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Ombudsman Bill Announced
November 9, 2010 permalink
Today's press conference announcing the new bill for ombudsman oversight of children's aid is not in the press, but we enclose two photographs taken by participants. According to the announcement also enclosed, the actual bill will be introduced in the legislature on November 15.
Click on photos above for more resolution
November 9, 2010
Let the Ombudsman in: NDP
QUEEN'S PARK - NDP MPP Rosario Marchese wants to expand the mandate of the Ombudsman so that he can do more to protect Ontarians.
Marchese is introducing a bill to allow the Ombudsman to investigate complaints about hospitals, long-term care facilities, retirement homes, school boards and Children's Aid Societies.
"There's this enormous frustration out there. When people with complaints about these public institutions try to get answers, they hit a wall. Ontarians need somewhere to turn when no one else is listening," said Marchese.
Indeed, over the last five years, the Ombudsman has been unable to investigate any of the more than 4,000 complaints he has about the following institutions:
Health Care - Year after year, the Ombudsman receives complaints about administrative issues, substandard care, and patient abuse in Ontario's hospitals, retirement homes and long-term care facilities. Yet "the province remains without an independent, effective oversight mechanism to deal with individual and systemic issues in the health care field," said current Ombudsman Andre Marin. With an aging population and a strained health care system, oversight is now more important than ever.
Schools - Too often, complaints regarding Ontario's schools are swept under the rug. When children are bullied or when students with special needs don't get the resources they need parents have nowhere to turn. "Every week I get calls from parents that are frustrated. They call the Ombudsman and he can't do anything for them. It makes no sense," said Marchese.
Children's Aid Societies - Ontario is the only Canadian province not to grant the Ombudsman the power to investigate Children's Aid Societies. When Children's Aid Societies fail to carry out their duties, "families can be broken apart needlessly or children can be deprived of stable foster care or adoptions can fail, or, at times, children can suffer abuse or even die," noted Marin.
Marchese's bill will be introduced when the Legislature resumes on Monday, Nov. 15.
Media Inquiries: Sasha Tregebov 416-325-9092