The Prince Edward Island Ombudsman’s Office has released its first annual report, covering the first 14 months of its existence. The province was the last in the country without an ombudsman before Sandy Hermiston took office.
Between mid-February 2022 and the end of March 2023, the ombudsman’s office was contacted 151 times and received 64 complaints.
Building an office from scratch is very difficult. The aim was to find office space and hire qualified staffsays Sandy Hermiston in French.
It’s a lot of work to set up such an office.
Of the 64 complaints, the Ombudsman closed 44, including 11 that were resolved informally. Twelve led to investigations, 13 were rejected.
Sandy Hermiston also admits that part of her job is educating citizens about their roles and responsibilities.
We cannot force the government to do anything, we have the power to make recommendationsShe explains.
The report attempts to explain in detail the criteria for receiving and processing complaints.
Most of the complaints received concern correctional facilities, municipalities, the guardianship office and the healthcare system P.E.I
Sandy Hermiston points out that this is the case
Complaints against correctional facility over opioid replacement therapy which were most notable in the first months of their activity.
It also published a public inquiry report on the issue earlier this year to improve services for prisoners in need of care.
Other complaints concern very practical aspects of everyday life, such as the issuing of driving licenses by Accès P.E.I
The number of calls received by the Ombudsman continues to increase. While his office received 151 calls in its first 14 months of operation, that number increased to 192 in the first eight months of 2023.
That’s a good number, I’ve been waiting for itshe trusts.
The Ombudsman assures that the five employees of his office, including two investigators, are currently coping with the workload.
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