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SAMPLE INVESTIGATION RESULTS

• An updated municipal water connection FAIRNESS IN


information sheet for subdivision applicants.
• A business owner refunded $1,025 for a noise
LOCAL GOVERNMENT
infraction fine that was enforced without providing
her an opportunity to dispute the city’s inaccurate HOW TO REACH THE B.C. Ombudsperson | Local Government
information. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSPERSON
Complaint Guide
• A property misclassification corrected, allowing a
property owner to retain her outbuilding. HOW TO MAKE A COMPLAINT
• A property owner refunded $915 in cleanup fees
after by-law compliance orders sent by registered Toll Free: 1.800.567.3247
mail failed to provide her reasonable time to act. In Victoria: 250.387.5855 Works in the interests
• Improved access to the BC Transit handyDART ride Fax: 250.387.0198
of all British Columbians
service after a senior visiting a city for medical care
On-line: www.bcombudsperson.ca
was denied service.
By Mail:
• A water connection charge waived for a
homeowner who was denied the free municipal PO Box 9039 STN PROV GOVT, Victoria, BC V8W 9A5
water connection provided to his neighbours. Canada Acts independently
In Person: and impartially
Second Floor, 947 Fort Street, Victoria, BC Canada

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Assists in finding
fair resolutions
THE OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSPERSON WHAT IS ADMINISTRATIVE FAIRNESS? WHEN MIGHT I COMPLAIN?
The Ombudsperson is B.C.’s independent voice for At its heart, administrative fairness is the standard of You should first try to resolve your complaint
fairness. Our Office is responsible for providing conduct that all public authorities in a democratic directly with the local government before
oversight of the administrative actions of more than society owe to the people they serve and on whose coming to the Office of the Ombudsperson. If
2800 B.C. public authorities. We have been receiving behalf they act. you feel that you have been treated unfairly by
and investigating complaints about administrative Public authorities must treat people fairly and the local government and are not able to reach a
unfairness involving local governments since 1995. reasonably. While local governments do not have resolution, the Office of the Ombudsperson may
In addition to resolving individual problems, the to respond favourably to every request, they need be able to help.
investigation of any one complaint can lead to to be consistent in their decision making. Local
systemic improvements that benefit many people governments must apply rules even-handedly
and build public trust. and their policies and practices must be properly
TIPS FOR RESOLVING CONCERNS WITH
authorized and support program goals. A LOCAL GOVERNMENT:
• Get the names of the people you are dealing
WE ARE: The Office of the Ombudsperson has investigated
with.
• A statutory office with a legislated mandate from complaints about local government that involve,
the provincial legislature. among other issues, unreasonable delay, unfair • Keep track of the responses and documents
policies, and arbitrary decisions. you receive, including relevant dates.
• Independent of government and politicians.
• Keep copies of all relevant papers, letters and
• Responsible for ensuring that the administrative
other communication.
practices and services of public authorities are fair,
reasonable, appropriate and equitable. • Ask how and why an action was taken or a
• Impartial – we do not represent the interests of the “Thank you for all your hard work decision was made.
complainant or the public authority. and for such a positive outcome.” • Find out if there is a review or appeal process
• Confidential and free of charge. – Letter from complainant and pursue that process where possible.

ADEQUACY OF INFORMATION
POSSIBLE OUTCOMES:
BYLAW ENFORCEMENT
Local • New hearing or re-assessment.

Government
COMPLAINT • An apology.
OPEN DECISION MAKING
Complaints
• Reimbursement of expenses.
PUBLIC CONSULTATION • Improved policy or procedure.
COMPLAINT ASSESSMENT
• Better explanation of decision.
FEES & FINES
• Better service.
OTHER
Information Referrals Early Resolution Investigations
and Assistance