Ontario government legislation to expand scope of Ombudsman

March 7, 2014

The Ontario government will be introducing legislation that, if passed, will extend the scope of the provincial Ombudsman to include publicly-funded universities, municipalities, and school boards, and make other changes to the province’s accountability and transparency regulations. “People with complaints about their local government or school board, as well as university students, will now be able to ask the Ombudsman to help resolve them,” explains the Globe and Mail. The Ombudsman will also be able to launch investigations into “systematic problems” at universities, and make recommendations on how to resolve them. The legislation also proposes changing the Lobbyists Registration Act “to improve reporting requirements for lobbyists, address conflicts of interest and increase fines for offences.” In addition, the legislation would authorize the government to set compensation frameworks for senior executives in the broader public sector (BPS), including hard caps; and require BPS organizations to publish their business plans and other documents online. Globe and Mail