Ombudsman Ontario

Ombudsman Ontario

August 23, 2006 10:00 ET

Ombudsman Announces Systemic Investigation into the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Aug. 23, 2006) -

ATTN: NEWS EDITOR

Today, Andre Marin, the Ombudsman of Ontario, announced that he has assigned the Special Ombudsman Response Team to conduct a systemic investigation into the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. The Board, whose chair reports to the Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario, is a provincially run government agency that has a mandate to award compensation to victims of violent crime in Ontario.

According to the most recent statistics available, in 2004/2005 the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board had an annual budget of approximately $21 million. The Board receives approximately 4000 to 5000 cases annually and adjudicates approximately 2500 each year, awarding on average $7200 in compensation to victims of violent crime.

Over the course of the last 5 months the Ombudsman's office has received an increasing number of complaints from both individuals and interest groups about the treatment of victims of crime by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. Many of the complaints allege lengthy administrative delays, in some cases of up to several years, before a decision or award is received. Complaints also allege that victims of crime are being re-victimized as they go though the process of seeking compensation through the board and they are unable to obtain closure due to the long drawn out procedure. Concerns have also been raised about heavy bureaucratic burdens and demands for complex and voluminous paperwork, which are placed on victims who are applying to the Board for compensation for injuries including compensation for pain and suffering, medical care and treatment and lost income.

"I want to emphasize that we have not reached any conclusion about whether or not these complaints are justified", said Mr. Marin. "The purpose of the investigation is to determine whether or not the criminal injury compensation system is working well and, if not, make recommendations as to how it can be improved so that victims of crime in Ontario may be better served."

The Ombudsman is inviting anyone who may have information of relevance to the investigation to contact the Special Ombudsman Response Team by calling 1 800 263 1830, through the office's website at www.ombudsman.on.ca or by mail to:



Office of the Ombudsman of Ontario
483 Bay St, 10th Floor, South Tower
Toronto, Ontario
M5G 2C9


The Special Ombudsman Response Team's investigation is scheduled to be completed by December 31, 2006.

This press release is available in French

The Ombudsman is an officer of the Legislature and is independent of both the political process and government administration. Generally an office of last resort, the Ombudsman investigates and resolves complaints about provincial governmental organizations and recommends corrective action. Services are free and confidential. Other languages can be arranged. For further information, call 416-586-3300, 1-800-263-1830; TTY 1-866-411-4211 or visit our website: www.ombudsman.on.ca.

Contact Information

  • Ombudsman Ontario
    Sue Haslam
    Manager of Investigations
    (416) 586-3415