REVISED STATUTES, 1989
1 This Act may be cited as the Ombudsman Act. R.S., c. 327, s. 1.
(f) "municipal agency" means an agency, board, school board, commission, foundation, corporation, hospital or a welfare, penal or other institution established by or on behalf of or controlled by a municipal unit or two or more municipal units;
(3) The Ombudsman may not be a member of the House and shall not hold any office of trust or profit, other than his office as Ombudsman, or engage in any occupation for reward outside the duties of his office without prior approval in each particular case by the House or by the Governor in Council when the House is not in session.
(5) Before entering upon the exercise of the duties of his office the Ombudsman shall take an oath that he will faithfully and impartially perform the duties of his office and will not divulge any information received by him under this Act except for the purpose of giving effect to this Act.
4 (1) Unless his office sooner becomes vacant, the Ombudsman is to hold office for five years from the date of his appointment under Section 3 and, if otherwise qualified, is eligible to be re-appointed.
(2) The Ombudsman may resign his office by notice in writing addressed to the Speaker of the House or, if there is no Speaker or if the Speaker is absent from the Province, to the Chief Clerk of the House. R.S., c. 327, s. 4.
(2) When the House is not in session, a judge of the Trial Division of the Supreme Court may suspend the Ombudsman from his office for cause or incapacity upon an application by the Governor in Council.
6 Notwithstanding subsection (5) of Section 3, the Ombudsman may disclose in a report made by him under this Act any matters which, in his opinion, are necessary to disclose in order to establish grounds for his conclusions and recommendations. R.S., c. 327, s. 6.
7 (1) The Ombudsman may, subject to the approval of the Governor in Council, appoint such assistants and employees as he deems necessary for the efficient carrying out of his functions under this Act.
(2) Before performing any official duty under this Act a person appointed under subsection (1) shall take an oath, to be administered by the Ombudsman, that he will not divulge any information received by him under this Act, except for the purpose of giving effect to this Act. R.S., c. 327, s. 7.
8 (1) The Ombudsman, by writing under his signature, may delegate to a person appointed an assistant under subsection (1) of Section 7 any of his powers under this Act except the power of delegation and the power to make a report under this Act.
(2) A person purporting to exercise power of the Ombudsman by virtue of a delegation under subsection (1) shall produce evidence of his authority to exercise that power when required to do so. R.S., c. 327, s. 8.
11 (1) Subject to subsection (2), where any person is aggrieved or, in the opinion of the Ombudsman, may be aggrieved, the Ombudsman, on the written complaint of or on behalf of the person aggrieved or on his own motion, may investigate the administration
(a) any decision, recommendation, act or omission in respect of which there is under any Act a right of appeal or objection or a right to apply for a review on the merits of the case to any court or to any tribunal constituted by or under any Act, whether or not that right of appeal or objection or application has been exercised in the particular case and whether or not any time prescribed for the exercise of that right has expired; or
(3) Where a question arises as to the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman to investigate a grievance under this Act, he may apply to the Appeal Division of the Supreme Court for a determination of the question of his jurisdiction. R.S., c. 327, s. 11.
(2) Notwithstanding Sections 14, 20 and 21, a committee of the House may refer any petition that is before the committee for consideration or any matter relating to such petition to the Ombudsman for investigation and report.
(3) Notwithstanding Sections 14, 20 and 21, where a matter has been referred to the Ombudsman under subsection (2), the Ombudsman, subject to any special directions of the committee, shall investigate the matter as far as it is within his jurisdiction and shall make such report to the committee as he thinks fit.
(4) Notwithstanding any Act, where a letter written by a person in custody on a charge or after conviction of any offence or by any inmate or patient of any sanatorium or mental hospital is addressed to the Ombudsman, it shall be forwarded immediately, unopened, to the Ombudsman by the person for the time being in charge of the place or institution where the writer of the letter is detained or of which he is an inmate or patient. R.S., c. 327, s. 12.
13 Notwithstanding any other Act providing that a decision, recommendation, act or omission is final or that no appeal lies in respect thereof or that no proceeding, decision, recommendation, act or omission of a department or municipal unit or officer thereof is to be challenged, reviewed, quashed or called in question, the Ombudsman may exercise the powers under this Act. R.S., c. 327, s. 13.
(2) Where the Ombudsman decides not to investigate or to cease to investigate a grievance he shall inform the complainant and any other interested person of his decision and may state his reasons therefor. R.S., c. 327, s. 14.
so as to cause a grievance or to give cause for a grievance, he shall so advise the minister and the chief officer of the department or the chief officer of the municipal unit, as the case may be, and the officer causing the grievance and give each an opportunity to be heard.
(8) Where during or after an investigation the Ombudsman is of the opinion that there is evidence of a breach of duty or misconduct by a department or municipal unit or officer thereof, he shall refer the matter to the minister and chief officer of the department or the chief officer of the municipal unit.
17 (1) Subject to subsections (2), (3), (4), (5), (6) and (7) and Section 18, where the Ombudsman requests a person who, in the opinion of the Ombudsman, is able to furnish information relating to a matter being investigated by the Ombudsman to furnish such information, that person shall furnish that information and produce any documents or papers that, in the opinion of the Ombudsman, relate to the matter and that may be in the possession or under the control of that person whether or not that person is an officer of a department or municipal unit, and whether or not the documents and papers are in the custody or under the control of that department or municipal unit.
(4) Subject to subsection (5), where a person is bound by any law or by an enactment to maintain secrecy in relation to, or not to disclose any matter, the Ombudsman shall not require that person to supply any information or to answer any question in relation to that matter or to produce any document or paper relating to the matter which would be in breach of the obligation of secrecy or non-disclosure.
(5) With the prior consent in writing of the complainant the Ombudsman may require a person to whom subsection (4) applies to supply information or answer questions or produce documents or papers relating only to the complainant and that person shall do so.
(8) Except on the trial of a person for perjury, evidence given by any person in proceedings before the Ombudsman and evidence of any proceeding before the Ombudsman is not admissible against any person in any court or in any proceedings of a judicial nature.
(2) Subject to subsection (1), a rule of law that authorizes or requires the withholding of any document, paper or thing, or the refusal to answer any question on the ground that the disclosure of the document, paper or thing, or the answering of the question would be injurious to the public interest, does not apply in respect of any investigation by or proceedings before the Ombudsman. R.S., c. 327, s. 18.
19 (1) For the purposes of this Act, the Ombudsman may enter upon any premises occupied by any department or municipal unit and, subject to Sections 17 and 18, carry out any investigation within his jurisdiction.
20 (1) Where upon investigation the Ombudsman is of the opinion that a grievance exists or may exist because a department or municipal unit or officer thereof administered or is administering a law of the Province or a law of the municipal unit or a law of the Province that applies to the municipal unit
(e) by using a discretionary power for an improper purpose, or on irrelevant grounds, or by taking irrelevant considerations into account, or by failing to give reasons for the use of a discretionary power when reasons should have been given,
(2) Where the Ombudsman makes a recommendation under subsection (1) he may request the department or municipal unit to notify him within a specified time of the steps it proposes to take to give effect to his recommendations.
(3) Where, after the time stated under subsection (2), the department or municipal unit does not act upon the recommendation of the Ombudsman, refuses to act thereon or acts in a manner unsatisfactory to the Ombudsman, the Ombudsman may send a copy of his report and recommendation to the Governor in Council, in the case of a department, or the council of the municipal unit, in the case of a municipal unit, and may thereafter make a report to the House.
(5) In any report made by him under this Act the Ombudsman shall not make any finding or comment that is adverse to any person unless he gives that person an opportunity to be heard. R.S., c. 327, s. 20.
21 (1) Where the Ombudsman makes a recommendation under subsection (1) of Section 20 and the department or municipal unit does not act upon such recommendation to his satisfaction, the Ombudsman shall inform the complainant of his recommendation and may add any comment.
22 No proceeding of the Ombudsman is void for want of form and, except on the ground of lack of jurisdiction, no proceedings or decisions of the Ombudsman are to be challenged, reviewed, quashed or called in question in any court. R.S., c. 327, s. 22.
23 (1) No proceedings lie against the Ombudsman or against any person holding any office or appointment under the Ombudsman for any thing he may do or report or say in the course of the exercise or intended exercise of his functions under this Act, unless it is shown he acted in bad faith.
(2) The Ombudsman and any person holding any office or appointment under the Ombudsman shall not be called to give evidence in any court or in any proceedings of a judicial nature in respect of any thing coming to his knowledge in the exercise of his functions under this Act. R.S., c. 327, s. 23.
(2) The Ombudsman, in the public interest or in the interests of a person, department or municipal unit, may publish reports relating generally to the exercise of his functions under this Act or to any particular case investigated by him, whether or not the matters to be dealt with in the report have been the subject of a report made to the House under this Act. R.S., c. 327, s. 24.
27 This Act does not affect, abrogate, abridge or infringe or authorize the abrogation, abridgement or infringement of any substantive or procedural right or remedy existing elsewhere or otherwise than in this Act. R.S., c. 327, s. 27.