How to Complain to Ombudsman Ontario

Ombudsman Ontario investigates complaints about provincial government programs and services.

If Ombudsman Ontario finds a problem, Ombudsman Ontario can make recommendations to fix it. If the recommendations are not acted upon, he can report to the legislature.

If the treatment received by a provincial government program or service is unfair, illegal, unreasonable, mistaken or just plain wrong, that may be a complaint to Ombudsman Ontario .

When you have tried without success to fix your problem, call Ombudsman Ontario .

It is important to let the Ombudsman Office know how the treatment that you are complaining about has harmed you.

Complaints can be made by:

Telephone, TTY, cassette recording

These complaints should provide a brief summary of the cause of the complaint. It may be beneficial to rehearse the phone call, TTY call, or cassette recording beforehand to see how the complaint will sound.

Fax, e-mail

Written complaints should also provide a brief story of the cause of the complaint. Ombudsman Ontario has forms that can be completed to make a written complaint. A group could act as a central depot to collect forms and other written complaints and the supporting documentation.

In Person (for people whose first language is not English or French)

The Ombudsman's Office can set up an in-person appointment with an interpreter for people who prefer to make their complaint in a language other than English or French (including American Sign Language). To set up an in-person appointment, contact the Ombudsman's Office, briefly describe the complaint, and they will set up the appointment.

Group Complaints

A group could include a covering letter to draw on the themes and trends presented in the individual complaints. The group could request that a systemic review be launched. This type of a request could prompt a review of the facts by the Ombudsman's Office.

Additionally, a group or organization can also complain as an individual. For example, if as a service provider it is difficult to get through on the phone, the person is put on hold for an unreasonable length of time, or the phone rings once and cuts out, the service provider would record the date and time of these experienced difficulties. These lengthy wait times for the service provider on the telephone time drain the agency's resources. If this happens more that once, it can be the basis of a complaint to the Ombudsman's Office.

MPP and Lawyer Complaints

A Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) can put forward a complaint on behalf of a constituent. With a number of constituents having the same or similar complaints the MPP can also write a letter to point to the trends that run though the complaints of his/her constituents. The Ombudsman's Act* also allows lawyers to put forward a complaint on behalf of someone else.

The Facts: Things to Remember!


Keep records of the facts:

1/. People who have been contacted about the problem.

2/. Dates of contact with people and organizations.

3/. Papers and letters relating to the complaint.

Contact Information:

Ombudsman Ontario accepts complaints in English, French and other languages. Ombudsman Ontario can arrange for sign (ASL) and spoken language interpreters for service in other languages. All complaints are handled in the strictest confidence.

Ombudsman Ontario contact information

Access Centre

English 1-800-263-1830

French 1-800-387-2620

TTY 1-866-411-4211

Fax 1-866-863-2560


Website Ombudsman