Ontario Ombudsman appoints new Director, Special Ombudsman Response Team

Ontario Ombudsman appoints new Director, Special Ombudsman Response Team

September 11, 2020

(TORONTO – September 10, 2020) Ontario Ombudsman Paul Dubé today announced the promotion of Domonie Pierre to the position of Director, Special Ombudsman Response Team (SORT), effective September 14.

Ms. Pierre has extensive experience with the Ombudsman’s Office, which she joined as an Early Resolution Officer in 2006. She later became an Investigator, working with the Investigations team and SORT under its founding director Gareth Jones.

The Special Ombudsman Response Team handles in-depth investigations into complex and systemic issues. Ms. Pierre has been the lead investigator on numerous SORT investigations. These resulted in several special reports involving a wide range of systemic issues, from community engagement on hospital planning (The LHIN Spin, 2010), to policing and correctional issues (Caught in the Act, 2010; The Code, 2013), to school busing (The Route of the Problem, 2017). Ms. Pierre shared the stories behind these investigations and her expertise in SORT’s methodology as a frequent presenter in the Office’s training course for Ombudsman investigators and administrative watchdogs from across Canada and around the world, “Sharpening Your Teeth.”

A lawyer by trade, Ms. Pierre practiced law internationally prior to completing her articles with the Ombudsman’s Legal Services team over the past year. She was admitted to the Ontario bar in August 2020. In addition to her LL.B, Ms. Pierre holds a Master’s degree in Human Resource Planning and Development.

Statement from Ombudsman Paul Dubé:

“I am delighted to announce that Domonie Pierre will be the new Director of our Special Ombudsman Response Team. Ms. Pierre succeeds Gareth Jones, who helped create SORT in 2005 and guided it through its many impactful investigations until his retirement in January 2020. We are forever indebted to Gareth for his expertise and leadership, which have contributed massively to Ombudsman Ontario’s reputation for excellence in its investigations.

“Ms. Pierre, who has been with our Office since 2006, has worked as an Early Resolution Officer, Investigator and Counsel, and led many of SORT’s investigations under Mr. Jones. Her appointment comes at a crucial time for our Office, as we are conducing multiple systemic investigations while working remotely, including our review of the government’s oversight of long-term care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With her vast investigative experience and leadership qualities, Ms. Pierre is a most welcomed addition to the Ombudsman’s Executive Management Team, and will ensure that SORT continues to produce the exemplary work it is known for around the world, both in terms of quality and impact.”

The Ombudsman is an independent, impartial officer of the Ontario Legislature who resolves and investigates public complaints about provincial government bodies, as well as French language services, child protection services, municipalities, universities and school boards. He does not overturn decisions of elected officials or set public policy, but makes recommendations to ensure administrative fairness, transparency and accountability.

Since 2005, dozens of investigations by the Special Ombudsman Response team have prompted systemic reforms affecting millions of Ontarians, including increased supports for people with developmental disabilities, better tracking of inmates in segregation, improved driver licence suspension notices, fairer property tax assessments, expanded screening of newborn babies for preventable diseases, and a more secure lottery system.

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