Message from the Ombudsperson

Honour one’s commitments

“Every government department, agency, health and social services network institution, and correctional facility is duty-bound to provide services based on the programs in effect. They must also deliver appropriate information, process requests rigorously and fairly, convey—within a reasonable timespan—answers that are accurate and easy to understand, as well as enable the exercise of adequate redress. They are also required to apply the law with transparency and humanity.

How is the fulfilment of these commitments faring? I feel that considerable efforts are made throughout the public system to have them come to fruition. However, the complaints and reports we receive attest to failings.”

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Marie Rinfret

Ombudsperson

2017-2018 at a glance

  • 21,950 requests processed
  • 13,582 complaints, reports and disclosures
  • 8,368 referrals and information requests
  • 98% of recommendations accepted following our investigations
  • 90.1% of calls answered in less than 20 seconds
  • 57,406 calls received

Mandates

Public Service

  • 6,634 requests processed
  • Substantiated complaints: 22.9%
  • Intervention concerning 55 government departments and agencies

The three main grounds for substantiated complaints:

  1. Lengthy wait times: 41.6%
  2. Financial damage: 22.7%
  3. Failure to respect rights: 18.7%

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

  • Ministère de la Sécurité publique : The number of substantiated complaints increased.
  • Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec : The number of substantiated complaints increased.
  • Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur : The number of substantiated complaints increased.
  • Revenu Québec : The number of substantiated complaints decreased.
  • Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion : The number of substantiated complaints decreased.

Correctional Services

  • 4,983 requests processed
  • Substantiated complaints: 37.7%
  • Intervention concerning 17 correctional facilities

The three main grounds for substantiated complaints:

  1. Lengthy wait times: 45.2%
  2. Failure to respect rights: 17.3%
  3. Living environment: 13.9%
Québec’s correctional services’ obligation to uphold detainees’ residual rights is jeopardized by the overcrowding that has affected the prison community for several years.

Health and Social Services

  • 1,708 requests processed
  • 40.5% of processed requests concerned hospital centres
  • Intervention concerning 116 institutions
  • 45.5% of complaints and reports were substantiated

The three main grounds for substantiated complaints and reports:

  1. Service quality: 18.7%
  2. Lengthy wait times: 16.2%
  3. Incompetence or inadequate behaviours: 14.5%

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

Between May 1, 2017, and March 31, 2018:

  • 270 requests received
  • 122 grounds for disclosure processed
  • 12 investigations underway as at March 31, 2018
Already, given the number of disclosures we have received, we can see the merits of such independent and impartial recourse.

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