2020-2021 Annual Report

  • September 30, 2021
2020-2021 Annual Report

Public service

  • September 30, 2021
  • 5 516 requests processed
  • Substantiated complaints: 26.2 %
  • Intervention concerning 58 government departments and agencies

The three main grounds for substantiated complaints:

  1. Lengthy wait times: 48.5 %
  2. Failure to respect rights: 16.4 %
  3. Financial damage: 14.3 %

Variation in the number of substantiated complaints compared with last year’s number

Office de la protection du consommateur

Ministère des Affaires municipales et de l’Habitation

Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux

Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration

Ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale

Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail

Revenu Québec

Ministère de la Famille


CNESST – Direction générale de l’indemnisation des victimes d’actes criminels (DGIVAC)

  • A crime victim was entitled to psychological assistance from DGIVAC. An assessment of her condition showed that her psychotherapy had to take place by phone.DGIVAC refused, claiming that teletherapy was not covered by the plan. The Québec Ombudsman felt that DGIVAC had shirked its duty to adapt its services to the person’s limitations.

Curateur public

  • The Curateur public did not display the rigour that is an integral part of its protective mission. For example, it took 15 years to replace a tutor who had engaged in dubious transactions with the money of the person she was representing.

Ministère de l’Éducation

  • In 2020, the Government of Québec announced $4 million in additional funding for day camp attendants for young people with disabilities. However, the announcement was only made in late June 2020, which affected certain organizations' slate of services. What's more, the Ministère de l’Éducation was slow to release the monies to the regional bodies responsible for managing the funds.
  • A student in an anglophone school was about to start her last year of secondary studies when the Department informed her that she no longer qualified for instruction in English. The reason: a change in her father's immigration status. In June 2020, her father had approached the Examining Committee and the decision was cancelled. However, the Department was sluggish to act on it. In late September, the Québec Ombudsman intervened. The Department immediately sent the family the authorization needed for the student to go back to her school.

Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques

  • Any work in a wetland must be authorized by the Department beforehand. If not, the person must pay for the rehabilitation costs themselves. When a citizen who had been misinformed by municipal authorities carried out backfilling in a wetland, the Québec Ombudsman intervened with the Department so that the financial cost would not be unduly high for the woman.

Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration

  • Until recently, applicants for a Québec Selection Certificate under the Québec Experience Program (PEQ) had to be employed at the time of filing.The problem was that many candidates had been laid off temporarily because of the pandemic. Considering this requirement unfair, the Québec Ombudsman convinced the Department to soften its position. Now, a person may be considered employed either at the time of filing or when the application is analyzed.
  • This year, the Québec Ombudsman noted a marked increase in the number of complaints about documents which the Department had lost, including many sent by mail. This was especially true of cases involving the PEQ.

Ministère de la Justice

  • In an opinion released in 2017, the Québec Ombudsman recommended eliminating any prescription period (period after which a person may no longer institute proceedings) for civil actions in case of sexual assault, violence suffered during childhood, or violence by a spouse or an ex-spouse. In 2020, a law was passed in response to this recommendation.

Ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale

  • This year, through certain programs, the Department was able to adapt to the situation experienced by its client population dealing with the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. It made adjustments such as suspending recovery measures and postponing the issuance of claim notices.

Société d’Habitation du Québec (SHQ)

  • The Québec Ombudsman received complaints from the residents of a housing cooperative about, among other things, harassment and bullying by the administrator and the manager. The SHQ had refused to investigate on the pretext that it was not empowered to do this. The Québec Ombudsman argued that the SHQ did have jurisdiction to intervene under the applicable act. In the end, it agreed to do so.