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In many organizations, an Annual Report is a showcase of numbers, an illustrated balance sheet that carefully quantifies success, growth and value. Education — Early Years Through Grade Cases Received About Municipalities, Although we gather and report many statistics, our work is fundamentally about brokering human solutions to human problems.

We hear from tens of thousands of people each year — 21, in fiscal Many are frustrated with those they perceive as faceless bureaucrats — public sector officials who they feel have failed them in some way, usually by applying a rule, correctly or incorrectly.

We help them resolve their issues by connecting them with the right public servants, most of whom welcome the opportunity to break a systemic logjam or find an innovative solution to a well-worn complaint. Most often, we find the problems we uncover are the result of rules that need to be reviewed and improved, rather than that of uncaring officials.

How do you measure the value of these interactions? In fact, those with the most impact were many years in the making. Most people know that an Ombudsman is not a lawmaker; an Ombudsman can only make recommendations.

We do so based on the evidence of our investigations, and in the public interest. But our recommendations are almost always accepted — and when the government enacts them into law, they can bring enormous, lasting benefits to millions.

This past year alone, three major pieces of legislation were passed by the government that demonstrate precisely how our Office functions as an effective agent of positive change — by making sensible, evidence-based recommendations, and diligently following up on them.

All three of these new laws incorporate recommendations that I made in reports and multiple submissions over the past two years, several of them building on a decade of work by this Office:.

It also finally bolsters the Special Investigations Unit through standalone legislation, as this Office first recommended in The Correctional Services Transformation Act, , passed in May , will indeed transform many aspects of how the province places and tracks inmates in segregation, or solitary confinement. This reflects my recommendations from our investigation last year, sparked by the case of a man who was in segregation for more than four years — but it also builds on years of work by our staff, who continue to flag urgent matters involving vulnerable inmates to the leadership of the correctional system.

The changes they bring incorporate much of what we have called for in the two years since we were given full jurisdiction over municipalities, such as mandatory codes of conduct and access to integrity commissioners in all municipalities. Of course, the enactment of new legislation is far from the end of the story; the key to its effectiveness is in how well it is administered, and that is where our Office provides additional value.

Only independent oversight can provide impartial evaluation of whether these new laws fulfill their promise and affect Ontarians fairly and equitably. If they do not, we will be there to address the complaints when they arise and propose constructive solutions. In a similar vein, we continue to see slow but steady progress in response to our report on services for adults with developmental disabilities who are in crisis, Nowhere to Turn.

The problems in the developmental services sector are complex and often heart-wrenching, and took years to document; I appreciate that it will take time for the Ministry of Community and Social Services to implement all 60 of my recommendations as well.

We continue to assist people with complaints in this area, and to work with the Ministry. Thus far, although I have some concerns about the lack of detail the Ministry has provided publicly about its actions to date, I am encouraged by its efforts, as well as additional investments in services in this sector. I often remind the organizations we oversee that complaints are a good thing — they represent feedback from the people they serve and an opportunity to do better. A surge of complaints can clearly signal a problem, which is why our Office monitors and reports on complaint trends throughout this report.

A complaint trend, be it sudden or slow-growing, can also spark an investigation. Such was the case with our ongoing investigation into driver licence suspensions by the Ministry of Transportation, which in turn has led to an increase in complaints for that ministry. But our numbers also demonstrate that complaint volume alone is not the whole story. In the two fiscal years since we were given full oversight of municipalities, we received 5, complaints, but only resorted to formal investigations in 5 cases.

Most complaints are resolved through behind-the-scenes work, pointing people in the right direction, and suggesting best practices. Complaints about correctional facilities — already our top source of complaints — grew to 5, in , in part because we took a new approach to counting complaints that arise from inmates about the same issue at the same time. Meanwhile, complaints in several areas have declined.

Does that mean those organizations are doing better? Complaints about the FRO remain high, but its efforts to improve customer service and learn from concerns raised are encouraging. Shifts in complaint numbers about municipalities also suggest a bigger story: General complaints declined slightly, but are about a wider range of more complex issues — with a smaller proportion relating to councils themselves.

Similarly, complaints about closed municipal meetings continued to decline, although a higher proportion of the meetings we investigated turned out to be illegal. This tells me that our work with municipal stakeholders — building relationships with them as we share our expertise in resolving issues and promoting fairness and accountability — is paying dividends. As more municipalities have engaged their own integrity commissioners and developed local accountability mechanisms, fewer people will look to our Office to police the conduct of locally elected officials — something that has never been our role.

Ultimately, the best measure of our work is the people we have helped, which is why we share their stories protecting their confidentiality, as always throughout this report. There is also a human story to tell within our own Office, as we continue to build our team in conjunction with our expanded jurisdiction the number of public sector bodies we oversee more than doubled in , to more than 1, As we grow, we are not only maintaining our high professional standards, but also fostering a culture of teamwork based upon a shared passion for fairness and good governance.

I am privileged to work with such a team, and to have the opportunity, in my work with ombudsman organizations from across North America and around the world, to see how our influence is felt outside of Ontario. These exchanges make us better at what we do, thereby enabling us to enhance the benefits we provide for the people and public sector institutions of Ontario. The Ontario Ombudsman promotes fairness, accountability and transparency in the public sector by resolving and investigating public complaints and systemic issues within his jurisdiction.

According to the International Ombudsman Institute, of which our Office is a member, more than countries have independent ombudsman offices, at the local, regional and national levels. The IOI promotes the development of ombudsman institutions around the world as important to democratic oversight, and supports them through research, training and information exchange.

You bridge the gaps between citizens and institutions. You champion responsiveness and transparency. You are appointed by those in power to serve those who feel powerless. It takes a fearless and tenacious spirit to speak truth to power. We strive to be an agent of positive change by promoting fairness, accountability and transparency in the public sector. Per the Ombudsman Act , complaints to our Office are confidential and investigations are conducted in private.

Our services are also free of charge. One of the ways I do this is by publishing reports like this one, in which I document the commitment of public sector officials to act on my proposals, and follow up on them with public updates on their progress, usually in my Annual Report. We are uniquely positioned to be able to inform public sector bodies on how well the changes are working.

Complaint intake, triage, referrals, issue identification and analysis, research and complaint resolutions. Individual investigations, proactive work, complex complaint resolutions, identification of trends and systemic issues. Reports and publications, website, media relations, social media, video, presentations and outreach activities.

We receive thousands of complaints about public sector bodies every year, almost all of which we are able to resolve without need for a formal investigation. The Ombudsman is an office of last resort. If you have not already tried to resolve your issue with existing mechanisms, we will refer you to the appropriate officials. If you have tried other avenues and were not satisfied, we can review those processes.

We resolve most cases without need for a formal investigation, but the Ombudsman can decide to conduct a formal investigation if he determines it is warranted, and it is within his jurisdiction. You made a big impact on my life. Help you connect with the appropriate officials, if you have not already tried to resolve your complaint.

Navigate the bureaucracy to find a resolution, if your efforts to do so have failed, and the matter is within our jurisdiction. Attempt to resolve your problem through communication with the organization s involved, if the matter is within our jurisdiction. Investigate complaints within the jurisdiction of other watchdogs, e. No problem — we also handle inquiries. Our staff can answer general questions or point you in the right direction. We take complaints via the complaint form on our website, by email, phone or letter, or in person.

Our staff will contact you for more details if necessary. We will not divulge your name or information to anyone without your consent, and there is no charge for our services.

If your complaint is not about an Ontario government or broader public sector body within our mandate, we will refer it accordingly. We always seek to resolve complaints at the lowest level possible. To do so, we often make informal inquiries and requests for information with the relevant bodies, for example, to learn more about their processes and policies.

If we are unable to resolve the matter informally, the Ombudsman may decide to conduct an investigation. The public sector body is formally notified, and we may conduct interviews and request documents and any other relevant evidence. If the Ombudsman determines that there is a potential systemic issue underlying the complaints, he may decide to launch a systemic investigation.

The Ombudsman provides the results of all formal investigations to the organization in question for a response before they are finalized. Copies are also available from our Office. We communicate the outcome of individual investigations and most reviews and informal resolutions to complainants and the relevant public sector bodies, as warranted. Summaries of many such cases are published in our Annual Reports and other communications. Our Office oversees more than 1, public sector bodies, comprising more than Ontario government ministries, programs, agencies, boards, commissions, corporations and tribunals, as well as municipalities, 72 school boards and 10 school authorities, and 21 universities.

This report is organized by topic area, rather than by government ministry or agency, arranged by case volume, as shown in the accompanying chart: Each topic chapter discusses the main complaint trends and significant cases of the past year.

A breakdown of complaints by ministry, program, municipality, etc. Within each topic area, the most common complaint — by far — is service delivery.

Here are the 10 most common types of complaints we receive. Training and consultation with representatives from 5 provinces and 8 countries. Year after year, this is the largest category of complaints to the Ombudsman. In fiscal , it was also the area most dramatically affected by legislative change. Two new laws — the Safer Ontario Act, passed in March , and the Correctional Services Transformation Act, passed in May , propose significant reforms to policing and correctional services, respectively.

Both also reflect longstanding Ombudsman recommendations to improve oversight and governance of these areas, for the benefit of those who work in and are affected by policing and correctional services. Although our Office has never had direct oversight of policing operations or the courts, our jurisdiction over the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services and the Ministry of the Attorney General has enabled us to contribute to important reforms in police training, civilian oversight of and support services for police, as well as improvements to Legal Aid Ontario.

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You are appointed by those in power to serve those who feel powerless. It takes a fearless and tenacious spirit to speak truth to power. We strive to be an agent of positive change by promoting fairness, accountability and transparency in the public sector. Per the Ombudsman Act , complaints to our Office are confidential and investigations are conducted in private.

Our services are also free of charge. One of the ways I do this is by publishing reports like this one, in which I document the commitment of public sector officials to act on my proposals, and follow up on them with public updates on their progress, usually in my Annual Report.

We are uniquely positioned to be able to inform public sector bodies on how well the changes are working. Complaint intake, triage, referrals, issue identification and analysis, research and complaint resolutions.

Individual investigations, proactive work, complex complaint resolutions, identification of trends and systemic issues. Reports and publications, website, media relations, social media, video, presentations and outreach activities. We receive thousands of complaints about public sector bodies every year, almost all of which we are able to resolve without need for a formal investigation. The Ombudsman is an office of last resort.

If you have not already tried to resolve your issue with existing mechanisms, we will refer you to the appropriate officials. If you have tried other avenues and were not satisfied, we can review those processes.

We resolve most cases without need for a formal investigation, but the Ombudsman can decide to conduct a formal investigation if he determines it is warranted, and it is within his jurisdiction. You made a big impact on my life. Help you connect with the appropriate officials, if you have not already tried to resolve your complaint.

Navigate the bureaucracy to find a resolution, if your efforts to do so have failed, and the matter is within our jurisdiction. Attempt to resolve your problem through communication with the organization s involved, if the matter is within our jurisdiction. Investigate complaints within the jurisdiction of other watchdogs, e. No problem — we also handle inquiries. Our staff can answer general questions or point you in the right direction.

We take complaints via the complaint form on our website, by email, phone or letter, or in person. Our staff will contact you for more details if necessary. We will not divulge your name or information to anyone without your consent, and there is no charge for our services. If your complaint is not about an Ontario government or broader public sector body within our mandate, we will refer it accordingly. We always seek to resolve complaints at the lowest level possible. To do so, we often make informal inquiries and requests for information with the relevant bodies, for example, to learn more about their processes and policies.

If we are unable to resolve the matter informally, the Ombudsman may decide to conduct an investigation. The public sector body is formally notified, and we may conduct interviews and request documents and any other relevant evidence.

If the Ombudsman determines that there is a potential systemic issue underlying the complaints, he may decide to launch a systemic investigation. The Ombudsman provides the results of all formal investigations to the organization in question for a response before they are finalized. Copies are also available from our Office. We communicate the outcome of individual investigations and most reviews and informal resolutions to complainants and the relevant public sector bodies, as warranted.

Summaries of many such cases are published in our Annual Reports and other communications. Our Office oversees more than 1, public sector bodies, comprising more than Ontario government ministries, programs, agencies, boards, commissions, corporations and tribunals, as well as municipalities, 72 school boards and 10 school authorities, and 21 universities.

This report is organized by topic area, rather than by government ministry or agency, arranged by case volume, as shown in the accompanying chart: Each topic chapter discusses the main complaint trends and significant cases of the past year. A breakdown of complaints by ministry, program, municipality, etc. Within each topic area, the most common complaint — by far — is service delivery. Here are the 10 most common types of complaints we receive.

Training and consultation with representatives from 5 provinces and 8 countries. Year after year, this is the largest category of complaints to the Ombudsman. In fiscal , it was also the area most dramatically affected by legislative change.

Two new laws — the Safer Ontario Act, passed in March , and the Correctional Services Transformation Act, passed in May , propose significant reforms to policing and correctional services, respectively.

Both also reflect longstanding Ombudsman recommendations to improve oversight and governance of these areas, for the benefit of those who work in and are affected by policing and correctional services. Although our Office has never had direct oversight of policing operations or the courts, our jurisdiction over the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services and the Ministry of the Attorney General has enabled us to contribute to important reforms in police training, civilian oversight of and support services for police, as well as improvements to Legal Aid Ontario.

The Ombudsman and staff visited several of these in , and plan to see many more firsthand in Until the new Act is in effect, we only have oversight of the SIU, and must turn away complaints about the other bodies. In , we received 8 complaints about the SIU and 31 about the OIPRD; the latter were referred back to the organization or elsewhere, as warranted. This change will provide more Ontarians with recourse to the Ombudsman for issues relating to civilian oversight of police, although municipal police services and most policing operations of the Ontario Provincial Police remain outside of our jurisdiction we oversee some of the administrative functions of the OPP.

In , we received complaints about municipal police, and about the OPP, which were resolved through referrals to local officials or the OIPRD wherever possible. The recommendations specified that this regulation and a new use-of-force model for police training across the province be in place within a year.

In August , the Ministry provided us with a detailed report on academic research it had undertaken in order to develop new de-escalation training. In October , the Ombudsman advised the Deputy Minister that he was disappointed with the limited scope of progress on the issue.

The Ombudsman also made a submission to the Standing Committee on Justice Policy as it made final amendments to Bill , the Safer Ontario Act, , urging them to include de-escalation training in the bill. The Ministry advised us that its work on standards to be built into the Ontario Police College curriculum would be completed by July The Ministry has assured the Ombudsman that it is committed to all of the recommendations, which also include such things as conducting research on body-worn video cameras for police.

Oversight Unseen and Oversight Undermined , released and The Ombudsman reiterated these recommendations to the Ministry throughout the development of the new Safer Ontario Act, , in submissions to the independent review conducted by Justice Michael Tulloch and, subsequently, the legislative committee that reviewed the former Bill before it became law.

These key changes were included in the new Act. Our Office will monitor any issues that emerge from new complaints about the SIU or the administration of the new Act. Correctional facilities traditionally generate more complaints to our Office than any other aspect of the Ontario public sector; understandably so, given the control they exert over the lives of those housed in them.

Complaints that are best handled at the institutional level are referred to the appropriate officials. This wording will enable and reinforce the problem the section was intended to remedy. It is also reflective of the fact that we continue to see many group complaints from inmates about common significant issues, such as access to health care, overcrowding of facilities and frequent lockdowns.

As of this year, complaints from several inmates about the same issue in the same institution are counted individually, just as they would be if several people complained about the same concern with any other public sector body. There were approximately such complaints, meaning that the overall increase this year over last is actually about This is consistent with our complaint totals for correctional facilities in the past five years.

Ombudsman staff meet regularly with senior Ministry officials and correctional facility officials to discuss complaint trends, individual cases involving serious impact on inmates, and possible systemic issues. These discussions help resolve cases quickly and efficiently, and enable officials at the facilities to take proactive measures to avert future complaints.

We also received 15 complaints about youth custody facilities, down from 20 in , which were referred to the appropriate officials.

These observational visits provided the Ombudsman and staff a chance to see the infrastructure and conditions of confinement at these institutions firsthand, and to speak directly with correctional staff, Ministry staff, and inmates.

Among the serious, systemic issues we have flagged to the Ministry in recent years are the use of force by correctional officers and the use and tracking of segregation placements of inmates. In both cases, the Ombudsman launched formal investigations into these issues, and the Ministry accepted all of the resulting recommendations.

The new Correctional Services Transformation Act, 8 will profoundly affect correctional services when it comes into force, particularly segregation placements. More information about these matters can be found under Investigations. Health care continues to be the most common type of complaint from inmates, representing more than half of the complaints we receive about correctional facilities.

Most relate to problems or delays in receiving medication or treatment, and lack of access to doctors or dental care. For example, an inmate who was scheduled to have his left foot amputated due to infection complained to us that the infection had spread to his upper leg and the correctional facility was not responding to his concerns. After our staff made inquiries, the man was sent to hospital, where a doctor confirmed and treated the secondary infection.

A woman who had been on methadone prior to being incarcerated complained to us that the dose she was receiving in jail was too low. When we asked health care staff at the correctional facility to double-check her dose with her usual pharmacy, they confirmed they had made an error and corrected her dose. We also helped an year-old inmate with diabetes who complained that his blood sugar levels were too high and health care staff at his correctional facility would not adjust his medication.

As we reported last year, the Ministry began handling incidents of inmates assaulting one another differently in December — directing facilities to complete a local investigation report whenever such an assault results in serious injury. We received 64 complaints about inmate-on-inmate assaults this fiscal year, compared with 63 in We followed up on one case where a man was assaulted by his cellmate and had to be taken to hospital for injuries to his left eye.

As a result, the Ministry reminded all regional offices and facilities of their obligations to complete local investigation reports in accordance with policy requirements. A lockdown occurs when all inmates in a correctional unit, or even the entire facility, are confined to their cells. During lockdowns, inmates are generally unable to use common areas, phones or showers, participate in programs, or receive visitors — and they can last for days or sometimes weeks.

Lockdowns are commonly the result of staff shortages, but can also occur for other reasons, such as security concerns or medical quarantine. We received complaints about lockdowns in — a significant number that reflects multiple complaints from inmates at the same facilities complaining at the same time.

The facility was releasing small groups of inmates from lockdown in rotating shifts to protect their safety, while still giving all an opportunity to leave their cells. At another facility, many inmates complained about being on lockdown for five weeks. Our staff made inquiries to ensure the lockdown was being tracked and reported as required; we were told it occurred initially because of a search for weapons, and then because of staff shortages.

When we inquired with a facility where 37 inmates complained about lockdowns, overcrowding, infrequent bedding and clothing changes, overcrowding and bedbugs, facility staff confirmed that the lockdowns were due to staffing issues and searches, but that two visits by a pest control company had found no evidence of bedbugs.

In December , the Ombudsman launched a systemic investigation into the tracking of inmates who are placed in solitary confinement, officially known as segregation. The Ministry accepted all 32 of his recommendations, including that it report back to our Office on its progress in implementing them. In November , the Ministry reported that 4 recommendations were fully implemented, 12 were partially implemented, and 16 were in progress.

Changes implemented to date include:. Having correctional staff at all facilities enter every segregation placement into a database, and training staff on how to properly input this data;. Creating a daily report to show segregation use across the province, and sharing this report with staff at each facility;. Once it is in force, it will include a new definition of segregation, a cap on the length of segregation placements, and independent reviewers to scrutinize placements.

These included concerns about ensuring inmates can contact our Office by phone or email without interference, and about transitional provisions exempting some correctional facilities from the new segregation limits. Our Office will monitor and report on the effect of these initiatives. We received such complaints this fiscal year, compared to in and the year before. This was troubling in the case of one inmate who had been transferred between facilities 11 times, including several placements in closed confinement that had led him to two suicide attempts; instead of showing this pattern of transfers between institutions, the report erroneously showed all 19 of his segregation placements as being at one facility.

We follow up on these cases with the relevant facilities, and bring them to the attention of senior Ministry officials as warranted. For example, a man in immigration detention at a provincial facility spent nearly days in segregation, but it was only counted as 91 days because the clock was restarted when he was out of segregation for a single day.

In fact, his segregation review documents identified at least three different start dates and contradictory and incomplete information about his placement. We brought these issues to the attention of facility staff who acknowledged the gaps and noted that updates to the segregation tracking and reporting systems were underway.

When a man complained to us that he had been in segregation for more than a month without knowing why, we discovered that the correctional facility had not been completing the required documentation and five-day reviews of all segregation placements. We were told that this was due to insufficient resources and the facility had recently put a manager in place to do the reviews.

The man, who told us he was experiencing mental health effects from the isolation, was transferred out of segregation and thanked our staff for their help. The excessive use of force by correctional officers is a serious issue that our Office has monitored and investigated for decades, including investigations in and The latter investigation was launched after four years of our staff alerting the Ministry to serious complaints — more than in all — about correctional staff abusing inmates and, in some cases, covering it up.

The Ministry accepted all of the recommendations, and has fully implemented 39 to date. It has also revamped its recruitment process, including adding mandatory psychological assessments and an updated training curriculum that provides clear instruction on the use of force, restructured its investigations unit for greater transparency and independence, and undertaken to retrofit and install closed-circuit cameras in facilities.

In December , the Assistant Deputy Minister and staff met with the Ombudsman to share their latest progress report, noting that work is continuing on the six outstanding recommendations. These include completion of the closed-circuit video retrofit, policies for the use of hand-held video recording equipment during use-of-force incidents, and training of correctional staff and managers in defensive tactics.

Complaints about correctional staff using excessive force are much lower than they were before the release of The Code , but they have increased in recent years — from 43 in to 65 in , to 74 in One inmate complained that correctional officers used excessive force against him after a fight between two other inmates broke out and he jokingly refused to return to his cell.

He said he was injured when they took him down and pepper-sprayed him. We followed up with the facility and received a copy of the local investigation report. Upon review at the regional level, the file was sent for further investigation by the CSOI. Another inmate was sent to hospital with an injured thumb after correctional officers used force and pepper spray on him in the wake of a fight amongst inmates.

Our Office received the local investigation report detailing the incident, which was ultimately referred to the CSOI for further investigation regarding the use of force. Our Office received 37 complaints in from inmates and family members of inmates raising concerns about the parole hearing process. For example, a woman reported that she was eligible for parole in late July, but her scheduled hearing at the beginning of that month was rescheduled until the end of August because the Ontario Parole Board OPB had not been provided with relevant documentation.

Almost two months after her original hearing date, she was granted parole and released soon after. Our Office followed up on these cases. The most common complaints involved disagreement or dissatisfaction with decisions made by LAO about eligibility for legal aid, or poor communication or service. For example, a year-old youth with cerebral palsy required legal assistance in seeking financial support from his parents. He needed to appeal the cancellation of his legal aid certificate before an upcoming court submission deadline.

Our inquiries in another case prompted LAO to improve its training for staff who handle complex legal documents. We were initially told LAO could waive the costs that a man was ordered to pay at the end of a lengthy family law dispute, since lawyers on both sides were obtained through LAO, and the man was facing financial hardship. After our staff inquired, LAO provided him with a thorough explanation and committed to additional training for its staff.

A woman who broke her collarbone before she was sent to jail complained to us that she had been waiting for eight days for a sling for her arm. She said her doctor had given her a sling to immobilize the injury and manage pain, but personnel at the correctional facility told her she would be put in segregation if she had one, because it could be considered a weapon. After our staff spoke to health care workers at the institution, we were told the woman would be seen by a doctor that day, and that there would be no problem if a sling was prescribed, as many inmates in general population are permitted to have assistive devices.

We helped a woman from Manitoba who had struggled for six months to get Legal Aid Ontario to recognize her approval for legal aid in a custody case in Ontario. A man serving weekend time in jail who required anxiety medication three times a day sought our help because the correctional facility would not give him his medication on Saturday mornings when he arrived, or on Sunday evenings before he left.

When our staff inquired, health care staff at the jail said this did not fit their medication schedule, and the man would normally be expected to take his medication at home, before and after his jail time. Once we explained that he could not access the medication on weekends, the health care staff agreed to provide him with his Saturday morning and Sunday night doses.

They also made changes to their processes to ensure similar errors are averted. Ontarians rely on the provincial Ministry of Community and Social Services, as well as the Ontario Works program administered by municipalities, for a wide range of programs and services.

Given the large volume of people they serve, it is perhaps not surprising that the two top sources of complaints to our Office excluding correctional facilities are consistently the Family Responsibility Office and the Ontario Disability Support Program. However, it is worth noting that cases about both are on the decline. Our staff meet regularly with senior Ministry officials to flag recurring problems in these areas.

Cases related to Ontario Works are up slightly from last year, likely reflecting growing awareness of the fact that our Office now oversees since municipal programs. We also received complaints about Social Justice Tribunals Ontario, the group of administrative tribunals that deal with a wide range of matters, including social benefits and child custody. In , we received Since all tribunals are required to have a public complaints process, we refer most complaints accordingly.

Services for individuals with developmental disabilities can be complex and difficult to navigate, generating some complaints. As we have for several years, our Office continues to work with both the Ministry of Community and Social Services and the Ministry of Children and Youth Services in addressing individual and systemic problems in this area.

We refer these complaints to the Ontario Child Advocate formerly known as the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth , who, like the Ombudsman, is an independent officer of the Legislature who can conduct investigations.

Complaints about the FRO dropped below 1, in for the first time in five years. Responsible for enforcing court-ordered child and spousal support, the FRO was the source of complaints to our Office, a decrease from the 1, complaints received last year, and the lowest number received since Although our statistics show that the FRO remains the most complained-about Ontario government organization, the recent downward trend in the numbers is encouraging.

A frequent issue raised by FRO clients this fiscal year was, as in past years, poor service. Another man complained that FRO staff would not respond to him about his concerns that its records were wrong and his support payments were more than required. A woman complained to us that she was receiving limited and sporadic child support payments and could not resolve the issue with the FRO. We confirmed that the FRO corrected this, and also helped the woman submit the correct paperwork so she could recover a portion of the money owed to her sooner.

Complaints about FRO enforcement decisions come from both sides of the support equation: Many are from support recipients who say the FRO does not do enough to ensure payments are made; many others are from payors who say its enforcement actions go too far.

In our meetings with senior FRO officials, they have acknowledged a more proactive approach to enforcement is needed, and are reviewing their processes and service delivery model. She had tried in vain to raise her concerns with FRO officials that their enforcement actions were not aggressive enough.

At the same time, support payors complained that it was difficult to get the FRO to stop unwarranted enforcement against them. In one case, a man told our staff the FRO was still garnishing his wages even though his support obligation had ended in Our work on these cases has seen some improvements in how the FRO co-ordinates enforcement efforts with agencies in other jurisdictions.

FRO delays in sending her the required forms from the B. The case prompted the FRO and the B. FRO staff identified 82 such cases and sent additional information to the U. However, our Office has received numerous complaints about FRO officials agreeing not to issue wage garnishments without giving a clear explanation of why the cases were considered exceptional.

In one case, the ex-spouse of a Canadian Forces member complained to us that she was still not receiving payments, months after the FRO issued a wage garnishment. In response to our inquiries, FRO staff escalated the case with Canadian Forces officials, and the woman soon began receiving support payments. We received complaints this fiscal year about the ODSP, a social assistance program that provides income and employment supports to financially eligible Ontario residents who meet the legislated definition of disability.

The program also provides coverage for drug and dental needs and disability related items. This is the lowest number of ODSP complaints we have received since When ODSP clients contact our Office with a complaint, we ensure they are aware of the appropriate appeal mechanisms and, if necessary, facilitate resolution, communication and sharing of information through contact with Ministry staff.

The most common complaints from ODSP recipients relate to difficulty in reaching or getting a timely response from their case workers. Some also had trouble getting information from case workers about the requirements for becoming and remaining eligible for ODSP assistance. Delayed or inadequate responses can result in ODSP clients being denied or missing out on benefits.

Our staff helped several recipients address these problems. She received no response, and when she followed up, ODSP officials told her there was no application on file and she would have to reapply. The ODSP sent her a cheque for the missed benefits. A man complained to us that the company that provides his incontinence supplies was refusing to deliver them without receiving payment from ODSP, which was repeatedly late.

He was unable to reach ODSP staff to address the issue, but when our staff inquired, we were told renovations at the local ODSP office caused delay in processing invoices and payments. The ODSP provided the man with contact information for a manager and committed to paying his supplier. Unlike ODSP, Ontario Works is administered by municipal service providers and social services administration boards across the province.

We received complaints about Ontario Works, up slightly from in Our role in many such cases is to bridge communication gaps between recipients and their case workers. For instance, we received an urgent call from a mother of four, who said she had run out of money and her children had not eaten in 24 hours. They had been living in a shelter that provided meals, but now one of the children was in hospital, so the family was not able to return to the shelter three times a day for meals.

Since she was unable to reach Ontario Works, our staff immediately did so, and officials there issued her a cheque for emergency funding.

A single father who had left a job in the mining industry and hoped to return to driving a truck to support his family complained to us out of frustration with local Ontario Works staff.

Ontario Works officials referred him to a skills development program first, and did not respond to his requests for help with the licence in time. They then told him they would not provide additional funding to help him obtain his licence under the new program. Our staff spoke with a manager at Ontario Works, who acknowledged that the case could have been better handled, and confirmed that there was funding available to help the man get his licence under the new requirements.

We also received several complaints from grandparents about the eligibility requirements to access the Temporary Care Assistance TCA benefit, administered by Ontario Works. The TCA provides financial assistance and benefits to adults in financial need who are providing temporary care to children. In reviewing several such cases, our staff found inconsistent application of Ontario Works policy: Some grandparents who had limited income and were caring for their grandchildren received the benefit for several years, while others in the same circumstances were denied.

We have made inquiries with Ministry officials about addressing the apparent inconsistencies and lack of funding for these families. Still, given the nature of the system and the difficulties faced by many vulnerable people and their families in finding adequate and appropriate supports, we continue to receive many complaints in this area — this past year, down from the previous year.

The most common complaints involved a lack of funding and residential supports, and access to services and treatment. In one case, our involvement alerted the Ministry of Children and Youth Services to a policy gap regarding children who are in residential placements. She argued that the agency should reimburse her the payments she would have received in family allowance, as she retained legal custody of her son, he came home on weekends, and she was still financially responsible for providing his clothing and medications.

Ministry officials acknowledged that the agency was not authorized to do this, and agreed to pay the mother the family allowance funds she would have received. The Ministry of Community and Social Services accepted all of the recommendations and committed to reporting back to the Ombudsman on its progress every six months.

The report dealt with more than 1, complaints received over the previous three years. Our staff respond to these cases on an urgent, individual basis, working to connect people with appropriate help in the complex developmental services system, and meeting with Ministry officials to deal with them as warranted.

For example, one mother sought our help after waiting years for a community residential placement for her adult son, who has a developmental disability, schizophrenia, and difficult behaviour, and had been living in a hospital psychiatric ward since Our inquiries revealed the Ministry was aware of the case, but had failed to include the man in its residential funding plan.

After our intervention, a residential placement was found for him in a local community living home with special supports. At the time this report was written, the Ministry had completely addressed 16 of the 60 recommendations, and 10 remained for more discussion.

Among the many positive developments are new investments in supports essential for preventing and assisting with urgent situations, such as increased funding for Adult Protective Services Workers. The Ministry is also working on a multi-year residential planning strategy, which will include creating more residential supports for vulnerable adults with developmental disabilities.

Our Office has also participated in many outreach activities to discuss Nowhere to Turn , its recommendations and its impact — attending conferences with and making presentations to groups of families dealing with developmental disabilities and other stakeholders. The benefit is paid to ODSP recipients for each month they have earnings from employment, and the woman had studied the criteria and believed she qualified.

We raised our concerns with the Ministry of Community and Social Services, and it amended the policy directive to clarify the eligibility criteria. She provided us with documents showing that her ex-husband was about to receive a substantial profit from selling a property.

After we shared this information with FRO staff, they confirmed they had issued a garnishment of the sale and ensured the man paid the arrears in full. A man contacted our office after the FRO issued an order to garnish his Old Age Security payments and his federal pension, according to a court order from We helped sort out a case of mistaken identity between the FRO and a man who could not insure his house because a writ was registered in his name for unpaid support obligations — even though it was his brother who actually owed support arrears.

The FRO has a process to deal with such claims, but instead told the man to speak to a lawyer. Our staff spoke with FRO officials to determine what documentation he could submit to prove he was not the intended subject of the enforcement action. The FRO provided him with the proof he needed to clear up the mistake and obtain insurance. A man whose shelter allowance was terminated by the ODSP without notice complained to us after his case worker did not respond to several email messages.

He had registered for a secure email program offered to ODSP clients who wish to communicate with case workers without having to phone or meet with them in person.

Our staff checked with ODSP staff and found the case worker was on a leave of absence — and her colleagues were only checking her phone messages, not emails. A mother and adult daughter, both ODSP recipients who live together, complained to us about a mixup after the daughter successfully applied for ODSP for herself from a different office than the one where her mother was a client.

She was not aware that her mother received additional ODSP benefits because she lived with her as a dependent child. The women complained to us that it was now deducting twice as much as it should. After our staff intervened, ODSP officials confirmed that because of a failure of communication between the two offices, both were making deductions to recover the debt.

They reviewed the file and reimbursed the women the money they were owed. Almost all of these complaints were resolved quickly and without the need for a formal investigation — for example, by referral to local accountability mechanisms or complaint processes. In fact, the Ombudsman has only had to resort to formal investigations in 5 cases since gaining full oversight of municipalities in January The first two were reported in our Annual Report; two more were completed and one launched in — see updates on these under Investigations.

This represents a decline from , when we received 2, complaints about municipalities. Complaints about closed municipal meetings — covered in the next chapter of this report — also continued to decline. Although complaints about municipal councils themselves still top the list, they now represent a smaller proportion of all complaints. As we have for several years, our Office encouraged all municipalities to have local accountability mechanisms in place to deal with complaints about councillor conduct.

In the coming months, changes to municipal legislation will come into effect, requiring all municipalities to have codes of conduct and provide access to integrity commissioners. Our Office continues to work with and provide resources to municipal stakeholders about such things as best practices for complaint processes and ensuring administrative fairness.

Our office cannot investigate complaints about matters within the jurisdiction of Ombudsman Toronto, and we refer such cases accordingly. Many municipalities have already complied with this, recognizing it as a best practice, and some have also added more accountability officers.

As of the writing of this report, we are aware of municipalities that have appointed an integrity commissioner, and more than that have a council code of conduct. We also know of 28 that have appointed a local ombudsman, 3 with an auditor general, and 6 that have a lobbyist registrar.

Our Office can and does review complaints about integrity commissioners, but our focus in such cases is on whether they followed a fair process, considered the issues before them, acted in accordance with applicable legislation, policies, and terms of reference, obtained and considered relevant information, and provided sufficient reasons to support their decision.

Among the best practices that we routinely recommend to municipalities in this regard are that they should have a clear and publicly accessible protocol for complaints under the code of conduct, there should be no fee for making a complaint to the integrity commissioner, and the protocol should allow the commissioner discretion to decline frivolous or vexatious complaints, and set out the penalties and sanctions that the commissioner can recommend.

Many of these come from municipal officials, including councillors themselves. Our Office cannot overturn decisions of council, but we can review the administrative processes and implementation of council decisions.

A municipal employee complained about a public statement made by a member of council, which he felt was inappropriate and unprofessional. The municipality had mistakenly published on its website that the Ombudsman could take complaints about its code of conduct, as it had not appointed an integrity commissioner.

A local integrity commissioner was later appointed. Complaints about by-law enforcement increased slightly in , to from the previous year. These involve the actions and decisions of municipal by-law enforcement officers, both when they choose to enforce a by-law and when they exercise their discretion not to enforce.

After our staff contacted the by-law department, a manager looked at the property, spoke to the neighbour about it, and offered to contact the local public health unit about the insect and rodent infestations. We also assisted a municipality where an angry resident, who had been forced by local by-law enforcement to tear down a shed beside his house, identified 79 other properties that had a shed beside the house, and filed a complaint about each one.

Our Office provides resources to municipal stakeholders on how we work, as well as about accountability mechanisms, best practices, complaint processes, codes of conduct and more. Municipal service providers and district social services boards administer public housing throughout the province.

We received complaints related to local housing issues in , including some about local building codes and inspections. When his local service board found no evidence of any plumbing problems in his public housing unit, one resident took a video showing sewage bubbling up into his sink. The official said the municipality did not require permits for shipping containers. Our staff spoke to the official and pointed to examples of other municipalities where such permits are required, as well as a decision from the Building Code Commission that found a shipping container can be considered a building.

He agreed to inspect the site, and confirmed to the couple that there were no safety concerns with the container. We also received complaints about municipal infrastructure, which includes issues about snow clearing, road maintenance, and drainage.

After our staff spoke to municipal officials about the situation, they agreed to reduce the interest on the bill and explained to the woman how she could bring the matter before council to ask for further relief.

The resident had no idea that a by-law enforcement officer had visited her property more than 50 times over more than four years over a complaint about vehicles on her land.

She had no means to pay, and the debt was added to her tax bill. After several attempts to resolve the matter informally with the municipalities, the Ombudsman launched a formal investigation, which revealed several serious issues with the way the enforcement expenses were tracked, the relationship between the county and township for paying for enforcement, and the legality of the bill. The Ombudsman found that the Township of St.

Clair had no legal authority to bill the resident as it did, and recommended it apologize to her and forgive the debt. As well, the County of Lambton had, at times, failed to ensure that charges for its services were clear, predictable, consistent, accurate and justified. The Ombudsman made 16 recommendations to the township and the county, all but two of which were immediately accepted.

The township responded that it would not apologize to the resident or eliminate her debt, but that council would consider reducing it. The Ombudsman launched this investigation after an incident at a meeting of regional council on December 7, , at which a journalist and a local blogger had property seized and were asked to leave the meeting. Our Office is also reviewing complaints that the meeting was illegally closed to the public, contrary to the open meeting rules in the Municipal Act , Still, the township has an obligation to understand and follow its own by-laws.

It focused on the failure of the Elliot Lake Residential Development Commission to hold open meetings, as it is required to do under the Elliot Lake Act. He recommended the commission provide notice of all meetings, and pass a by-law specifying how this will be done. A mall developer told us that local councillors were interfering with the development of her project, but she believed the municipality did not have a code of conduct or integrity commissioner.

We contacted the municipality and learned that it does have a code of conduct and was in the process of appointing an integrity commissioner. Immediately after our staff made inquiries, the municipality moved the code of conduct to the main page of its website, to make it more visible to the public.

We helped a man who waited more than a year to hear back from his municipality about purchasing a portion of the laneway behind his house. Municipal officials told us there was a backlog in similar applications, but confirmed this one was nearly finalized.

Less than a month later, the municipality contacted the man to tell him his application was approved. A woman renting a basement apartment sought our help after a municipal construction crew broke a water pipe near her unit, flooding her apartment and damaging her belongings.

The municipality did not provide a clear process or information on how to submit a claim for such damage, but after our Office made inquiries, it revised its website to include information on how to submit claims.

A man contacted us after getting no response to a complaint about his local Chief Building Official. Under the Building Code Act , municipalities are required to have a code of conduct for building officials and inspectors, and process for enforcement, but this municipality did not have a code of conduct in place. After we raised this requirement with the municipality, it developed and posted a code of conduct on its website, along with a complaint process and contact information.

It has now been more than 10 years since Ontario established a new open meeting enforcement system through amendments to the Municipal Act, , requiring every municipality to have an investigator to deal with complaints about meetings closed to the public.

As of January 1, , the Ombudsman became the investigator for all municipalities that did not appoint their own. This role is quite different from the rest of our work: In most other cases, we work to find informal resolutions to administrative issues wherever possible, but closed meeting investigations focus narrowly on whether or not a municipality has violated the open meeting rules in s.

Since , our Office has handled nearly 2, such complaints and issued hundreds of reports on our investigations, which can be found on the Canadian online legal decision portal, CanLii, as well as on our website. Along the way, we have developed guidelines and best practices that we routinely share with municipal stakeholders to promote awareness of the open meeting rules.

However, complaints to our Office about closed meetings have steadily declined in recent years, after peaking in fiscal — when a few cases received significant public attention — at We received 80 total complaints in , which is the lowest number since the 68 we received in , our first full fiscal year as closed meeting investigator. This is despite municipalities using our Office as their closed meeting investigator as of March 31, — the highest number to date.

Prior to this, many of the closed meeting complaints we received reflected attempts by complainants to address broader issues; now that they can complain to us directly about these issues, they are less likely to complain about narrow aspects of the open meeting rules. The decline also reflects a greater understanding of the open meeting rules throughout the province. At the same time, as the number of meetings we investigate has diminished, the proportion that the Ombudsman has found to be illegal has steadily increased.

These resulted in investigations of 30 meetings, 17 of which were illegal under the Municipal Act. We issued 22 reports and letters on these cases available on our website. We consulted with municipalities on 19 occasions in We reviewed 59 complaints about 20 municipalities and local boards, and issued 22 reports and letters about 30 meetings.

In addition to the existing 10 exceptions in s. All four new exceptions are discretionary, meaning that the municipality or local board can opt to discuss matters that fit within these exceptions in an open meeting, and the Ombudsman encourages officials to interpret them narrowly in the interest of transparency and accountability. None of the investigations we conducted in fiscal involved these new provisions, but our Office will share information with municipal stakeholders about their application and best practices as we receive and review relevant cases.

Our closed meeting reports can also be found on CanLII. As in previous years, the most common issues we investigated in related to misuse of the s. Under the exception in s. Misinterpreting this exception is the most common mistake municipalities make when closing meetings, as they struggle with the line between professional and personal information when discussing employees, colleagues and others. We reviewed several cases this year in which municipalities correctly applied this exception to close certain meetings, such as when the Township of St.

The same was true when the City of Cornwall council met with council for the Township of South Glengarry to discuss the performance and conduct of members of the Cornwall Regional Airport Commission.

In contrast, when the City of Timmins council closed a meeting to talk about individuals at a private business, it was illegal because the information was publicly available and the discussion did not reveal anything personal. Often cited in conjunction with the exception for personal matters, s. The Ombudsman found this exception was correctly used by council for the Town of Georgina for a discussion about specific employees in the context of an organizational review, and by council for the Township of North Huron to talk about the general work environment of its volunteer firefighters, where the issue was relevant to negotiations in an ongoing labour dispute.

The exception for discussions about the security of the property of the municipality or local board is meant to apply to discussions where there is a threat of loss or damage to property, such as fraud or vandalism, but it is often misused. For example, the Town of Deep River council wrongly relied on this exception to discuss a police service consultation plan, as there was no potential threat, loss or damage involved. The Ombudsman also made numerous recommendations to municipalities for best practices with regard to giving public notice of closed meetings and providing meaningful information on the agenda about topics to be discussed.

Our most common best practice recommendations are that municipalities pass a clear resolution before any closed meeting, setting out the general nature of what is to be discussed — and that they ensure the discussion does not stray from this. The Ombudsman also routinely recommends that all municipal councils, committees and local boards make audio or video recordings of closed meetings, to ensure an accurate record.

He found issues with lack of detail in closed meeting minutes in several municipalities this fiscal year, including in the townships of Russell and Tehkummah , and the City of Welland. However, he also reminded the City of Niagara Falls that a recording does not take the place of complete and accurate written minutes. More and more municipalities have begun to make digital recordings of their meetings.

As of the writing of this report, these included: The Ombudsman recognized that the board had never been trained on the open meeting rules and did not have its own procedure by-law or staff support from the town. He recommended that the town ensure all of its local boards receive training and support going forward to ensure they meet their obligations under the Act. During the phone calls, members of council discussed specific terms of a proposal that was ultimately sent to a party interested in purchasing the property.

The Ombudsman recognized that the council members may have been motivated by a desire to act quickly and secure an economic advantage, but local government must remain vigilant to ensure that decision-making is done in a transparent and accountable fashion. The committee relied on the exception for litigation or potential litigation to discuss the matter in camera.

The Ombudsman found that there was not a reasonable prospect of litigation at the time of the meeting, as the social media post was rhetorical and did not contain a threat of litigation. Before its proclamation as a British settlement in , the area around Adelaide was inhabited by the indigenous Kaurna Aboriginal nation pronounced "Garner".

Kaurna culture and language were almost completely destroyed within a few decades of European settlement of South Australia, [22] but extensive documentation by early missionaries and other researchers has enabled a modern revival of both. The event is commemorated in South Australia as Proclamation Day.

Adelaide was established as a planned colony of free immigrants, promising civil liberties and freedom from religious persecution, based upon the ideas of Edward Gibbon Wakefield.

Wakefield had read accounts of Australian settlement while in prison in London for attempting to abduct an heiress, [26] and realised that the eastern colonies suffered from a lack of available labour, due to the practice of giving land grants to all arrivals.

As it was believed that in a colony of free settlers there would be little crime, no provision was made for a gaol in Colonel Light's plan. But by mid the South Australian Register was warning of escaped convicts from New South Wales and tenders for a temporary gaol were sought. Adelaide's early history was marked by economic uncertainty and questionable leadership.

Adelaide's early economy started to get on its feet in with the arrival of livestock from Victoria , New South Wales and Tasmania. Wool production provided an early basis for the South Australian economy.

By , wheat farms had been established from Encounter Bay in the south to Clare in the north. George Gawler took over from Hindmarsh in late and, despite being under orders from the Select Committee on South Australia in Britain not to undertake any public works, promptly oversaw construction of a governor's house, the Adelaide Gaol , police barracks, a hospital, a customs house and a wharf at Port Adelaide.

Gawler was recalled and replaced by George Edward Grey in Grey slashed public expenditure against heavy opposition, although its impact was negligible at this point: The city exported meat, wool, wine, fruit and wheat by the time Grey left in , contrasting with a low point in when one-third of Adelaide houses were abandoned.

Trade links with the rest of the Australian states were established after the Murray River was successfully navigated in by Francis Cadell , an Adelaide resident. South Australia became a self-governing colony in with the ratification of a new constitution by the British parliament.

Secret ballots were introduced, and a bicameral parliament was elected on 9 March , by which time , people lived in the province. In the Thorndon Park reservoir was opened, finally providing an alternative water source to the now turbid River Torrens.

Gas street lighting was implemented in , the University of Adelaide was founded in , the South Australian Art Gallery opened in and the Happy Valley Reservoir opened in In the s Australia was affected by a severe economic depression, ending a hectic era of land booms and tumultuous expansionism. Financial institutions in Melbourne and banks in Sydney closed. The national fertility rate fell and immigration was reduced to a trickle.

The value of South Australia's exports nearly halved. Drought and poor harvests from compounded the problems, with some families leaving for Western Australia.

Only one year of deficit was recorded, but the price paid was retrenchments and lean public spending. Wine and copper were the only industries not to suffer a downturn.

Electric street lighting was introduced in and electric trams were transporting passengers in Crowley examined the reports of visitors in the early 20th century, noting that "many visitors to Adelaide admired the foresighted planning of its founders", as well as pondering the riches of the young city.

Its population grew, and it became the third most populous metropolitan area in the country, after Sydney and Melbourne. Its prosperity was short-lived, with the return of droughts and the Great Depression of the s. It later returned to fortune under strong government leadership. World War II brought industrial stimulus and diversification to Adelaide under the Playford Government, which advocated Adelaide as a safe place for manufacturing due to its less vulnerable location. The South Australian Government in this period built on former wartime manufacturing industries.

International manufacturers like General Motors Holden and Chrysler [37] made use of these factories around Adelaide, completing its transformation from an agricultural service centre to a 20th-century city. The Dunstan Governments of the s saw something of an Adelaide 'cultural revival', [ citation needed ] establishing a wide array of social reforms.

The city became a centre of the arts, building upon the biennial " Adelaide Festival of Arts " that commenced in Adelaide hosted the Formula One Australian Grand Prix between and on a street circuit in the city's east parklands; it moved to Melbourne in Adelaide's tallest building, built in , was originally known as the State Bank Building.

In it was renamed the Santos Building and in it was renamed Westpac House. In the early years of the 21st century there was a significant increase in the State Government's spending on Adelaide's infrastructure.

Following a period of stagnation in the s and s, Adelaide began several major developments and redevelopments. Much of Adelaide was bushland before British settlement, with some variation — sandhills, swamps and marshlands were prevalent around the coast. The loss of the sandhills to urban development had a particularly destructive effect on the coastline due to erosion.

Much of the original vegetation has been cleared with what is left to be found in reserves such as the Cleland Conservation Park and Belair National Park.

A number of creeks and rivers flow through the Adelaide region. The largest are the Torrens and Onkaparinga catchments. Adelaide and its surrounding area is one of the most seismically active regions in Australia. On 1 March at 3: His plan, now known as Light's Vision , arranged Adelaide in a grid, with five squares in the Adelaide city centre and a ring of parks, known as the Adelaide Parklands , surrounding it.

Light's selection of the location for the city was initially unpopular with the early settlers, as well as South Australia's first governor, John Hindmarsh, due to its distance from the harbour at Port Adelaide, and the lack of fresh water there. The benefits of Light's design are numerous: Adelaide has had wide multi-lane roads from its beginning, an easily navigable cardinal direction grid layout and an expansive green ring around the city centre. There are two sets of ring roads in Adelaide that have resulted from the original design.

Suburban expansion has to some extent outgrown Light's original plan. Numerous former outlying villages and "country towns", as well as the satellite city of Elizabeth , have been enveloped by its suburban sprawl. Expanding developments in the Adelaide Hills region led to the construction of the South Eastern Freeway to cope with growth, which has subsequently led to new developments and further improvements to that transport corridor.

Similarly, the booming development in Adelaide's South led to the construction of the Southern Expressway. New roads are not the only transport infrastructure developed to cope with the urban growth. In the s, a Metropolitan Adelaide Transport Study Plan was proposed in order to cater for the future growth of the city. The plan involved the construction of freeways, expressways and the upgrade of certain aspects of the public transport system.

The then premier Steele Hall approved many parts of the plan and the government went as far as purchasing land for the project. The later Labor government elected under Don Dunstan shelved the plan, but allowed the purchased land to remain vacant, should the future need for freeways arise. In , the Liberal party won government and premier David Tonkin committed his government to selling off the land acquired for the MATS plan, ensuring that even when needs changed, the construction of most MATS-proposed freeways would be impractical.

Some parts of this land have been used for transport, e. A relative lack of suitable, locally-available timber for construction purposes led to the early development of a brick-making industry, as well as the use of stone, for houses and other buildings. After both of the World Wars, the use of red bricks was popular. In the s, cream bricks became popular, and in the s, deep red and brown bricks became popular. Since then, cement tiles and Colorbond R corrugated and other types of steel have also become popular.

Most roofs are pitched; flat roofs are not common. Up to the s, the majority of houses were of "double brick" construction on concrete footings, with timber floors laid on joists supported by "dwarf walls". Due to Adelaide's reactive soils particularly Keswick Clay, black earth and some red-brown earth soils [61] , since then houses have mainly been constructed of " brick veneer " over a timber frame and more recently, over a light steel frame on a concrete slab foundation.

Rainfall is unreliable, light and infrequent throughout summer. Frosts are occasional, with the most notable occurrences in July and July Hail is also common in winter. Adelaide is a windy city with significant wind chill in winter, which makes the temperature seem colder than it actually is. Snowfall in the metropolitan area is extremely uncommon, although light and sporadic falls in the nearby hills and at Mount Lofty occur during winter.

There are usually two to three days in summer where the temperature reaches The average sea temperature ranges from As Adelaide is South Australia's capital and most populous city, the State Government co-operates extensively with the City of Adelaide.

The State Parliament's Capital City Committee [70] is also involved in the governance of the City of Adelaide, being primarily concerned with the planning of Adelaide's urban development and growth.

Reflecting South Australia's status as Australia's most centralised state, Adelaide elects a substantial majority of the South Australian House of Assembly. Of the 47 seats in the chamber, 34 seats three-quarters of the legislature are based in Adelaide, and two rural seats include Adelaide suburbs. The Adelaide metropolitan area is divided between nineteen local government areas , including, at its centre, the City of Adelaide , which administers the Adelaide city centre , North Adelaide , and the surrounding Adelaide Parklands.

It is the oldest municipal authority in Australia and was established in , when Adelaide and Australia's first mayor, James Hurtle Fisher , was elected. Compared with Australia's four other major state capitals, Adelaide is growing at a much slower rate.

In , it had a metropolitan population of more than 1,,, [1] making it Australia's fifth-largest city. Major areas of population growth in recent years have been in outer suburbs such as Mawson Lakes and Golden Grove. Adelaide's inhabitants occupy , houses, 57, semi-detached, row terrace or town houses and 49, flats, units or apartments. About one sixth The number of Adelaideans with vocational qualifications such as tradespersons fell from Overseas-born Adelaideans composed The Italian consulate is located in the eastern suburb of Payneham.

Chinese migrants favour settling in the eastern and north eastern suburbs including Kensington Gardens , Greenacres , Modbury and Golden Grove. Mawson Lakes has a large international student population, due to its proximity to the University of South Australia campus.

The five largest groups of overseas-born were from UK 7. The most-spoken languages other than English were Italian 2. Adelaide is ageing more rapidly than other Australian capital cities. More than a quarter Adelaide has the lowest number of children underyear-olds , who comprised Adelaide was founded on a vision of religious tolerance that attracted a wide variety of religious practitioners.

This led to it being known as The City of Churches. Over half of the population of Adelaide identifies as Christian, with the largest denominations being Catholic The Jewish community of the city dates back to Eight years later, 58 Jews lived in the city. Many took part in the city councils, such as Judah Moss Solomon —66 and others after him. Three Jews have been elected to the position of city mayor. The " Afghan " community in Australia first became established in the s when camels and their Pathan, Punjabi, Baluchi and Sindhi handlers began to be used to open up settlement in the continent's arid interior.

This is acknowledged by the name of The Ghan , the passenger train operating between Adelaide, Alice Springs, and Darwin. The Central Adelaide Mosque is regarded as Australia's oldest permanent mosque; an earlier mosque at Marree in northern South Australia, dating from —62 and subsequently abandoned or demolished, has now been rebuilt.

South Australia's largest employment sectors are health care and social assistance, [82] [83] surpassing manufacturing in SA as the largest employer since — The retail trade is the second largest employer in SA —10 , with 91, jobs, and 12 per cent of the state workforce.

Manufacturing, defence technology, high-tech electronic systems and research, commodity export and corresponding service industries all play a role in the SA economy. The collapse meant that successive governments enacted lean budgets, cutting spending, which was a setback to the further economic development of the city and state.

The global media conglomerate News Corporation was founded in, and until incorporated in, Adelaide and it is still considered its 'spiritual' home by Rupert Murdoch. Australia's largest oil company, Santos , prominent South Australian brewery, Coopers , and national retailer Harris Scarfe also call Adelaide their home. The median Adelaide house price is half that of Sydney and two-thirds that of Melbourne.

The three-month trend unemployment rate to March was 6. Over the decade March — March , Metropolitan Adelaide median house prices approximately tripled. Education forms an increasingly important part of the city's economy, with the South Australian Government and educational institutions attempting to position Adelaide as "Australia's education hub" and marketing it as a "Learning City. At the level of primary and secondary education, there are two systems of school education.

There is a public system operated by the South Australian Government and a private system of independent and Catholic schools.

There are three public universities local to Adelaide, as well as one private university and three constituent colleges of foreign universities. The University of Adelaide was ranked in the top universities worldwide.

Flinders ranked in the top and Uni SA in the top Torrens University Australia is part of an international network of over 70 higher education institutions in more than 30 countries worldwide. The University of Adelaide , with 25, students, [] is Australia's third-oldest university and a member of the leading " Group of Eight ".

It has five campuses throughout the state, including two in the city-centre, and a campus in Singapore. The University of South Australia , with 37, students, [] has two North Terrace campuses, three other campuses in the metropolitan area and campuses at Whyalla and Mount Gambier.

Flinders University , with 25, domestic and international students, [] is in the southern suburb of Bedford Park , alongside the Flinders Medical Centre , another campus in neighbouring Tonsley , and maintains a small city campus in Victoria Square. The plaza on the Bedford Park campus was revamped in and officially re-opened in In addition to the universities, Adelaide is home to a number of research institutes, including the Royal Institution of Australia , established in as a counterpart to the two-hundred-year-old Royal Institution of Great Britain.

Flinders University buildings from the campus hills. While established as a British province, and very much English in terms of its culture, Adelaide attracted immigrants from other parts of Europe early on, including German and other European non-conformists escaping religious persecution. The first German Lutherans arrived in [] bringing with them the vine cuttings that they used to found the acclaimed wineries of the Barossa Valley.

Adelaide's arts scene flourished in the s and s with the support of successive premiers from both major political parties. Adelaide is home to the Adelaide Christmas Pageant , the world's largest Christmas parade. The Art Gallery of South Australia , with around 35, works, holds Australia's second largest state-based collection.

Adelaide Festival Centre , on the banks of the Torrens, is the focal point for much of the cultural activity in the city and home to the State Theatre Company of South Australia , with other venues including the Adelaide Entertainment Centre and the city's many smaller theatres, pubs and cabaret bars.

The music of Adelaide has produced musical groups and individuals who have achieved national and international fame. Noted rocker Jimmy Barnes spent most of his youth in the northern suburb of Elizabeth. Paul Kelly grew up in Adelaide and was head prefect at Rostrevor College.

Folds recorded a song about Adelaide before he moved away. Adelaide plays host to two of Australia's leading contemporary dance companies. Restless Dance Theatre is also based in Adelaide and is nationally recognised for working with disabled and non-disabled dancers to use movement as a means of expression.

Newspapers in Adelaide are dominated by News Corporation publications—Adelaide being the birthplace of News Corporation itself. The same group publishes a Sunday paper, the Sunday Mail. There are eleven suburban community newspapers published weekly, known collectively as the Messenger Newspapers , also published by a subsidiary of News Corporation.

The Independent Weekly was a small independent newspaper providing an alternative view, but ceased publishing its print edition in November and now exists as a digital daily newsletter only.

The Adelaide Review is a free paper published fortnightly, and other independent magazine-style papers are published, but are not as widely available. Adelaide is served by numerous digital free-to-air television channels: All of the five Australian national television networks broadcast both high-definition digital and standard-definition television digital services in Adelaide.

They share three transmission towers on the ridge near the summit of Mount Lofty. Two other transmission sites are located at Grenfell Street and Elizabeth Downs. Adelaide also has a community television station, Channel The Foxtel pay TV service is available as cable television in a few areas, and as satellite television to the entire metropolitan area. It is resold by a number of other brands, mostly telephone companies.

As part of a nationwide phase-out of analogue television in Australia, Adelaide's analogue television service was shut down on 2 April There are 20 radio stations that serve the metropolitan area, as well as four community stations that serve only parts of the metropolitan area.

Of the 20 full-coverage stations, there are six commercial stations, six community stations, six national stations and two narrowcast stations. The recent commencement of digital audio broadcasting DAB has seen the introduction of an additional 23 radio stations, some of which are duplications of existing AM and FM stations.

A complete list can be found at List of radio stations in Australia Adelaide. The main sports played professionally in Adelaide are Australian Rules football , association football soccer , cricket , netball , and basketball. Adelaide is the home of two Australian Football League teams: Since , Adelaide Oval has also hosted an international cricket test every summer, along with a number of One Day International cricket matches.

Memorial Drive Park , adjacent to the Adelaide Oval, used to host Davis Cup and other major tennis events, including the Australian Open and until the Adelaide International now known as the Brisbane International.

Adelaide's professional association football team, Adelaide United , play in the A-League. Founded in , their home ground is Hindmarsh Stadium , which has a capacity of 17, and is one of the few purpose-built soccer stadia in Australia. The two sides, which contest the Adelaide derby against one another, now play in the National Premier Leagues South Australia.

For two years, and , Adelaide was represented in Australia's top level rugby league , after the New South Wales Rugby League had played a single game per season at the Adelaide Oval for five years starting in Initially playing at the Adelaide Oval, the club moved to the more suitable Hindmarsh Stadium late in the season. As part of a peace deal with the Australian Rugby League to end the Super League war , the club's owners News Limited who were also owners of the SL suddenly closed the club only weeks before the start of the season.

Both teams play their home games at the Titanium Security Arena. Adelaide has a professional netball team, the Adelaide Thunderbirds , which plays in the national netball competition, the Suncorp Super Netball championship, with home games played at Priceline Stadium. The Thunderbirds occasionally play games or finals at the Titanium Security Arena, while international netball matches are usually played at the 10, seat Adelaide Entertainment Centre.

The Titanium Security Arena has a capacity of 8, and is the largest purpose-built basketball stadium in Australia.

Ombudsman’s Message - The value of independent oversight. In many organizations, an Annual Report is a showcase of numbers, an illustrated balance sheet that . Adelaide (/ ˈ æ d ə l eɪ d / (listen) AD-ə-layd) is the capital city of the state of South Australia, and the fifth-most populous city of concept4web.com June , Adelaide had an estimated resident population of 1,, Adelaide is home to more than 75 percent of the South Australian population, making it the most centralised population of any state in Australia.