Canadian press – posted Toronto Star
The Liberal government is circumventing the ombudsman’s office and squandering tax dollars by hiring outsiders to investigate public complaints because it wants to maintain control over the investigations, the province’s ombudsman said Wednesday.
Andre Marin said the government is “queasy” about referring public complaints to his office – even when the province finds itself in a conflict of interest as it does with a current set of complaints against Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Julian Fantino.
The government could have asked him to investigate the complaint, Marin said, but instead often chooses to hire outsiders so it can dictate the scope of any investigation and retain some control over the results.
“You don’t have that when you come to the ombudsman’s office,” Marin said in an interview. “You don’t know where the ball’s going to land because we don’t accept scripted mandates.
“I’m just getting advice,” Kwinter said. “I have confidence in the commissioner, and unless I hear … a valid reason that I should be concerned, I’ll have to deal with that. I will make the decision but I want to make sure I have all of the facts.” (EDIT: Way to sound objective Monty)
Conservative Leader John Tory said if the government finds itself in a conflict of interest investigating complaints like those prompted by Fantino’s email, the matter should be referred to the ombudsman.
“We have a government that wants to sweep this under the carpet,” “The concern now spreads beyond Fantino to concern about (Premier Dalton) McGuinty’s inability to adequately respond to these serious allegations.”