Respect, impartiality and fairness
Our values are the bedrock for the humanity of our action and our interventions.
Respect means understanding others by being open, empathetic and truly listening. This value also hinges on recognizing every person’s dignity and on accepting differences among people. The Québec Ombudsman considers that treating citizens, members of its staff and any public service employee with whom it interacts with the respect and discretion they deserve is of paramount importance. Respect implies an element of reciprocity.
Impartiality means handling every situation with openness and without preconceived ideas. Impartiality can be exercised in the political, economic, social or cultural spheres. Being impartial adds to the Québec Ombudsman’s credibility, especially when it intervenes to seek solutions concerning problems with public services. Impartiality requires that the Québec Ombudsman act with honesty and integrity at all times. This value is expressed concretely in the rigour that must prevail when it analyzes the events reported by:
- the people who lodge complaints;
- the many people with whom it interacts within public services;
- the other sources it consults, without preordained notions.
Fairness calls for treating people justly and without discrimination. This value has three components:
- Initially, a fair decision-making process;
- In acting, respectful, accessible and responsive service;
- At the end of the process, a fair decision that is sensitive to individual circumstances and situations and is based on complete information.
Rules can sometimes be adapted for the sake of fairness. They can be loosened if needed when strict application of fair processing does not yield a satisfactory solution. It may therefore be unfair to treat everyone the same way if it puts others at too great a disadvantage. In such cases, the response can take humanitarian grounds into account, for example.
A strong commitment
All members of our team ascribe great importance to our institutional values, set out in our Service Statement. Moreover, within the framework of their duties, they must abide by the Code of Ethics ans Professional Conduct (PDF, 223 KiB, in French only).
The Ombudsman and the Deputy Ombudspersons are subject to the Institution's Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct (PDF, 155 KB).
Appointed by the members of all political parties in the National Assembly, the Québec Ombudsman or Ombudsperson is accountable only to the National Assembly and therefore has the neutrality, independence and impartiality required to perform his or her duties.