Make a Written Complaint
Your complaint must be in writing. You may complete our Online Complaint Form, mail us a letter or send us a fax. Due to confidentiality requirements, we cannot accept complaints via email.
Your complaint should include:
- Your name, address and phone number.
- The name of the department, authority or professional organization you are complaining about.
- Details about your complaint.
- An explanation of what you have done to resolve the problem, including results of any reviews and appeals.
- Information about why you feel you were treated unfairly.
- Copies of any relevant documents such as review or appeal decisions.
How a Complaint is Handled
A complaints analyst will review your written complaint. The Ombudsman will then determine whether we have jurisdiction to investigate the matter and, if we do, decide whether the matter should be assigned for Alternative Complaint Resolution or formal investigation. If the Ombudsman cannot investigate your complaint, you will receive a letter of explanation and you may be provided with referral information.
Under the Ombudsman Act, the Ombudsman may refuse to investigate a complaint if it relates to a decision, recommendation, act or omission you have known about for more than 12 months before submitting a complaint to our office. If you submit a complaint after more than 12 months has passed, please provide an explanation why it has taken you longer than 12 months to submit your complaint. The Ombudsman will consider your explanation and then decide whether to investigate your complaint.
What to Expect
If an investigation is launched or Alternative Complaint Resolution is pursued, you will be contacted by an investigator throughout the process. You will be given an opportunity to explain why you feel you have been treated unfairly.
Individuals making a complaint should be aware that submitting a complaint may result in Ombudsman staff contacting the authority complained about in order to get further information or determine if the complaint can be resolved prior to investigation. The information provided to the authority cannot be used in any way that would detrimentally affect you. Should you not want the authority contacted you will need to specifically state so when submitting your complaint. Be aware in order for the Ombudsman to open an investigation of a complaint the authority will need to be contacted and details of the complaint provided.
- The department or professional organization will also be given an opportunity to respond to the issue(s) you have raised.
- Your letter of complaint is shared with the department or professional organization so officials can respond to your complaint.
- You – and the department or organization – will receive a letter outlining the Ombudsman’s conclusions.
Safeguarding Your Privacy
Your letter of complaint is shared with the department or professional organization you are complaining about, so officials can respond to your complaint. The letter is provided on the condition that the department or professional organization does not use it in any way that would detrimentally affect you. Ombudsman investigations are done in private and the investigation report itself is not disclosed. The results of the investigation are shared in a letter to the complainant and the department or professional organization. Information relating to investigations contained in Ombudsman records and results of our investigations cannot be used in any other proceedings, including before a board or a court. Ombudsman records cannot be disclosed under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy process.