André Marin

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Ontario's sixth Ombudsman, André Marin

André Marin (born January 12, 1965) is a Canadian lawyer and Ombudsman. He was appointed as Ombudsman of Ontario by the Ontario Legislative Assembly on April 1, 2005 and was reappointed on June 1, 2010 to a second five-year term. Before 2005, he was the first Ombudsman for the Canadian Armed Forces[1] and Director of the Ontario Special Investigations Unit.O [2]

Early career[edit]

After graduating with civil and common law degrees from the University of Ottawa's National Program,[3] Marin worked as an assistant Crown attorney and part-time professor of law in Ottawa, Canada until 1996. From September 1996 to June 1998, he was Director of Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Canada’s only independent civilian agency for investigating incidents in which police officers have caused serious injury or death.[4]

In June 1998, Marin became Canada’s first military Ombudsman, responsible for the investigation of complaints from members of the Canadian forces. He created the “Special Ombudsman Response Team” (SORT) for investigating broad systemic issues, such as post-traumatic stress disorder among soldiers, compensation for the families of soldiers who are killed or wounded, and chemical agent testing during World War II.[5] The report done by the office on Marin's departure in 2005 found that he left a dysfunctional workplace in his wake, rife with complaints and 150 staff departures.[6][7]

The 2006 workplace assessment conducted by the Canadian Department of National Defence (DND) in the wake of Marin’s seven-year tenure found that he left a dysfunctional workplace , rife with complaints and 150 staff departures.[6][7] 46 Staff were interviewed who described a similar culture of fear, harassment, arbitrary work practices as methods of control and a neutered human resources department, as Ontario Ombudsman staff described.[6][8] The report found that Marin’s bad human resources practices and “adversarial investigations” may have actually contributed to the "inefficiency in the organization.”[6] On Marin’s departure, the report stated that staff expressed “overwhelming relief . . . to see the new leadership take its place.”[6] In 2010, upon learning of the DND’s negative report on Marin’s tenure as the Canadian Military Ombudsman, Marin’s predecessor as Ontario Ombudsman, Clare Lewis, commented that he would not have supported Marin’s appointment.[6]

Ontario Ombudsman[edit]

Marin is the sixth Ontario Ombudsman since 1975 and the first to be reappointed. He reorganized the office to handle some 27,000 individual public complaints and inquiries as well as about half a dozen major systemic investigations each year. His "Special Ombudsman Response Team" (SORT) — a team of investigators who conduct large-scale field investigations into high-profile, complex issues — has raised the public profile of the Toronto-based Office of the Ombudsman and led to government reforms affecting millions of Ontarians.[9] SORT investigations have prompted major overhauls of, among other things, the province’s procedures for newborn screening, its property tax assessment system, funding for the disabled and special-needs children, out-of-country medical treatment, crime victim compensation, legal aid and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation.[10]

Marin’s direct language, his investigation model and his promotion of technology and transparency have “reinvigorated the Ombudsman idea in Canada” and “set a standard for the rest of the country,” authors Hyson and Munro state in Provincial and Territorial Ombudsman Offices in Canada.[11] They note that since Marin’s appointment, “the Ontario Ombudsman has had a very high public profile that has generated considerable news coverage because the office has fulfilled its role expectations like never before. Marin has often been sharply critical of government; even so, the government has generally accepted his recommendations.”[12] Marin coined the term “rulitis” to describe a government bureaucracy’s slavish adherence to rules at the expense of common sense.[13]

Marin has also advocated for greater openness and transparency in government,[14] and made his office the first in Canada to introduce social media and a web app as tools for communicating with the public.[15]

In May 2007, Marin was elected to a two-year term as President of the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman, representing public and private ombudsmen across the country. He also served as North American Regional Vice-President of the International Ombudsman Institute[16] from 2005 to 2012, and he is a member of the board of directors of the Association des Ombudsmans et Médiateurs de la francophonie (francophone ombudsman association).[17]

Marin also shares his office’s expertise with other oversight agencies across Canada and around the world. Since 2007, he has conducted an annual training course in Toronto called “Sharpening Your Teeth: Advanced Training for Administrative Watchdogs”, which has been attended by several hundred administrative investigators and ombudsmen from Canadian federal and provincial agencies, U.S. states and federal departments, as well as from across Europe, the Caribbean, Australia, South America and Asia.[18] The course has also been delivered at the International Ombudsman Institute headquarters in Vienna, Austria and by invitation in many other countries, always on a complete cost-recovery basis.[19]

Ontario Ombudsman mandate[edit]

Like all of his predecessors since 1975, Marin has advocated to have the Ombudsman’s mandate extended to key areas of the public sector that are outside his jurisdiction, although they are funded by provincial tax dollars: This is the so-called MUSH sector, comprising Municipalities, Universities, School Boards and Hospitals, as well as long-term care facilities, children’s aid societies and police. For years, Ontario has lagged behind all other provinces in Canada in Ombudsman oversight of these areas; as mentioned in Hyson and Munro's text, "...the Ontario Ombudsman stands out as having the most limited range of activities among Canadian Ombudsmen… This has been a constant source of frustration for office holders over the years."[20] In his annual reports, Marin summarizes the hundreds of complaints that his office turns away every year from people who have had serious problems with these institutions.[21]

In December 2014, the provincial legislature passed a law giving the Office of the Ontario Ombudsman oversight of municipalities, universities, and school boards (Bill 8, Public Sector and MPP Accountability and Transparency Act, 2014). The law was passed, but the portions affecting the Ombudsman's mandate have not yet been proclaimed in force.[22] Marin noted in a press release that the expansion "will double the agencies his office oversees by adding some 548 bodies (443 municipalities, 22 universities, 83 school boards) to the 500-plus provincial ministries, agencies, boards, corporations, commissions and tribunals already within his mandate." [23]

Previously, in January 2008, the office’s mandate was narrowly extended to include responsibility for enforcing the provincial law requiring municipal meetings to be open to the public. The Municipal Act designates the Ombudsman as the investigator for public complaints about closed meetings in all municipalities that have not appointed their own investigators – approximately 200 of Ontario’s 445 municipalities. To meet this responsibility, Marin created a team in the Ombudsman’s Office in called OMLET – the Open Meeting Law Enforcement Team.[24]

In October 2008, Marin published The Sunshine Law Handbook: Open Municipal Meetings in Ontario to assist municipal officials and the public in their awareness and interpretation of the requirements. The Handbook is distributed to every municipal councillor and clerk in the province and is also available to the public. (Subsequent editions were published in 2009 and 2015.) Results of OMLET investigations are made public by the relevant municipalities and on the Ombudsman's website.[25]

Controversies Under Marin's Mandate[edit]

The current Ombudsman, Andre Marin, has been the subject of a number of public controversies during his tenure. These have ranged from his high-profile investigations to his management style, his office expenses and use of Twitter.[8][26][27][28][29][30][31] In 2010, Toronto Star (the Star) reporters David Bruser and Moira Welsh investigated human rights and labour complaints by Ombudsman staff under Marin’s tenure [8][32][33][34][35][36][37] and his awarding of contracts to law professor and now Ontario Court Justice, David Paciocco.[38]

Human rights and labour complaints[edit]

In late May 2010, the Toronto Star published a series of articles based on interviews of at least 10 past and present Ombudsman employees who alleged that Marin instituted a “culture of fear” in the workplace upon taking over as Ontario Ombudsman. It also reported some employees had filed complaints with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal(OHRT). Employees alleged systematic bullying, harassment and in some cases, racism.[8][32][33][34][35][37] Some also alleged there were bizarre rules prohibiting them from using the hallway in front of Marin's office, speaking to Marin unless spoken to first, and displaying personal photos in their workspaces.[8] Despite the nature of the complaints against Marin's office, equity and labour, Andrea Horwath and the Ontario New Democrats have remained staunch supporters of Marin's mandate and management style.[39][7]

By 2010, the Ombudsman’s office, a fairness office that reports directly to the Ontario Legislature, had five simultaneous and active complaints against it filed by employees with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal(OHRT).[8][32][33][34][35][37] Marin was named in at least one complaint by his former human resources manager, which was dismissed in August 2010.[37] The tribunal has not made any findings against the Ombudsman's office as several are still before the OHRT.[33][35][36]

The sources quoted by the Star estimated that at least 10 former employees have been “bought out” and “gagged” from speaking about their negative experiences and received payments from Marin’s office.[8] The Star also reported that the employees' union retained a labour investigator, but noted neither she nor the union would comment on whether an investigation was conducted.[8] On June 3, 2010, the Star reported that a report done after Marin left his post as Ombudsman for the Canadian Forces in 2005 found that he left a dysfunctional workplace in his wake, rife with complaints and 150 staff departures.[6]

"Slave Auction" poster[edit]

In 2012, another OHRT complaint was filed by the former front desk receptionist, who is black and of Haitian/African-Canadian descent. She alleged racial discrimination and a methodical pattern of harassment and intimidation, culminating in two main events.[36] She claimed that in 2010, a white manager, knowing she had concerns for family in Haiti following the 2010 Haiti earthquake, purposefully made hurtful and untrue comments intended to harass her based on her ethnic origin, by saying he was planning a cruise with a “pit stop in Haiti … but not where all that cholera stuff is going on.”[36] The Tribunal dismissed this claim in November 2013, stating that a "mere statement that one is not going to the parts of Haiti where there is cholera raises no connection to a (Human Rights) Code ground." [40]

The second allegation surrounded a poster that was e-mailed to all Ombudsman employees and also physically placed around the office, including the reception desk where the employee worked, about a "silent auction" charity event.[36] It included a cartoon of a group of white men waiving paper money, accompanied by a poem that included the suggestion that staff could auction themselves as a “slave for a day” to raise money for charity.[36] The poster was created by the employees’ social committee, which was entirely white and included a member of the Ombudsman's senior management team, senior legal counsel Wendy Ray, who has been personally named in a number of human rights and discrimination cases against the office.[33][36][37] Following complaints from other black employees, the poster was revised and “slave for a day” was replaced with “gofer for a day.” The employee complained that despite this, a copy of the original offending poster was left on her desk, and that the author of the poem later escalated the situation by sending an email that said, in part: "why anyone would take offense is BEYOND ME and if you can’t see that, then you clearly have ISSUES (…) And if this email makes you even more mad and offended, TOO BAD!!!![36] At the OHRT, the ex-employee and author of the email claimed that it involved a completely unrelated dispute among social committee members.[41] The complainant alleged these incidents were part of a continuing pattern of systemic discrimination she had been subjected to while employed at the Ontario Ombudsman. She also alleged that as result of her complaint, she was subjected to serious reprisals by management and eventually forced out of her job.[36]

David Paciocco contracts[edit]

In June and July 2010, the Toronto Star published two articles reporting that that over his 12 years as the Ontario Ombudsman and Ombudsman for the Canadian Military, Marin awarded consulting contracts worth almost a quarter of a million dollars to Ottawa law professor David Paciocco.[38][42] At the time, Marin’s salary was at $215,000.[43] The articles cited federal documents showing $84,000 was paid to Paciocco between 2001 and 2005 and $141,000 after 2005. The Star described Paciocco as Marin's "good friend" (although Marin's office said they had no personal relationship) and cited unnamed sources alleging that Paciocco was hired to "spice up" Marin's reports (while Marin's office said he was hired for his legal expertise, for which tendering is not required). The Star quoted comments that Paciocco made about Marin in a speech at a public dinner the previous year:

I have known him since he was a boy’s head sticking out of a man’s suit. I have known and worked with André Marin for more some 20 years - which happens to be his entire professional career... I like to think that Andre fancied me as something of his mentor.[38][42]

As a result of the Star article series, Marin and Paciocco made the first Ontario Press Council challenge to the “permissible limits of investigative journalism” in its 38-year history.[44] They disputed many of the allegations from the Star's unnamed sources and argued that the articles were unbalanced. In its January 2011 decision,[44] the Press Council upheld Paciocco's complaint and aspects of Marin's, requiring the Star to publish this fact on its website. The council noted that it was not in a position to determine whether or not the facts in the articles were correct, although it found no obvious factual errors in the stories. However, it stated that the articles gave "greater prominence to the allegations against Mr. Marin than to his denials," [45] and that "the vague assertions by an anonymous source, the excerpts from a speech given by Mr. Paciocco and the results of the Star’s subsequent investigation into the fees paid to Mr. Paciocco do not justify the derogatory inferences that the two stories contain."[45] The Council also stated:

...that while the articles, on balance, gave greater prominence to the allegations against Marin than to the denials, there were no obvious factual errors contained in the stories and that “no aspect of the complainant’s defense went unreported.[44]

Ombudsman expenses controversy[edit]

In 2010, the Office's expenses came under public scrutiny after the Globe and Mail publicized some of the spending from the Ombudsman’s budget.[46] The Globe revealed that in 2006, Marin billed taxpayers for his personal grooming products, including a $38 toothbrush, as well as martinis with an employee while on the road.[46][47] Marin noted that he and his staff had just moved to new premises in Toronto and he was stocking up his office washroom.[46][48][49] He also purchased a $2,000 flat screen TV for his Ottawa home, saying it was to watch Queen's Park’s Question Period whenever he was at home in Ottawa; he noted that the television belongs to the Ombudsman’s office and will be returned once he is no longer in the job.[46][48] Marin works at home in Ottawa every other week, a deal that was part of his contract.[46][48][50] Marin did not say how much time he spent in Ottawa versus Toronto. Marin argued he in fact saved taxpayers money by moving to Toronto—where the Ombudsman's office is located, presumably, rather than moving the Ombudsman's office to Ottawa, where Marin lived.[46] Meanwhile, the Star reported that Marin’s Director of Corporate Services, who’s salary was $142,000 at the time, was made to pick-up Marin’s dry cleaning and monitor Marin’s maid when she cleaned his Toronto condo; Marin’s office said that the executive’s job included visiting Marin’s condo to watch over the property but did not include dry cleaning pickup.[21].[38]

During Marin's first five-year mandate, 2005-2010, 70 Ombudsman's Office staff left, collecting approximately $780,000 in severance pay from public funds.[6]

Marin publicly expressed frustration that his expense records were given to the Globe and suggested he may have been too trusting with former employees who were forced to resign. He suggested they should have been “frisked ...on their way out.”[46] Marin went on to claim that the criticism of his expenses was akin to a witch hunt reminiscent of the anti-communist "McCarthyism.”[42][48] The Globe reported that New Democratic Party House Leader Peter Kormos lodged a formal complaint with the Speaker accusing the government of intervening in a non-partisan search process and of launching "scurrilous, malicious" attacks against Marin [26] while then-opposition leader Tim Hudak urged then-Premier Dalton McGuinty to apologize to Marin for “one of the dirtiest whisper campaigns in memory”.[51] Opposition parties dubbed it a “malicious” smear campaign against Marin, and McGuinty noted it was getting “a little out of hand.” [51] In 2015, the government adopted a new process for all legislative watchdog appointments that will include an open competition. Liberal House leader Yasir Naqvi was reported as saying there is no agenda against Marin “this time”, which, the Toronto Star noted, “was not the case in 2010.”[52]

In 2010 a page was added to the Ontario Ombudsman’s website called “Proactive Disclosure.” The page contains a generalized overview of Marin’s and expenses and those of his deputy ombudsman, Barb Findlay, posted quarterly.[53] The Ombudsman’s Act allows the Ombudsman to office set its own rules governing expenses as long as they’re reasonable, and expenses are reviewed annually by the provincial auditor. Marin’s salary in 2010 was $216,000.[46]

Twitter controversies[edit]

Marin has been widely criticized for his personal use of the official Ontario Ombudsman Twitter account.[54][55][29][56][57] He has routinely used it to attack members of the public, name subjects of his investigations and comment on matters of which he has no jurisdiction.[55][58][31][29][56][57][59][60] Western University political science professor Andrew Sancton said of Marin's use of Twitter: “I think that he doesn’t treat that account in a way that is appropriate for someone in his position. He attacks individuals … and he retweets things that are even more abusive of other people. I just don’t think it’s an appropriate way for a public official to behave.”[29] As well as being “Ontario’s Watchdog,” defending Ontarians from potentially unchecked government, Marin is also known for his penchant for publicly and viciously attacking those with differing opinions or whom he sees as adversaries; and he is “willing to destroy other people's reputations so he can build his own.”[61] What many see as bullying, Marin calls use of “moral suasion."[62]

Durham police/"Joe Mayo"[edit]

On August 8, 2013, the Ombudsman’s Office announced an investigation into how the provincial government directs police to deal with de-escalating crisis situations, in the wake of the police shooting death of 18-year-old Sammy Yatim on a Toronto streetcar.[63]

Before the 11 a.m. press conference, Marin was tweeted at multiple times by a Twitter user whose bio said “only goal in life: expose Andre Marin for the leach on society he is”. The user, @JoeyMayo12 (account since deleted), tweeted: “@Ont_Ombudsman is a carded member of Al Qaida” and “@Ont_Ombudsman YOU SIR ARE A COMPLETE DOUCHE BAG! Why don’t you stick your big french nose up your ass instead of business it doesnt belong”.[64] Marin tweeted that the account was linked to the name and badge number of an officer with the Durham Regional Police Service, whom he identified publicly.[65]

Marin responded by wrongly accusing a 12-year respected veteran of the Durham Region police force. First Marin publicly identified “Dennis Scott,” then later changed the name to Det.–Constable Scott Dennis of being "Joe Mayo." Marin used the official Ontario Ombudsman Twitter account to publicly accuse the Scott and to disclose his police force, badge number and his salary. Dennis’s personal information was widely reported in the media based on Marin’s information.[60] Dennis, described as an “outstanding officer” by his superiors, began to receiving insulting and harassing emails from the public as a result of Marin’s mistake.[66] Marin publicly boasted that his (Ontario Ombudsman) staff had identified the (wrong) name and badge number behind the account "within minutes." [66] Marin’s office has no jurisdiction over police forces and Marin refused to explain how he was able to so quickly get the information on Denis that he did.[28] Initially, Marin refused to apologize to the Dennis, publicly stating that he saw no need for an apology "at this time."[66] Marin went on to complain that it was unfair that the Durham police were quick to ask him to apologize to Dennis but not for an apology for Marin: “What about an apology for being the victim of hate mail by one of his finest."[66] Marin apologized after Dennis’ lawyer publicly stated they were considering legal action against Marin and the Ontario Ombudsman’s office.[66][28] After his apology, Marin then entered into a public spat with Durham Police Chief Mike Ewels. despite Marin's mistaken investigation, he began to criticizing Ewels's leadership and investigative abilities:

I was never impressed by how the investigation was conducted... The investigators got their marching orders on this from their chief. It was all part of the old boys’ club. As a result, they low-balled the investigation right from the beginning. Police stations are not expected to be run like National Lampoon’s Animal House.[27]

Marin’s attempts to discredit Chief Ewels drew heavy criticism from senior police officers in Ontario:

First and foremost, the ombudsman is a public official whose job it is to be objective and conduct objective, independent investigation of whatever matters he’s in charge with, acting on the evidence before him. [Ewles][60]

His behaviour is unacceptable, particularly coming from someone holding such a high position of public trust and authority. Mr. Marin, of all people, knows there is a process in filing complaints for investigation. If he had a concern, he should have followed that process. Instead, he publicly maligned an innocent person. [Dave McFadden, President of Police Association of Ontario][67]

On Marin’s claim that he was a victim of being “duped” by Joe Mayo” just like Dennis was, Dennis’ lawyer stated:[68]

Only one person was ‘duped’ in this matter, and that would appear to be, by his own admission... [my] client was not duped. He was publicly exposed, unnecessarily, by the Ombudsman and held up to public contempt and attacks. The last few weeks have been “extremely difficult” for Dennis.[69]

Durham police’s professional standards branch investigated and determined that another officer, Detective Jeff Caplan from the force’s major fraud unit, actually created the account, impersonating his colleague. Caplan pleaded guilty to charges of discreditable conduct under the Police Services Act and was demoted for nine months after a hearing in December 2013.[70] He was also ordered to undergo training on workplace harassment.[71] Caplan apologized to his colleague and Marin in September 2013. The Ombudsman met with him in person and accepted Caplan's apology.[72] However, Marin expressed outraged that Caplan was not criminally charged and blamed Chief Ewels.[73]

The lawyer for the wrongly accused said “Dennis’s life was turned upside down after he was erroneously identified as the source of a Twitter tirade against Marin.”[74] No legal action was taken against Marin or his office.

Sudbury city council[edit]

In December 2012, Marin attended a Sudbury city council meeting about whether to keep the Ontario Ombudsman as the city's oversight office or appoint someone of their own. Some councilors complained about “a lot of drama out of the Ombudsman's office"[75] and “his sarcastic attitude”.[57] Councillors reported that Marin acted aggressively, speaking over and pointing at them.[57] Following Council's vote to replace him, Marin tweeted that he feared the decision was motivated by "retaliation."[59]

Ontario Auditor General, Bonnie Lysyk[edit]

In November 2014, the Ontario Legislature debated Bill 8, which would expand the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction into areas of financial review, currently overseen by various auditor-generals. The Auditor General of Ontario, Bonnie Lysyk, said at the legislature’s committee hearings that the bill would result in a duplication of services.[31] She said the Ombudsman’s office has a complaints-based focus, while the financial operations of organizations and branches of government are more the domain of the auditor-general.[31]

Marin characterized Lysyk and the Auditor-General of Ottawa, Ken Hughes' “attack” on the bill as “astoundingly inept” on Twitter.[76][77] He then sent her a five-page letter accusing her of “blindsiding” him and warning that she was proposing a “perilous and massive step backward in terms of accountability and transparency for the citizens of Ontario.”[76][77] He told her that, had she asked beforehand, he “would have been able to educate you about the legislative history of the Ombudsman Act, how ombudsmen balance individual and systemic investigations, and the context behind the Bill 8 amendments as they relate to my Office.”[76]

Toronto Ombudsman, Fiona Crean[edit]

After testifying similar concerns about the duplication of services Bill 8 would create, Marin told the City of Toronto’s Ombudsman, Fiona Crean, via Twitter: “Your apocalyptic, doomsday scenarios are big on fantasy & light on reality” and referred to her as "Chicken Little".[31] Marin denied that his words were an attack, rather characterizing them as “advocacy.”[31]

University of Western professors, Andrew Sancton and Erika Simpson[edit]

In December, 2014, Marin blocked Western University political science professor Andrew Sancton from the official Ontario Ombudsman Twitter feed for three days after the professor tweeted criticism of Bill 8.[29] The Bill gives the Ombudsman the authority to investigate “closed meetings” of city councillors in interests of transparency. Sancton disliked that the term “meeting” is not defined in legislation, but Marin, who is not an elected legislator, created his own unauthorized definition.[29][56] He said he was "outraged" at being blocked.[29] Marin also tweeted that Sancton belonged to “the Mad Men generation,” in reference to being from the 1960s.[56]

Fellow Western political science professor and former university ombudsman, Erika Simpson, said Marin’s behaviour was in conflict with the office's duty to be an “independent, impartial and confidential mediator:” “public officials should not be able to block members of the public from reading their tweets. Marin’s electronic media postings, written under his authority as the ombudsman, should be open, transparent and subject to public scrutiny.” Marin noted that Sancton could still read his tweets on the Ombudsman's official website.[56]

Marin said blocking people from Twitter is important “for dealing with the vicious anonymous trolls who spend their days attacking public figures and their followers (including mine) with vile, bigoted and bullying tweets.”[62]

Hamilton City Integrity Commissioner, Earl Basse[edit]

In February 2015, Marin publicly criticized a report by Hamilton City Hall Integrity Commissioner Earl Basse, about a journalist pushed by a councillor at Hamilton City Hall.[78] On Twitter, he said the report lacked "evidence analysis" and said he would use it as "a model of how not to write a report".[78]


In 2009, Marin was awarded the Ontario Bar Association’s Tom Marshall Award of Excellence, which, according to the Ontario Bar Association’s website, was “established to recognize, honour, and celebrate the outstanding achievement of lawyers practising in the province of Ontario in the public interest”.[79]

In 2011, he was awarded the Order of Merit by the Civil Law Section of the University of Ottawa's Faculty of Law. The University of Ottawa’s website states that the award is the Civil Law Section’s highest alumni distinction, recognizing alumni who have made remarkable contributions to the legal profession.[80] Also in 2011, he received the highest alumni honour of the Carleton University Alumni Association, the A.D. Dunton Alumni Award of Distinction.[81]

In 2012, Marin was awarded the Canadian Bar Association's John Tait Award of Excellence, a national award which recognized that his “unwavering commitment to public service, his advocacy skills and legal acumen distinguish him as an outstanding legal professional,” according to CBA President Trinda L. Ernst.[82] He was also named as an inductee for the 2012 class of the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law’s Common Law Honour Society.[83] As well, he was given the Ontario Bar Association's Award for Distinguished Service in early 2012. The Ontario Bar Association said in a statement, "In a vocation like law, there are countless members of the bar whose contributions to justice are exceptional and worthy of recognition. Each year, the OBA asks lawyers to nominate colleagues for the OBA Award for Distinguished Service whose deserve recognition for their career contributions and achievements to the legal profession, jurisprudence, development of the law or a significant law-related benefit to the residents of Ontario." [84] In October 2012, Marin also received an award for achievement in oversight by the U.S.-based National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE).[85]

In 2013, Marin was named one of Canadian Lawyer magazine's top 25 most influential Canadian lawyers. The magazine stated “Many Ontarians have come to see Marin as an honest and tenacious advocate who has been effective in pushing the boundaries to ensure they are treated fairly and their tax dollars are not wasted." [86] He was also named one of Toronto Life magazine's top 50 most influential Torontonians as "a tireless advocate for transparent, effective government and a champion of the so-called little guy".[87] He was named to the list again in 2014,[88] as a “highly reputable and responsive” official who “listens to the people” and takes action against “unfair policies” by Ontario government agencies.[89]


  1. ^ Canadian Who’s Who 2011. Orillia: Third Sector Publishing. 2011. p. 792. ISBN 978-0-921173-27-4. 
  2. ^ Hyson, Stewart, ed. (2009). Provincial and Territorial Ombudsman Offices in Canada. University of Toronto Press. p. 200. ISBN 978-1-4426-4067-2. 
  3. ^ See the University of Ottawa's website, which lists Marin's degrees.
  4. ^ Website of the Ontario Special Investigations Unit.
  5. ^ See, for example, reports "The Way Forward" and "Systemic Treatment of CF Members with PTSD":
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h Bruser, David; Welsh, Moira (June 02 2010). "André Marin left dysfunction and discontent as military ombud". Toronto Star. Retrieved 28 February 2015.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  7. ^ a b c Ferguson, Rob (February 25, 2014). "Ombudsman André Marin, other watchdogs must reapply when contracts expire". Toronto Star. Retrieved 27 February 2015. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h Welsh, Moira; Bruser, David (May 28, 2010). "Staff say Ombudsman Andre Marins Office Plagued by Culture of Fear". Toronto Star. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  9. ^ “Ontario Ombudsman on winning streak,” The Globe and Mail, March 27, 2007.
  10. ^ “We’re lucky to have André Marin on our side,” Toronto Sun, March 9, 2008.
  11. ^ Hyson, Stewart, ed. (2009). Provincial and Territorial Ombudsman Offices in Canada. University of Toronto Press. ISBN 978-1-4426-4067-2. 
  12. ^ Hyson, Stewart, ed. (2009). Provincial and Territorial Ombudsman Offices in Canada. University of Toronto Press. pp. 189, 199. ISBN 978-1-4426-4067-2. 
  13. ^ “Ontario’s Ombudsman uses moral suasion to push accountability and the public interest,” Professionally Speaking (Ontario College of Teachers), September 2011.
  14. ^ “Ontario must get with the times on transparency, watchdog says,” Globe and Mail, June 21, 2011.
  15. ^ “Ombud opens door to complaints via social media,” Law Times, August 22, 2011.
  16. ^ Website of the International Ombudsman Institute,
  17. ^ Website of L’Association des Ombudsmans et des Médiateurs de la Francophonie,
  18. ^ “Public Protector gets help from Ombudsman of Ontario, Canada (news release, South Africa Public Protector):
  19. ^ “International Ombudsman Institute ‘Sharpening Your Teeth,’ (news release, Gibraltar Public Services Ombudsman):
  20. ^ Hyson, Stewart, ed. (2009). Provincial and Territorial Ombudsman Offices in Canada. University of Toronto Press. p. 192. ISBN 978-1-4426-4067-2. 
  21. ^ “Why Ontario’s Ombudsman needs to go to school,” Toronto Sun, May 3, 2011:
  22. ^ "Bill 8", Legislative Assembly of Ontario,
  23. ^
  24. ^ Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing:
  25. ^ Ombudsman Ontario website, Municipal Meetings section,
  26. ^ a b
  27. ^ a b DiManno, Rosie (December 4, 2014). "Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin’s online tormentor detweeted under the Police". Toronto Star. Retrieved November 21, 2014. 
  28. ^ a b c Artuso, Antonella (August 8, 2013). "Andre Marin ID's Twitter troll as Durham Police officer". Toronto Sun. Retrieved November 20, 2014. 
  29. ^ a b c d e f g O'Kruk, Amy (January 8, 2015). "Ontario ombudsman in Twitter feud with Western professors". The Gazette: Western's only daily newspaper since 1906. Retrieved January 8, 2015. 
  30. ^ "Ontario’s Ombudsman Tweets Up a Storm!". Loon Canada. Retrieved May 20, 2010. 
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  63. ^ “Sammy Yatim: Ontario ombudsman to probe police guidelines in wake of shooting”, Toronto Star, August 8, 2013
  64. ^ Durham police say they’re in contact with officer who allegedly harassed Ontario ombudsman on Twitter”, August 9, 2013
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  67. ^ "Ontario ombud apologizes for wrongly accusing cop of sending offensive tweets". City News Toronto. Canadian Press. Aug 28, 2013. 
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  79. ^ “Ontario Ombudsman André Marin receives award of excellence” -
  80. ^ Article on the University of Ottawa's website: "Une contribution exemplaire"
  81. ^ Website of the Carleton University Alumni Association,
  82. ^
  83. ^
  84. ^
  85. ^
  86. ^
  87. ^
  88. ^
  89. ^
Legal offices
Preceded by
James M. Stewart
Director of the Special Investigations Unit
Succeeded by
Peter A. Tinsley

External links[edit]