Boarding houses: destitute people must be better protected | Protecteur du Citoyen
December 3, 2018

Boarding houses: destitute people must be better protected


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The facts

A man was found dead in a boarding house a few days after he died. Noting that several vulnerable people were living there, the Québec Ombudsman decided to investigate. It focused on the role of health and social services network workers and the quality of the services provided by the Curateur public.

The investigation

  • Ambulance technicians found the man lifeless in a boarding house two days after he died.
  • The Québec Ombudsman has no jurisdiction regarding boarding houses because the health and social services network is not responsible for them.
  • It decided to go ahead and investigate the quality of the care and services provided to the residents, more specifically, those delivered by health and social services network employees.
  • It also investigated the actions of the Curateur public du Québec, which was responsible for protecting several of the residents of the boarding house.
  • The Québec Ombudsman felt that these workers are well positioned to notice violation of the residents’ safety and rights.
  • They should report to the Curateur public any situation in which people under protective supervision are being harmed. The Curateur Public could then completely fulfill its responsibilities towards them.

The result

At the end of the investigation, the Québec Ombudsman recommended various measures to the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux, the institutions concerned (CISSS and CIUSSS) and the Curateur public. It asked them to work together and to be more vigilant regarding such living environments and respect of the rights of boarding house tenants.

The Québec Ombudsman’s recommendations were accepted by all concerned.

The Québec Ombudsman ensures that your rights are upheld in your dealings with Québec public services. Are you dissatisfied with the services of a Government of Québec department or agency? Or with those of a health and social services network institution (2nd level of recourse)? File a complaint with the Québec Ombudsman by calling 1-800-463-5070 or use our online complaint form.