July 23, 2018

Ten-year high for complaints and enquiries to B.C. Ombudsperson about provincial and local governments

B.C. Ombudsperson Jay Chalke released his office’s 2017/18 Annual Report today highlighting that the public is contacting the office more frequently than any year in the last decade.

“This 10-year high is both positive and negative,” said Chalke. “It’s great that people know we are here to receive and investigate concerns about fair and reasonable treatment by provincial and local governments. However, it also signals that there is still lots of work to be done until public bodies in the province are treating all people fairly.”

The office received 8,400 complaints and enquiries last year, the highest number in the past decade. Complaints were about a wide range of public bodies with the highest number of complaints being about two government ministries that provide service to vulnerable people; the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction and the Ministry of Children and Family Development.

Key statistical highlights from the 2017/18 Annual Report include:

  • 376 complaints came from health authorities, the top non-ministry complaint category. Among the health authorities, Island Health had the most complaints (89)
  • Other top non-ministry complaints include those about ICBC (325), the Workers’ Compensation Board (182) and BC Hydro (155)
  • The Office received 680 complaints about local governments. The top three areas of complaints related to bylaw enforcement, developing/zoning and municipal fees and charges
  • Most complaints (1940) came from the Lower Mainland

View the Office of the Ombudsperson’s 2017/18 Annual Report at https://bcombudsperson.ca/resources/annual-reports.