Kevin Brezinski releases his office’s 56th annual report highlighting fairness outcomes from the 2022-23 fiscal year.
Investigations into complaints of unfair treatment resulted in recommended solutions across a myriad of issues this year. Featured early in the report is an investigation into an environmental complaint related to longstanding foul odours in west Edmonton. As reported in the media, the situation caused an outcry from community residents who complained of an unmistakable, overpowering stench coming from a nearby composting facility. The complainant recognized all other avenues for resolution had been exhausted and came to the Ombudsman for help. A full investigation revealed the importance of adhering to legislation and policy designed to protect the environment.
“This was a difficult and complex investigation but ultimately the Ministry accepted and is acting on my recommendations,” stated Ombudsman Brezinski. “The residents in this community had serious concerns about the situation and because someone brought forward a complaint, my office was able to assist in bringing resolution to a longstanding problem.”
Brezinski’s office accepts complaints in a variety of forms and works collaboratively with complainants and authorities to understand what may have led to unfair treatment. In 2022-23, the office received 4,713 total cases, 3,251 of which were inquiries through our live intake line. People who contact our office often feel stuck and uncertain where to go with their concerns. We do our best to ensure they feel heard and strive to provide the information and resources to resolve their concerns.
Further into the report, readers will find information about the Ombudsman’s role, investigations statistics, and case stories demonstrating the office’s focus on administrative fairness and ensuring fair treatment for Albertans.
Public awareness of the Ombudsman’s office also plays a pivotal role in Brezinski’s strategy for the future. The Ombudsman’s office continues to hear from everyday Albertans concerned about how they were treated when attempting to access a public service or program.
“All Albertans deserve to know and understand the public services available to them, including how our office protects their rights to fair treatment,” Brezinski writes in his opening message. “When a complaint is resolved to everyone’s satisfaction, balance is restored between the citizen and the public entity.”
To read more about the office’s work, the 2022-23 annual report is available for download here.