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

Coastal GasLink gets interim injunction against Unist’ot’en

The LNG pipeline company can start work Monday with enforcement approved by court.

Smithers Christmas Bird Count

Time to register for the annual bird count, an effort done across the hemisphere.

They’re engaged!

Birthday party turns into engagement party for Doug and Matilda

Hampers a chance to help in the Christmas spirit

SCSA sends around 350-400 hampers to the area from Witset to Telkwa.

Volunteers create Christmas magic at Santa’s Breakfast

PHOTOS: For the past 19 years, a local event helped remind us that Christmas is a time of giving.

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

Of the 105 current senators, 54 are now independents who have banded together in Independent Senators’ Group

Risk of catching the flu increasing in B.C. this holiday season: BCCDC

Dr. Danuta Skowronski with the BC Centre for Disease Control says influenza will pick up during the holidays

Boeser has 2 points as Canucks ground Flyers 5-1

WATCH: Vancouver has little trouble with slumping Philly side

Man dies after falling from B.C. bridge

Intoxicated man climbed railing, lost his balance and fell into the water below

B.C. animation team the ‘heart’ of new ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’

The animators, largely based in Vancouver, ultimately came up with a creative technique that is drawing praise

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

B.C. fire chief pleads with Ottawa for traumatic stress support

Campbell River fire chief Thomas Doherty presented concerns to federal government

Most Read