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For the Public
Can we investigate?

Can we investigate your complaint?

The Ombudsperson can investigate a wide range of provincial and local government organizations, including:

  • Provincial Ministries
  • Crown Corporations
  • Health Authorities and Hospitals
  • Boards, Commissions and Tribunals
  • Public Schools, Universities and Colleges
  • Local Government bodies (including Municipalities and Regional Districts)
  • Organizations that regulate professions

There are some government organizations we can’t investigate, and other organizations that work with government programs that we may or may not be able to help with.

If we can’t investigate, we can generally tell you who else you can go to for help, so you can always contact us for help if you aren’t sure where to go.

Some examples of things we can’t investigate include:

  • Federal government or programs in other provinces
  • BC Ferries
  • Police
  • Courts and Judges
  • Decisions about criminal prosecutions
  • Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy

We also can’t investigate concerns about the creation of new programs or provincial legislation, or other matters of general policy. The Ombudsperson’s role is to investigate whether government programs are fairly administered in terms of how they directly impact individuals – not whether a program should or should not exist.

Not sure if we can investigate your complaint? Contact us!

Complaint Checker - Where can I go?

Our Complaint Checker can give you specific information about the organizations we hear about more often — including whether we can or can’t investigate. We can’t cover every organization under our jurisdiction in detail (there are well over 1,000!) but the Complaint Checker includes information for over 70% of the complaints and inquiries we receive.

The Complaint Checker will also tell you about where else you can go to raise your concerns about those organizations. If the organization is in our jurisdiction, we will usually ask you to try to resolve your issue with them first. If that’s not possible for you given your circumstances, we want you to contact us.

Some people also need different kinds of help to support them in dealing with government organizations. We can’t give you legal advice, represent you, or advocate for you but we can sometimes help you find someone in your community who can. Click here for more information.

If you don’t see the organization you’re looking for in the Complaint Checker, it doesn’t mean we can’t investigate or help. Contact us directly about your concerns to find out how we can help you.

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