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.
Luke Brown, Interim Director
Luke Brown is a lawyer by training with a degree in biochemical engineering. He has represented low income clients at a Toronto community legal clinic and has engaged in state accountability and good governance work in West Africa, the Philippines, and in Ontario with the Ontario Ombudsman's Office. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering Science Degree from Western University and an LL.B and a Bachelor of Civil Law from McGill University. For the past four years, he has worked as an investigator with Ombudsman Toronto.
As Interim Director, Luke leads our team of Complaints Analysts and Investigators, responsible for receiving and resolving complaints about City administration and for conducting Enquiries and Investigations.