Message from the Ombudsperson

Marie Rinfret, the Ombudsperson

Time for action

“This Annual Report contains numerous examples of problems deemed major once we had finished investigating. The resulting observations were acknowledged by the public bodies and, ultimately, led to commitments from them to remedy the issues. Then, time went by…and nothing happened. The flaws were known, described, decried, and came with solutions. Now it is time for the authorities to act.”

Read more

Marie Rinfret,

Signature of Marie Rinfret, The Québec Ombudsman



At a glance

form icon 22,411

requests processed

 icône formulaire complété 14,538

complaints, reports
and disclosures

completed form icon 7,873

referrals and
information requests

mobile phone icon 53,326

calls received

timer icon 96.1%

of calls answered
in less than 20 seconds

icon message 98.2%

of recommendations
following our

Woman who works in administration

Public service

  • 6,965 requests processed

  • Substantiated complaints: 25.4%

  • Intervention concerning 58 government departments and agencies

The three main grounds for substantiated complaints:

  1. 1.Lengthy wait times: 45.3%

  2. 2.Failure to respect rights: 20.4%

  3. 3.Financial damage: 19.9%

Variation in the number of substantiated complaints compared with last year’s number:

  • Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail

  • Ministère de la Famille

  • Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur

  • Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion

  • Retraite Québec

  • Ministère de l'Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques


  • 5,054 requests processed

  • Substantiated complaints: 43%

  • Intervention with 18 correctional facilities within the jurisdiction of the Ministère de la Sécurité publique

Barbed-wire fence

The three main grounds for substantiated complaints:

  1. 1.Lengthy wait times: 43.9%

  2. 2.Living environment: 16.6%

  3. 3.Failure to respect rights: 16.4%

Detainees’ residual rights (rights that continue to exist despite incarceration) must be respected. Furthermore, acting with humanity and empathy must be a part of the job description of facility staff, whose role extends far beyond mere supervision. In fact, they directly contribute to the potential social reintegration of detainees.
Image of a health professional

Health and social services

  • 2,141 requests processed

  • 41.7% of complaints and reports were substantiated

  • Intervention concerning 134 bodies

  • 43.5% of processed requests concerned hospital centres

The three main grounds for substantiated complaints:

  1. 1.Poor service quality: 22.4%

  2. 2.Failure to respect rights: 16.6%

  3. 3.Lengthy wait times: 14.1%

Complaints concerning the health and social services network:

  • 1st level of recourse: the institution’s service quality and complaints commissioner.

  • 2nd level of recourse: the Québec Ombudsman (if the person has not heard from the commissioner within 45 days or if he or she is dissatisfied with the outcome).

  • The Québec Ombudsman may act directly at the first level in the case of a report.

Public integrity

  • 270 disclosures processed

  • Substantiated disclosures: 17.1%

  • 163 bodies concerned

Man who works at the computer

The whistleblower behind the disclosure may be:

  • A member of the personnel of a body subject to the Act;

  • A supplier or subcontractor;

  • Anyone else who is aware of a wrongdoing relating to a public body that has been committed or is about to be committed.

The Act to facilitate the disclosure
of wrongdoings relating to
public bodies 
came into
force on May 1, 2017.