Our team members come from a variety of professional and personal backgrounds, many from legal organizations and public service. All are committed to the work of Ombudsman Toronto.
Susan E. Opler, Ombudsman
Susan Opler brings the skills of an experienced lawyer, adjudicator, mediator and educator to her role as Toronto's Ombudsman. In 2014, she was honoured by the Law Society of Upper Canada with the Laura Legge Award, awarded annually to “a woman lawyer in Ontario who has exemplified leadership within the profession."
Ms. Opler holds a BA from McGill ('82) and a LL.B. from the University of Toronto ('85). During the first decade of her legal career, she worked as a litigation associate and then partner at McCarthy Tétrault and prosecuted criminal cases as an Assistant Crown Attorney while on leave from her firm for one year.
Beginning in 2001, Ms. Opler was a member, Senior Lawyer Member and Vice Chair of the Consent and Capacity Board (CCB), the body that reviews involuntary committal to Ontario’s psychiatric facilities. She chaired quasi-judicial hearings involving mental health and substitute decision-making and was a key leader of the CCB, designing and overseeing stakeholder outreach and the recruitment, training and evaluation of members. Starting in 2013, Ms. Opler also served as an adjudicator on the Hearings and Appeals Divisions of the Law Society Tribunal, presiding over hearings and writing decisions about the professional conduct and capacity of lawyers and paralegals. A trained and experienced mediator, she was actively involved in case management on both tribunals.
Ms. Opler taught trial advocacy at both the University of Toronto and Osgoode Hall Law Schools. A recognized expert in teaching adjudication skills, she was a lead instructor with the Society of Ontario Adjudicators and Regulators and Osgoode Professional Development for over a decade. She has taught adjudicators, justices of the peace, judges and other decision-makers, both in Canada and internationally.
Active in her community, Ms Opler served on the Board of Directors of UTS (University of Toronto Schools) and on the Research Ethics Board of Sick Kids’ Hospital.
Kwame Addo, Director, Investigations & Conflict Resolution
Kwame Addo has spent the last 25 years successfully conducting and managing administrative investigations, through his work at Ombudsman Toronto and before that, at Ombudsman Ontario.
One of the original members of the Ombudsman Toronto team, Mr. Addo has held the position of Director, Investigations and Conflict Resolution since the office opened in February 2009. As Director, he manages a team of seven, responsible for receiving and resolving complaints about City administration, and for conducting Enquiries and Investigations.
Before joining Ombudsman Toronto, Mr. Addo worked for 18 years as an investigator at Ombudsman Ontario, spending his last three and half years as a member of the Special Ombudsman Response Team (SORT). With SORT, he led a number of systemic investigations, including those involving newborn screening and the Special Investigations Unit.
Active in the administrative law/ombudsman community, Mr. Addo sits on the Board of the Society of Ontario Adjudicators and Regulators, and on its Education sub-committee. He is also a member of the Advisory Committee for the Humber College Alternative Dispute Resolution Program and has been a lecturer in the Osgoode/Forum of Canadian Ombudsman Essentials Certificate course.