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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Enough Is Enough In Ontario.. The Ontario Government Needs To Stop Letting Those Doing Wrong Investigate Themselves


NDP backing Marin's push for more oversight

Northern Life - 

Thousands of complaints see ombudsman renew call for broader scope


In his latest report, Ontario's ombudsman said he's received more than 2,500 complaints about hospitals, schools, universities and municipalities.

Unfortunately for André Marin, there's not much that he can do with those complaints. For years, the in-your-face municipal watchdog has pressed for his office to be given oversight of the so-called MUSH sector (Municipalities, Universities, School boards and Hospitals, as well as nursing homes and long-term care facilities, police, and children’s aid societies).

Marin can only investigate closed-door meeting complaints about municipalities.

Not long before leaving the premier's office, Dalton McGuinty appeared to be ready to, at least partially, do just that, but that momentum died when he left office.

In his 2013 report, Marin renews his call for MUSH oversight and, once again, Nickel Belt MPP France Gélinas is echoing that demand.

“Yet again we see a Liberal government failing to protect Ontarians,” Gélinas said this week. “Refusing to give the ombudsman the powers to investigate thousands of complaints leaves Ontarians in vulnerable situations. 

“Ontario is the only province in Canada that does not grant ombudsman oversight of hospitals, long-term care facilities and child protection services.”

The Ombudsman’s annual report released this week also documents many issues he has previously raised and which the government has failed to take action on. 

“Ignoring the desperate need to grant ombudsman oversight of health-care facilities while also failing to act on promises already made — shows us the Liberals are more interested in themselves than doing the right thing and protecting Ontarians,” said Gélinas. 

Yesterday, Ontario’s Chief Coroner released a report on eight deaths linked with operational issues at Ornge.

“We know that since 2005, the ombudsman has received complaints about operational issues at Ornge, including 12 last year,” the MPP said. “We will never know whether granting his office the ability to look at these issues could have prevented those deaths.”

Three years after the G20, the Liberal government has not yet moved to replace the Public Works Protection Act, enacted specifically for the summit, an event which led to the largest mass arrest in Canadian history. 

Two years after promising speedy action on regulating the non-emergency medical transportation industry, nothing has been done. 

“Enough is enough,” Gélinas said.
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