Jay Chalke is B.C.’s Ombudsperson. Photo courtesy B.C. Office of the Ombudsperson

Have your say: Bring your concerns to B.C.’s Ombudsperson

Jay Chalke and staff bring road show to Prince Rupert, Terrace, Kitimat, Smithers and Hazelton

Do you have a concern with a provincial ministry or Crown corporation, maybe feel you’ve been treated unfairly by a local government body or that such organizations aren’t following the rules?

Speaking with B.C.’s Office of the Ombudsperson could help resolve your concerns.

As part of the annual trip around the province next month, Ombudsperson Jay Chalke and his staff bring the Office’s mobile complaint intake clinic to Smithers (Oct. 1), Hazelton (Oct. 2), Terrace and Kitimat (Oct. 3) and Prince Rupert (Oct. 4 and 5) to hear from people with a range of experiences, which can range from long delays for social assistance to complaints over treatment at a local hospital.

How to register your concern

The first step to register your complaint is to call the Office’s toll-free line at 1-800-567-3247. Professional staff will get the details of the situation and from there, schedule in-person appointments in the five North Coast communities.

Sara Darling, communications lead for the Office of the Ombudsperson, says the mobile outreach clinics are an important way to reach out to communities around the province.

“Our team is here to listen and walk through individual complaints to see if our office can look into their specific situation further,” she says. “Often times we can get good resolutions for people; maybe they get a reimbursement of a support that was denied to them, or sometimes a policy is looked at and is changed and impacts more than just one person.”

Ombudsperson marks 40 years

As the Office of the Ombudsperson celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, it continues to field a large number of calls from B.C. residents. In fact, July’s annual report to the legislature noted that the number of complaints and inquiries received hit a 10-year high, with 8,400 over the course of the year.

The ministries or organizations topping the list:

  • Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction (625 complaints)
  • Ministry of Children and Family Development (555)
  • Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General (353)
  • Health authorities (376)
  • ICBC (325)

The Office also received 680 complaints about local governments – the top-three topics were bylaw enforcement, developing/zoning and municipal fees and charges.

“This 10-year high is both positive and negative,” said Chalke. “It’s great that people know we are here to receive and investigate concerns about fair and reasonable treatment by provincial and local governments. However, it also signals that there is still lots of work to be done until public bodies in the province are treating all people fairly.”

 

Do you have concerns about you or your family’s treatment by staff from a public body, or that a government organization in your area isn’t following its mandate? Letting the Office of the B.C. Ombudsperson know can be a good first step in resolving an issue. The Office’s mobile complaint intake unit is coming to the North Coast soon.

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Prince Rupert lawyer awarded Queen’s counsel designation

Barry Zacharias is one of 28 lawyers to receive the award in B.C.

Prince Rupert draws its line for cannabis business

City council approved cannabis retail zone area on Dec. 10 after a public hearing

Rushbrook Trail partially closed after storm

Trees collapsed during a windstorm in Prince Rupert Monday night partially obstructing the trail

Charles Hays Rainmakers dry up in final game

The Charles Hays Rainmakers finished second at the No Regrets Tournament over the weekend

Students learn how to code a drone in SD52

Prince Rupert Middle School students tested their programming skills during the Hour of Code

Prince Rupert Rampage host Teddy Bear night

Prince Rupert Rampage teamed up with the Salvation Army to give back this weekend

Shop Prince Rupert is back

These businesses are all taking part in the Shop Prince Rupert event until December 21 at noon

Judge gives Michael Cohen 3 years in prison

Judge William H. Pauley III said Cohen deserved a harsh punishment for crimes including tax evasion

Humboldt Broncos, cannabis, Fortnite: Here are Canadians’ top Google searches for 2018

When celebrities died or Canada Post went on strike, Canada turned to Google

B.C. billionaires worth 5,845 times average middle-income household

Economists argue for changes to Canadian tax system benefitting rich

Condominium market still ‘a lot better’ than normal in Vancouver suburbs

The Fraser Valley, east of Metro Vancouver, has long been considered a more affordable haven for first-time homebuyers.

Retired B.C. teacher a YouTube Sudoku sensation

A retired Kelowna teacher has amassed quite the following online by teaching the art of solving a Sudoku puzzle.

UN chief returns as climate talks teeter closer to collapse

Predictions from international climate expert, warn that global warming is set to do irreversible environmental damage.

Trump’s willingness to intervene in Meng detention roils Canada’s justification

The International Crisis Group said Tuesday, Dec. 11 it’s aware of reports that its North East Asia senior adviser Michael Kovrig has been detained.

Most Read