An “ombudsperson” is an independent and confidential dispute resolution specialist who acts impartially in reviewing and when appropriate, investigating complaints about unfair treatment. 'Ombudsperson' is a derivation of the original Swedish term of 'Ombudsman' which was first established in the early 1700’s. However, the function fulfilled by an Ombudsperson is observable from historical accounts as early as the Control Yuan in China, the dispute resolution structures of aboriginal people and the Ottoman empire.
The Ombudsperson is Maureen Helt. Maureen has over 25 years of legal experience and has developed numerous dispute resolution skills and investigative experience. Maureen has strong interpersonal skills and has a reputation for integrity, accessibilty and fairness. Over the last four years Maureen was appointed as Vice Chair and Adjudicator at Tribunals Ontario. In this role Maureen mediated and adjudicated matters at the Licence Appeal Tribunal, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, the Ontario Parole Board, the Ontario Civilian Police Commission, the Social Benefits Tribunal and others. She was also an Acting Associate Chair of three Tribunals for a period of time during which she was responsible for working with the FIPPA and Access to information teams with respect to requests made of Tribunals Ontario. Through her experience at Tribunals Ontario and her previous roles at both the Ontario Energy Board and the Law Society of Ontario, where Maureen worked with Compliance and Investgations teams..Maureen has gained extensive experience on issues related to procedural fairness and understands the impartiality, independence and confidentiality principles inherent in the role of the Ombudsperson. She is a member of the Alternate Dispute Resolution Institute of Canada and has an LLM, specializing in Health Law. Maureen has also been active in her community having served on the Board of Woodgreen Community Services, the Aspen Wildlife Sanctuary, and the Community Advisory Board of the Toronto South Detention Centre.
The Assistant Ombudsperson is Gemma Kerr M.Ed (TCD), B.Sc (DCU).
Everyone in the Office of the Ombudsperson at the University abides by the (PDF file) Forum of Canadian Ombudsman Statement of Ethical Principles (external link) and the (PDF file) Association of Canadian University and College Ombudspersons Standards of Practice (external link) .
The Office of the Ombudsperson was created in 1997 and is governed by (PDF file) Terms of Reference which outline the powers and responsibility of the Ombudsperson and the role of the (PDF file) Ombudsperson Committee
We are always interested in discussing any issues or concerns you may have, contact us to arrange an appointment.