Release of the Ombudsman de Montréal 2012 Annual Report - 15% increase in the number of files

MONTREAL, March 20, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - It is under the theme In a resolution mode!  that the Ombudsman of Ville de Montréal, Ms. Johanne Savard, released  her 2012 Annual Report.  With this report, the Ombudsman de Montréal also celebrates the 10th anniversary of this office.

In 2012, the Ombudsman's office processed 1577 complaints including 1542 new requests: that is 208 more than in 2011 (+15%).

"Citizens are more and more critical of their public administrations and of the quality of the services they provide.  In times like now where citizens' trust towards these institutions is shaken, the existence of an office like ours, within Ville de Montréal, is more relevant than ever." notes the ombudsman, Ms. Johanne Savard.

The Ombudsman de Montréal intervenes as a last resort, to ensure that the municipal rights of citizens are respected and that their files and requests are processed with respect, justice and equity by all municipal entities. This service, which is completely free, contributes greatly to the improvement of participatory democracy processes as well as to those of ethics, justice and equity, within Ville de Montréal.

The Ombudsman also provides the only recourse available to ensure the respect of the Montréal Charter of Rights and Responsibilities by City managers and employees as well as by elected officials.

Of the 238 thorough investigations conducted in 2012, 203 related to new complaints whereas 35 regarded files opened prior to 2012. 93 of these investigations were concerning the Montréal Charter of Rights and Responsibilities.

The average processing time of these 2012 files was of 5.67 working days. Furthermore, the investigations that were completed in these files had an average processing time of 32.97 working days.

Main topics of complaints
The most frequent topics of complaints are: the functioning of Cour municipale de Montréal (113 complaints/26 investigations), social housing (84 complaints/14 investigations), the behaviour of a municipal employee (72 complaints/3 investigations), and parking/vignettes (67 complaints/12 investigations).

The healthiness of dwellings, in low rent housing and in private buildings, is also a topic which the ombudsman handles more frequently.  In some instances, the health of tenants had been affected and the Direction de la santé publique de Montréal (DSP) had issued recommendations requiring certain decontamination work and sometimes even, the evacuation of occupants.

Me Savard explains: "We noticed that when the DSP informs a borough of a healthiness issue in a dwelling, the City's response and follow-ups are quite variable, from one Borough to another: we found that some intervene promptly while others react more timidly."

Departments most often targeted by a complaint are the Cour municipale de Montréal (142 complaints), the Direction des opérations policières (SPVM) (68 complaints), and the Direction des affaires civiles (63 complaints).  As for paramunicipals and City-related organizations : the Office municipal d'habitation de Montréal (OMHM) (99 complaints), the Société de transport de Montréal (15 complaints) and the Société d'habitation et de développement de Montréal (SHDM) (13 complaints).

The boroughs in which the Ombudsman's team intervened the most, in 2012, were : Le Plateau-Mont-Royal (104 complaints), Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (64 complaints), Ville-Marie (62 complaints), Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie (57 complaints) and Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve (52 complaints).

Ms. Savard reminds us, however, that ''A high number of complaints do not necessarily mean that this entity has a management problem.  In some cases, its inherent characteristics or the specificity of its clientele can make a Borough, a Department or another entity more likely to generate complaints.''

Plaintiffs' profiles
In 2012, men solicited the Ombudsman de Montréal slightly more often than women, in a proportion of 53.58%. French largely dominated as the language of correspondence (81.37%).

Social media
In order to reach more citizens, the Ombudsman joined the era of social media, namely via the new blog she publishes on her Web site ombudsmandemontreal.com. The Ombudsman de Montréal is also on Twitter and Facebook.

"With these popular and interactive communication tools, we hope to reach more citizens and to increase the public's awareness of our office", declared Me Savard.

10th anniversary
The Ombudsman de Montréal celebrates its 10th anniversary. More than ever In a Resolution mode! The Ombudsman's team receives approximately 1250 - 1500 new complaints yearly. Over a decade, they have processed more than 10 000 complaints and conducted more than 2000 thorough investigations over this first decade.

A Complaint Form and the 2012 Ombudsman's Annual Report are available on her Web site ombudsmandemontréal.com.

SOURCE: OMBUDSMAN DE MONTREAL

For further information:

Pierre Tessier
514 849-4554 ou (Cellulaire) 514 233-1636
pierre.tessier@cominfrarouge.com


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