive review of the Office of the Ombudsman which 
should include but not be limited to: 

• An examination of all aspects of the Ombudsman Act. 

• The scope of the Ombudsman's jurisdiction. 

• The performance of the Office of the Ombudsman in the 
exercise of its powers and functions. 

• The adequacy of the resources of the Office of the Ombudsman 
to perform its various functions. 

• The relationship of the Office of the Ombudsman to other 
organizations involved in hearing complaints about government 
actions. 

• The mandate of and role to be played by the Standing 
Committee on the Ombudsman; 

And that the Committee hold hearings and consult as it deems 
appropriate and that it complete and report the results of its review by 
December 15, 1992. 



59 
SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS 



1. That consideration be given to amending the Ombudsman Act to 
provide that the Ombudsman has the power, on the request of 
a complainant and a governmental organization, to assist them 
in reaching a settlement of their dispute. This possible 
amendment should be considered as part of a more general 
review of the Ombudsman Act to be conducted by this 
Committee. (Page 12 in the text of this report) 

2. That the Ombudsman include in his or her Annual Reports the 
following information: 

(a) comparative data from the previous fiscal year; 

Ob) graphs which show the number of complaints brought 
against a particular governmental organization and the 
stage at which those complaints were resolved; and 

(c) tables which indicate the status of any recommendations 
outstanding from previous years. (17) 

3. That section 4(H) of Regulation 697 under the Ombudsman Act 
be amended to state: 

No member of the Ombudsman's staff shall 
express to anyone other than the Ombudsman, or 
delegate of the Ombudsman, any opinion, 
recommendation, or other similar comment 
respecting the matter being investigated or 
respecting anything else arising out of the 
investigation. (20) 

4. That the question of expansion of the Ombudsman's 
jurisdiction form part of a more general review of the 
Ombudsman Act to be conducted by the Committee. (23) 

5. That the Standing Orders be amended to provide that the 
estimates of the Ombudsman are not to be referred to the 
Standing Committee on Estimates as they are at present, but 
are instead to be referred to the Standing Committee on the 
Ombudsman which shall review them from time to time as they 
become available, and report on them to the Legislature and 
make such recommendations as the Committee deems 
appropriate. (26) 



60 

6. That the Provincial Auditor conduct a value for money audit of 
the operations of the Office of the Ombudsman. (27) 

7. That the following be established as a rule under s. 15 of the 
Ombudsman Act: 

S. 9 (1) Following the submission of a report to the 
Assembly pursuant to s. 21(4) of the Act, the 
Ombudsman shall continue to monitor the 
governmental organization's response to the 
recommendations made by the Ombudsman, and 
by the Standing Committee on the Ombudsman, 
in relation to the report. 

(2) For the purposes of ss. (1), such 

monitoring shall include continuing to 
assess the adequacy of the governmental 
organization's further response, bringing 
developments in this respect to the 
attention of the Standing Committee on 
the Ombudsman, and reporting in the 
Ombudsman's Annual Reports on the 
status of all such recommendations 
outstanding. (32) 

8. That the Ombudsman bring an application pursuant to s. 14(5) 
of the Ombudsman Act to clarify the meaning of s. 12 and in 
particular to determine whether it prevents her from: 

(a) releasing documents to the Committee which were 
exchanged between the Ombudsman and the 
complainant and with respect to which the complainant's 
written authorization to release the documents has been 
obtained; 

(b) disclosing information to the Committee concerning her 
handling of an investigation; and 

(c) disclosing information to the Committee clarifying the 
content of her report to a complainant where the 
complainant has authorized the Committee to make 
enquiries on his or her behalf, and has authorized the 
Ombudsman to release such information to the 
Committee. (40) 

9. That consideration be given to amending s. 12 of the 
Ombudsman Act to provide that the Ombudsman is not 
prevented from disclosing the information referred to in 



61 

Recommendation 8 above, and that this form part of a more 
general review of the Ombudsman Act to be conducted by this 
Committee. (40) 

10. That the Ombudsman inform Mrs. H, within 30 days of the 
tabling of this report, of the reasons for the delay in processing 
her complaint and, in particular, convey to her the reasons for 
the delay during the period from November 22, 1989 to 
November 6, 1990. (42) 

11. That the Ombudsman indicate to Mr. V, within 30 days of the 
tabling of this report, whether she considered the 
reasonableness of the Board's policy, and if so, provide to Mr. 
V her conclusions and reasons in this regard. (43) 

12. That the Ombudsman convey to Mr. V, within 30 days of the 
tabling of this report, her reasons for deciding that it was 
inappropriate to comment on the failure of the Health 
Disciplines Act to provide for an appeal mechanism from 
decisions of the Board of Examiners in Psychology. (44) 

13. That the Ombudsman inform Mr. W, within 30 days of the 
tabling of this report, of her conclusions as to what she believed 
would have been a reasonable approach to the reclassification 
process, and of the specific steps that she recommended the 
Ministry take to ensure that the inconsistencies in question are 
not repeated. (46) 

14. That the Ombudsman inform Mr. W, within 30 days of the 
tabling of this report, of the reasons for the delay in processing 
his complaint and, in particular, convey to him the reasons for 
the delay during the period from August 28, 1989 to October, 
1990. (47) 

15. That the Ombudsman reconsider Mr. S's request that the 
Ombudsman reopen her investigation into his complaint 
concerning the Workers' Compensation Appeals Tribunal. (49) 

16. That the Ombudsman convey to Mr. A, within 30 days of the 
tabling of this report, the result of the Ministry's review of the 
Ombudsman's recommendation and the Ombudsman's position 
as to whether the Ministry's response was adequate and 
appropriate. (50) 

17. That the Ombudsman indicate to Mr. R.S., within 30 days of 
the tabling of this report, whether she considered the 
reasonableness of the actions taken by the OEV with respect to 



62 

the sanctioning of P.S., and if so, that she provide to Mr. R.S. 
her conclusions and reasons in this regard. (52) 

18. That the Ombudsman indicate to Mr. R.S., within 30 days of 
the tabling of this report, whether she considered the 
reasonableness of the OEV's refusal to accept Mr. R.S.'s offer 
to repay the loan, and if so, whether she found that refusal to 
be reasonable. (54) 

19. That the Ombudsman inform Mr. R.S., within 30 days of the 
tabling of this report, of the reasons why a greater effort was 
not made to interview Mr. L.O., and of the reasons why the 
opinion of an industry-related person concerning the 
reasonableness of the actions of the OEV and OEC, as 
compared to industry standards and procedures, was not 
obtained. (54) 

20. That the Ombudsman inform Mr. R.S., within 30 days of the 
tabling of this report, of the reasons for the delay in processing 
his complaint. (55) 

21. That the Standing Committee on the Ombudsman undertake a 
comprehensive review of the Office of the Ombudsman which 
should include but not be limited to: 

• - An examination of all aspects of the Ombudsman Act. 

• The scope of the Ombudsman's jurisdiction. 

• The performance of the Office of the Ombudsman in the 
exercise of its powers and functions. 

• The adequacy of the resources of the Office of the Ombudsman 
to perform its various functions. 

• The relationship of the Office of the Ombudsman to other 
organizations involved in hearing complaints about government 
actions. 

• The mandate of and role to be played by the Standing 
Committee on the Ombudsman; 

. 
And that the Committee hold hearings and consult as it deems 
appropriate and that it complete and report the results of its review by 
December 15, 1992. (58)