Message from the Ombudsperson

Put yourself in their shoes

“The Québec Ombudsman’s 2018-2019 Annual Report paints a disturbing picture of cases in which government programs exclude some of the people for whom they are intended. Our investigations show that in planning or applying certain programs, the authorities do not make a habit of walking through the process that citizens must navigate in order to obtain the services they need. Given the obstacles in gaining access to programs and in all subsequent steps, people may have to fend for themselves.

These shortcomings are even more glaring and deplorable because they contrast with the practices of other public service sectors where thought is given to the red tape which citizens must untangle. In other words, public bodies must take the trouble to go over the sequence of their programs’ conditions and requirements. To do otherwise especially affects society’s most disadvantaged citizens.”

Read more (ouvre dans un nouvel onglet)

Marie Rinfret


2018-2019 at a glance

  • 21,608 requests processed
  • 13,831 complaints, reports and disclosures
  • 7,777 referrals and information requests
  • 53,887 calls received
  • 97.1% of calls answered in less than 20 seconds
  • 98% of recommendations accepted following our investigations


Public Service

  • 6,206 requests processed
  • Substantiated complaints: 22.2%
  • Intervention concerning 53 government departments and agencies

The three main grounds for substantiated complaints:

  1. Lengthy wait times: 45.9%
  2. Failure to respect rights: 19.4%
  3. Financial damage: 17.9%

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: The number of substantiated complaints increased.
  • Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion: The number of substantiated complaints increased.
  • Ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale: The number of substantiated complaints increased.
  • Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec: The number of substantiated complaints decreased.
  • Revenu Québec: The number of substantiated complaints decreased.

Correctional Services

  • 5,644 requests processed
  • Substantiated complaints: 41.1%

Intervention concerning the:

  • 18 correctional facilities
  • Commission québécoise des libérations conditionnelles
  • Ministère de la Sécurité publique

The three main grounds for substantiated complaints:

  1. Lengthy wait times: 46.9%
  2. Failure to respect rights: 20.6%
  3. Living environment: 10.6%

Health and Social Services

  • 1,746 requests processed
  • 42.3% of processed requests concerned hospital centres
  • Intervention concerning 119 bodies
  • 45.5% of complaints and reports were substantiated

The three main grounds for substantiated complaints and reports:

  1. Lengthy wait times: 18.5%
  2. Poor service quality: 17.6%
  3. Failure to respect rights: 15.4%

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

  • 158 disclosures processed
  • 64 requests for assistance processed
  • 20 recommendations made
  • 6 investigations concluding that wrongdoing had occurred
Anyone can disclose a wrongdoing involving a public body to the Québec Ombudsman with complete confidentiality and without fear of reprisal.

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