Last week the interns had the opportunity to visit with Andre Marin, the Ontario Ombudsman. Mr. Marin fully embodies the “watchdog” part of the tagline for the Ontario Ombudsman Office. This independent office helps Ontarians tackle problems with the provincial government. Basically, the office can intervene in any case that is unjust, law-breaking, or wrong.
One of the main expansions that Mr.Marin has undertaken as Ombudsman is to conduct investigations into systemic issues arising from citizen complaints. These investigations are for concrete, solvable issues, and their reports provide recommendations and proposed solutions to the House. Mr.Marin is also hoping to expand the mandate of the Ombudsman’s office into Health and Long-Term Care as well as Children’s Aid Services. Most other provinces’ Ombudsman have oversight, to some degree, over these areas.
The Ombudsman is also very active in social media. With over 16 000 followers on Twitter, and over 2,000 Facebook Page likes, Mr.Marin uses social media as a tool to connect with and engage with Ontarians. If you check his twitter page now, you’ll see @OLIPinterns even got a few shout outs!
Thanks so much Mr.Marin for meeting with us interns, and sharing your passion and wisdom of the Ombudsman Office with us.
Oh, and for anyone concerned about the term “Ombudsman,” it is actually gender neutral. It derives from the Swedish term and means “representative of the people.”