Statement from Ombudsman Susan E. Opler

23 April 2020

It has been one month since Mayor Tory declared an Emergency in Toronto.

The past weeks have been anything but usual. However, we have all seen and benefitted from the heroic response of Toronto’s public servants to the COVID-19 crisis. They have worked tirelessly to provide critical and essential services to everyone in Toronto, particularly to our most vulnerable. Like so many others, I am sincerely grateful for their efforts.

During this period, my office has continued its vital work of monitoring the City’s administration. We work to ensure the key principles of good public administration, including fairness, transparency and accountability, are the guiding values in how our City serves its people. Although the COVID-19 crisis has altered the landscape of our work, it has only underscored the importance of local government, of public service more broadly, and of fairness, equity and respect for all.

This spring, we have had the chance to see our public service in action and at its best. But we have also seen more clearly the disparities and inequities in our city, which this crisis has magnified.

My team and I are committed to ensuring that the City of Toronto government treats all people fairly and equitably. In these times, fairness in City services is more important than ever. The value of  transparency, good communication, empathy, and openness cannot be overstated.

Ombudsman Toronto is the people’s voice for fairness at the City of Toronto. Our staff remains fully accessible: we can be reached by phone, email, fax, mail, or through the online form on our website. If you have complaints or concerns about the City of Toronto’s services or administration, please contact us.

Sincerely,
 
Susan E. Opler
Ombudsman