20140808 UPDATE

Report on Establishing an Office of the Ombudsman for the Northwest Territories http://ow.ly/A7DUa

June 25, 2014 – GNWT Committee Releases Report Calling for Ombudsman in the NWT
“…CBC Northbeat

RANDY HENDERSON, CBC: There are renewed calls for an ombudsman in the Northwest Territories tonight. It’s one of only three regions in Canada without an ombudsman. Now a legislative committee has released a report detailing what the office would do and why it’s time the territory get one. Erin Brohman reports.

 BROHMAN: Once crippled by a spinal injury, Emily Lawson now commutes by bike. It took a lengthy human rights battle to get the medication she needed. She says an ombudsman would have saved her years of trouble.

 LAWSON: Just being able to call an ombudsman and say hey, this is really my issue and have someone do the research for you makes a lot of sense, but the second part of making sure that government policy presses up against the charter is really critical….”

“Establishing an Office of the Ombudsman for the Northwest Territories – Standing Committee on Government Operations 17 th Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories June 2014”

N.W.T. MLA calls for territorial ombudsman
“…”There are times when a resident, rightly or wrongly, feels that they have been treated unjustly or without fairness,” said Bisaro. “In most cases they have no option for appeal. Some organizations do have a complaints process, we do have some appeals within our own government organization. But if you lose on that front, there is absolutely no other option to appeal, except to go to court. Court is not a viable option for many people.”

Most members backed Bisaro’s motion, although Nahendeh MLA Kevin Menicoche was not in favour….”
 Last Updated: Jun 11, 2012 8:44 AM CT

Original Entry….

“…Currently, most, if not all departments of the GNWT handle citizen appeals of departmental decisions internally. This can create distrust in the appeals process. An Ombudsman would allow citizens to appeal to an independent third party once other appeal avenues have been exhausted. Not only does the Ombudsman Office assist in appeals, it also provides oversight of governmental affairs. Examples of this oversight are examining new and existing policies and ensuring they are fair and not misleading. It should also be noted that any Ombudsman decisions are NOT always binding. However, history has shown that provinces generally follow Ombudsman rulings and recommendations. The above noted duties of an Ombudsman is not exhaustive. For more information on Ombudsman, please visit 

In March 2013, by Motion of the Legislative Assembly, the potential role of an Ombudsman and option for implementing such an office, was referred to the Standing Committee on Government Operations for research, review, and analysis.

Please note that only Residents who have reached the age of majority in the NWT can sign this petition….”

The NWT needs an ombudsman‘s office to fill gaps in the system, Member’s statement by Wendy Bisaro, MLA for Frame Lake, Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

Oral question – NWT ombudsman Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

George Lessard

George Lessard

George has worked in Northern media and the education sector while living in Salluit, Nunavik (Arctic Quebec), Arviat, (Nunavut); Inuvik, Forth Smith and Yellowknife (Northwest Territories) since 1982...