Saturday, August 20, 2016


Interesting! I determined the title just prior to checking on Woolwich Township's website to confirm that I'm on the Agenda for this coming Tuesday's Council meeting. There I spotted a Presentation titled "Rick Russell, Agree Inc.- Waterloo Area Ombudsman Services". Well, well, well. Perhaps this explains the Ombudsman's kind words to Woolwich Township regarding one of their more recent public screw ups. Or in the alternative maybe the Ombudsman's Decision that Woolwich didn't break the law (Municipal Act) this time around is accurate, albeit a technicality. Hard to say.

A while back I had heard that Waterloo Region were considering an alternative to the use of the provincial Ombudsman. As this alternative would be a private service paid for directly by either the Region and or member municipalities it would have to offer something superior to the provincial Ombudsman in order for the cities and townships to be willing to pay for what currently is free to them. The only thing that I can think of that would be superior is if the final Decisions reflected a more flexible, sympathetic approach to municipal sensitivities and concerns. Somewhat secondly the provincial Ombudsman prefers complainants to have gone through municipal internal complaints processes prior to bringing their cases to them. Thus for a small fee municipalities can manage to double up or even triple up on the number of phone calls, e-mails and general coorespondence necessary for a citizen to hold them accountable to the provincial Municipal Act. Hence I would certainly expect less honest and ethical municipal councillors to support this initiative and simply once again pass the extra costs along to the taxpayers. What a great game when politicians can further cover their asses and do it at the taxpayers expense.

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