Nova Scotia Office of the Ombudsman tables 2019-2020 Annual Report

The Nova Scotia Office of the Ombudsman has tabled its bilingual Annual Report which covers the period of April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020.  This year due to the many impacts of COVID-19, the report is only available by digital copy and is posted to their website at ombudsman.novascotia.ca

The Annual Report of the Office of the Ombudsman for 2019-2020 reflects normal pre-pandemic operations, but also includes achievements and case examples, says Ombudsman William Smith.

“While this report focuses on this Office for the 2019-2020 fiscal year, we cannot ignore the hurdles facing everyone moving forward into 2020-2021,” Ombudsman William Smith says in the report. “Nor can we ignore the remarkable history of the Office. Next year marks the 50th Anniversary of Ombudsman service in Nova Scotia.”

Among the notable files last year, the Office investigated a sudden series of complaints from a Residential Child-Caring Facility, that internal complaint forms submitted by residents to facility supervisors had gone missing and had received no response.

The report says that the Office reviewed 53 similar complaints over two years and discovered common themes among all of them. The themes included residents’ lack of confidence in the internal complaint process, lack of response to complaints, fears of possible reprisals, and a lack of awareness by residents of an internal complaint process until informed of it by Ombudsman staff.

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