Today our Ontario Ombudsman declares that his “fair-play” organization can’t go where it wants when investigating complaints from the most vulnerable of our society, the “ill and aged”.
We have long endured massive and plentiful platitudes from Dalton McGuinty’s Government and now the non-elected Kathleen Wynne’s Government on how great Ontario is and how much it cares for it’s seniors and aging population.
If one was naive to believe any of this crap one would think they were living in Nirvana!
Exactly the opposite is true!
What is most terrifying in this day and age for senior citizens is when they start to have to depend on Government services for their very lives and well being. Why? Because the reality of aging is that basically you will be treated like a piece of bad meat ready for the compost heap of society when you become a “useless member of society”. Too harsh? Well, how could you prove it if an oversight agency like the Ombudsman wasn’t allowed to look inside the elder care facilities or any medical establishment to defray these “rumours”?
When a Government abuses the most vulnerable of their society and at the same time limits any investigation into that abuse then they just may qualify for an award from Joseph Stalin and his gang of gulag thugs, if he were alive today. He isn’t, but his nightmarish dreams live on………right inside our own Province!
André Marin, National Post | 13/07/16 | Last Updated: 13/07/15 3:42 PM ET
While other provincial ombudsmen dealt with systemic and individual problems in hospitals, we turned away 369 complaints. Only in Ontario are hospitals exempt from ombudsman scrutiny. TYLER BROWNBRIDGE / The Windsor Star
Mahatma Gandhi is often quoted as saying: “The true measure of a society is how it treats its most vulnerable members.” The quote has been attributed to many great thinkers beyond Gandhi, but it provides a useful test: By this measure, how is Ontario society faring in 2013?
In my work as Ontario’s ombudsman, I hear from thousands of vulnerable people when their public institutions fail them. Going by the nearly 20,000 complaints I received this past year, the news is not encouraging.
For example, few would dispute that prisoners, held at the mercy of their jailers, are among our most vulnerable. But my office’s investigation into the province’s correctional system revealed a dysfunctional and corrupt culture where correctional officers used sadistic force against inmates — sometimes when prisoners were already restrained — and conspired to cover it up by manufacturing and falsifying evidence.
We also found an outdated “suck-it-up” attitude within the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) towards officers suffering from operational stress injuries. Police, like soldiers and others whom society puts in harm’s way, are vulnerable to post-traumatic stress, suicide and other such problems. Our investigation roused the OPP leadership from its time warp and prompted it and government to do more to support those who serve and protect us.
At least we were able to look into these serious systemic issues for police and inmates. For patients in hospitals, residents of long-term care homes, and children and families involved with children’s aid societies, the news was worse.
While other provincial ombudsmen dealt with systemic and individual problems in hospitals, we turned away 369 complaints, because only in Ontario are hospitals barred from ombudsman scrutiny. In Ontario, the routine excuse to keep my office out is the network of some 100 “patient advocates” — including at the Ornge air ambulance service.
But “advocates” are not ombudsmen. They report to hospital management, with no power to investigate, no independence or power to report publicly. The top task listed in the job posting for Ornge’s advocate was to report “compliments and complaints.” This is hardly the description of an independent champion for the vulnerable, who wait in vain for hospital horrors to be investigated.