Courses and Conferences


2017 FCO/ACCUO Biennial Conference

The Work of Ombudsman: Holding Governments and Organizations to Account

Don’t miss this opportunity to network with colleagues from all levels of government, education, banking, private corporations, health care and a variety of other organizations.

This year’s theme is The Work of Ombudsman: Holding Governments and Organizations to Account  and will include two and half days of keynote presentations, concurrent learning sessions, a panel discussion, and Welcome Reception. FCO and ACCUO will be holding their AGM’s and elections on Monday May 15th and Tuesday May 16th respectively.

Keynote Speakers



Paul Dubé
Ontario Ombudsman


Honourable Judge Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond
Provincial Court of Saskatchewan, and former B.C. Representative for Children and Youth

Madeleine Meilleur

Madeleine Meilleur
Former MPP for Ottawa/Vanier, minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs and Attorney General

Peter Tyndall Pic 4 for website

Peter Tyndall
President of the International Ombudsman Institute

kevin Fenwick Pic 2 for website

Kevin Fenwick
Former Deputy Minister of Justice and Deputy Attorney General for Saskatchewan, Former Saskatchewan Ombudsman

Session Highlights

In addition to our Keynote Speakers, we are pleased to highlight just a few of the outstanding sessions that will be presented at the FCO/ACCUO joint 2017 Biennial Conference:

Core Strengths™: Create a Culture of Accountability (May 16th 10:00-10:50)

Building on the theme of creating a culture of accountability, Madalena Coutinho, Principal Associate and Master Facilitator – Personal Strengths Canada, will share with Ombuds the interactive learning program Core Strengths ™. Core Strengths builds the personal and interpersonal skills that leaders need to effectively influence key stakeholders, build trust and sustain commitment – creating a culture of accountability on teams and across their organizations.

Responding to risks in higher education: the Student Ombudsman as a catalyst for systemic change (May 16th 10:00-10:50)

Deborah Peach, Student Ombudsman, Queensland University of Technology, will be discussing how the performance of Australian higher education providers is evaluated against a framework of national threshold standards. This framework is a legislative instrument designed to facilitate internal quality assurance and respond to emerging risks. This interactive presentation considers how two Australian universities (one metropolitan and the other regional) are using the framework as a tool to evaluate university performance in responding to risks that emerge through student grievances.

How to maintain your mental health as an ombudsman (May 15th 11:10 to 12:00)

Maintaining mental health in the workplace is of paramount importance to all managers and employees.  Marie Claude Pelletier (President, The Levia Grou, Strategy, Development & Partnership for Health) and France St. Hilaire (Associate Professor at the School of Management at the University of Sherbrooke, Director of the Health Organization Team and Director of the Organizational Health Graduate will help you as Ombuds recognize your own signals of distress and risk factors and demonstrate protective factors and strategies needed to promote and maintain mental health. Based on responses to conference delegates’ self-assessment questionnaire, the workshop will establish a general picture of ombudsmen’s mental health with the session content customized to meet your specific requirements. For their session “Mental Health in the Workplace: What are an ombudsman’s roles? (May 15th 14:00-14:50) Marie Claude Pelletier and France St. Hilaire will share the best practices for intervention as well as the roles that you can play as part of your duties to promote mental health within organizations.

Compassion Fatigue: The Cost of Caring (May 16th 13:30-14:20)

Amanda Rocheleau, Registered Social Worker & Compassion Fatigue Specialist, will provide an overview of compassion fatigue and how it manifests in those committed to providing care for others. While focusing on the importance of authentic and sustainable self-care, Amanda will offer practical strategies to increase self-awareness and self-compassion in order to transform compassion fatigue into compassion satisfaction.

Untangling a Big Ball of Yarn: BC’s experience with a major investigation initiated by a legislative committee (May 16th 13:30 to 14:20)

Gain insight on how to tackle an investigation arising from legislative referral with Jay Chalke (Ombudsperson of British Columbia). This session will describe and address procedural issues that arose in the context of a recent investigation carried out by the Ombudsperson of British Columbia into actions by the provincial government over a multi-year period. The investigation was the result of a referral from a legislative committee which, under BC law, triggered an unprecedented mandatory Ombudsperson investigation.

Safe, Equitable, Fair, and Healthy Campuses: Are We Making Post-Secondary Institutions Accountable through Stand-Alone Sexual Violence Policies? (May 17th 10:00 to 10:50)

Are we holding post-secondary institutions accountable, to respond effectively and quickly to acts of sexual violence on campus-related activities? Many Canadian provinces have mandated legislative deadlines for all post-secondary institutions to develop stand-alone policies, to demonstrate serious commitment and timely support to those who experience sexual violence, sexual assault, and sexual harassment. These institutions are writing robust policies with the input of their campus communities. Natalie Sharpe (Director, Office of the Student Ombuds at University of Alberta) and Carter MacDonald, (Ombudsman at Camosun College, British Columbia) will present a session that provides an opportunity for ombudsman to share information around the breakthroughs and challenges of this process, with examples of B.C. colleges and universities’ changes, and the policy at the University of Alberta.

Reaching Audiences in the Digital Age (May 17th 10 to 10:50)

How do we communicate effectively and efficiently in today’s digital age? Sharon Squire (Deputy Veterans Ombudsman, Executive Director, Office of the Veterans Ombudsman) will examine the communications challenges and opportunities facing government organizations in light of rapidly changing technology and the pressure to respond and provide information instantly and over multiple channels.

For more details and on these workshops and all of the concurrent learning sessions, be sure to check out the detailed program

Welcome Reception – Monday May 15 (18:00-20:00)

Join your colleagues for delicious appetizers, drinks and conversation.
Co-hosted by Ombudsman Ontario and the International Ombudsman Institute (IOI)

Ottawa 150

Take part in Ottawa 150 events while you’re here

Don’t miss the special 2017 edition of the Canadian Tulip Festival in the Nation’s Capital, May 12-22, 2017, featuring millions of tulips in bloom, plus pageantry and entertainment for all ages. Breathtaking fireworks and vintage military displays pay tribute to veterans, recalling the Festival’s roots in the liberation of the Netherlands by Canadian troops 71 years ago. Details.

Ottawa Tulips_Silvie


For registration enquiries, contact the FCO Secretariat:
Tel: 613-238-6600 ext. 2 | Email

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