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Manitoba Ombudsman jurisdiction expands January 1, 2003 to include The City of Winnipeg under The Ombudsman Act

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Jan 2, 2003

Effective January 1, 2003, the Manitoba Ombudsman will have jurisdiction to receive and investigate complaints against the City of Winnipeg.

As an independent Officer of the Legislative Assembly, the Manitoba Ombudsman seeks to resolve individual and systemic complaints received against public bodies relating to matters of government administration in an informal, non-adversarial and non-legalistic manner, using the powers of persuasion, investigation and recommendation.

“The role of the Ombudsman is one that promotes open and accountable government and enhances the public’s confidence that our public institutions are respecting the principles of fairness and equity,” said Tuckett.

Wherever possible, investigations are conducted informally, however, the Manitoba Ombudsman has the power to interview anyone involved; review files, documents, policies, guidelines and legislation; hold hearings and take evidence under oath.

The City of Winnipeg Charter Act, which includes consequential amendments to The Ombudsman Act, was assented to August 9, 2002 and comes into force January 1, 2003. The Office of the Ombudsman will replace the City of Winnipeg Ombudsman’s Office, which had been established in 1995 under The City of Winnipeg Act.

In April 2000, The City of Winnipeg recommended that the Province of Manitoba amend The City of Winnipeg Act to delete the requirement that the City have its own Ombudsman; and amend other legislation as required to allow the Provincial Ombudsman to provide Ombudsman services currently being provided by the City Ombudsman. Research cited by the City at the time indicated that Winnipeg was the only municipality in Canada with an Ombudsman’s office.

Manitoba Ombudsman Barry Tuckett said that he and his staff look forward to working with the elected officials, management and staff of the City of Winnipeg to provide an independent, non-political complaint resolution process.

Created in 1970, the Office of the Manitoba Ombudsman exists to promote fairness, equity and administrative accountability through independent impartial, non-partisan, and thorough investigation of complaints and legislative compliance reviews.

Those who feel they have been treated unfairly by a government department or agency may contact the Office of the Manitoba Ombudsman by mail, phone, fax or in person.

Complaints regarding the City of Winnipeg may be directed to:

The Manitoba Ombudsman
750-500 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg MB R3C 3X1
Phone: 982-9130
Toll-Free 1-800-665-0531
Fax: 942-7803