Ombudsman Ontario

Ombudsman Ontario

August 28, 2012 17:42 ET

Ontario Ombudsman Now has the Power to Investigate the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 28, 2012) - Ontario Ombudsman André Marin now has the jurisdiction to investigate complaints about the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board following the provincial government's appointment of a supervisor for the board.

Through an Order in Council issued on July 25, 2012, the Ministry of Education took control of the administration of the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board.

The Ministry has appointed Norbert Hartmann has been appointed as supervisor to oversee the financial management and administration of the board as of September 4, 2012. Jim Grieve, Assistant Deputy Minister of the Early Learning Division in the Ministry of Education, has been appointed as interim supervisor until then.

While normally the Ombudsman does not have jurisdiction over school boards in Ontario, that changes when the government takes direct control. The last time the Ombudsman's jurisdiction was extended to school boards was June 2008, after the Ministry took charge of the Toronto Catholic District School Board.

Four provinces and one territory in Canada include school boards under ombudsman jurisdiction - British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Yukon Territory. While the Ontario Ombudsman normally has no authority in this area, his office continues to receive serious complaints about school boards that cannot be investigated. Some 119 complaints were received in 2011-2012.

School boards form part of the MUSH sector - municipalities, universities, school boards, hospitals and long-term care facilities, as well as children's aid societies and police - an area immune to ombudsman oversight in Ontario despite thousands of complaints to the office each year (2,539 in 2011-2012).

Complaints about the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board or any provincial government service or agency may be made to the Ombudsman's Office at 1-800-263-1830, or via the online complaint form available at www.ombudsman.on.ca.

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