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. In 2014, she was honoured by the Law Society of Upper Canada with the prestigious Laura Legge Award, awarded to “a woman lawyer in Ontario who has exemplified leadership within the profession."
Ms. Opler began her legal career after earning a BA from McGill in 1982 and a LL.B. from the University of Toronto in 1985. During the first decade of her legal career, she worked as a litigation associate and partner at McCarthy Tétrault, and prosecuted criminal cases as an Assistant Crown Attorney while on leave from the firm for a year.
Beginning in 2001, she was a member, Senior Lawyer Member and Vice Chair of the Consent and Capacity Board, which reviews involuntary committal to Ontario’s psychiatric facilities. Ms. Opler chaired quasi-judicial hearings involving mental health and substitute decision-making and was a key leader in the Board’s administration, designing and overseeing its community outreach and the 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, where she presided over hearings into the professional conduct of both lawyers and paralegals. She was actively involved in mediation and case management there, and played a critical role in significantly reducing the overall number of hearing days.
Ms. Opler has 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. Over more than a decade, she has taught adjudicators, justices of the peace, judges and other decision-makers, both in Canada and internationally.
Kwame Addo, Director, Investigations and 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.