Ombudsman History in Ontario
The Office of the Ombudsman was established by the Ontario legislature in 1975. Arthur Maloney was sworn in as the province’s first Ombudsman in October of that year, following passage of the Ombudsman Act.
There had been various attempts to persuade government to introduce such legislation dating from as early as 1962. In 1965, Vernon Singer, MPP for Downsview, introduced a private member’s bill calling for the appointment of a “Parliamentary Commissioner” to investigate administrative decisions and acts of officials of the provincial government and its agencies. Mr. Singer continued to introduce this bill for the next ten consecutive sessions of the legislature.
During this time, six other provincial governments created ombudsman offices: Alberta and New Brunswick (1967), Quebec (1968), Manitoba and Nova Scotia (1970) and Saskatchewan (1972). In March 1975, the Ontario government’s Speech from the Throne promised the introduction of legislation to create an Ombudsman. Since Mr. Maloney’s appointment, five others have held the office.