President’s Message

Message from the FCO President

Dear Members,

As we move toward the end of 2015 we have many reasons for collective celebration of our accomplishments over the past twelve months and to be optimistic about future opportunities.

Bienniel Conference

In May 2015, FCO and the Association of Canadian College and University Ombudspersons co-hosted a very successful national conference at the Simon Fraser University’s Wosk Centre in Vancouver.

The diverse conference program which included outstanding key note addresses from Kim Carter (former Ombudsperson for British Columbia), Lorne Sossin (Dean of Osgoode Hall Law School), Kevin Page (the first Parliamentary Budget Officer for Canada and currently Jean-Luc Pepin Research Chair at the University of Ottawa) and Raymonde St-Germain (the Ombudsperson for Quebec) attracted participants from 10 of Canada’s provinces and territories, Austria, Bermuda and the United States of America.

Two day long pre-conference workshops: The Art of Fairness, and Train-the-Trainer: Systemic Investigations for Small Offices were held on Sunday.

Essentials For Ombuds

The FCO/Osgoode certificate program – Essentials for Ombuds –  offered for the third time in Toronto in September attracted the largest number of participants ever and the largest number of participants from outside of Canada.

September 26 – 30, 2016 – additional details

We are pleased to announce, that FCO has established a partnership with the University of Sherbrooke to offer a certificate program on the theory and practice of Ombuds work to be delivered in French in Montreal in 2016.

50th Anniversary

The 50th Anniversary Committee has had a busy year. They planned and implemented a number of activities to mark the establishment of the first ombudsman role in Canada at Simon Fraser University in 1965 and the first academic organization to have an ombudsman in North America. Full list of activities.

Among these activities, was FCO’s first essay contest, for a bursary to attend the FCO/Osgoode certificate program – Essentials for Ombuds. The committee reviewed a number of deserving essays, and selected a most interesting submission entitled Just Desserts that speaks to the feasibility of establishing a new Ombuds role in a very complex urban educational environment. Read the essay.

Following a national call for submissions, a research partner was selected to support an Ombuds-focused research project that will contribute to higher levels of effectiveness in the implementation of the Ombuds/man/person role in the Canadian context. The project, to be completed by September 2016 will focus on Private-sector Industry Ombuds and Access to Justice: A Case Study of the Canadian Financial, Telecommunications, and Air Travel Sectors.

These high quality professional development opportunities and public education efforts are due in no small part to the ongoing commitment and participation of FCO members – from all sectors: private sector, government, public sector, not-for-profit, education/academic sector at federal, provincial/territorial, regional and municipal levels. It’s a formula that works.

I’d like to thank the following FCO members who volunteered their time and expertise over the past year:

Conference Planning Committee

Jeff Cain (Ombudsman Saskatchewan)
Bruce Clarke (Office of the Ombudsperson of British Columbia)
Bradley Moss (Office of the Citizen’s Representative)
Shirley Nakata (University of British Columbia)
Jay Solman (Simon Fraser University)
Joelle Thibault* (Hydro Québec)

50th Anniversary Committee

Nancy Chamberland (University of Laval)
Lori Ciani* (Amex Bank of Canada)
Marlene Chumack (Bank of Nova Scotia)
Leila Dueck (Ombudsman Saskatchewan)
Tyler Fleming (OBSI)
Paul Michna (Alberta Ombudsman)
Joelle Thibault* (Hydro Québec)

Panel for Choosing Essay – Past Presidents of FCO

Dyane Adam (Trudeau Foundation Society)
Ian Darling (Tarion Warranty Corporation)
Kevin Fenwick (Government of Saskatchewan)

Panel for Awarding Research Grant

Barry Fleming* (Office of the Citizen’s Representative)
Howard Sapers* (Office of the Correctional Investigator)
Johanne Savard* (City of Montreal)

Board of Directors

Lori Ciani (Amex Bank of Canada)
Nora Farrell (Ryerson University)
Barry Fleming (Office of the Citizen’s Representative)
Tom Irvine (Fair Practices Commission of the WSIB)
Nadine Mailloux (City of Laval)
Sandra Morrison (Scotiabank)
Howard Sapers (Office of the Correctional Investigator)
Johanne Savard (City of Montreal)
Joelle Thibault (Hydro Québec)

Compliments of the season and wishing you all the best in the coming year.

Nora Farrell, President, FCO

* Member of the Board of Directors

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