André Marin

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Ontario's sixth Ombudsman, André Marin

André Marin LLB (born January 12, 1965) is a former Crown Attorney, University of Ottawa law professor, Director of Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit and Canadian Armed Forces Ombudsman. On April 1, 2005 he was appointed as Ombudsman of Ontario by the Ontario Legislative Assembly and was reappointed on June 1, 2010 to a second five-year term ending on May 31, 2015.[1][2]

Career[edit]

After graduating from the University of Ottawa's National Program with civil and common law degrees, André Marin worked as an assistant Crown attorney and as a part-time professor of law in Ottawa, Canada.[1][2]

From September 1996 until June 1998, he served as the Director of Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU).[1][2] During his tenure at the SIU, the office initiated over 300 investigations, laid 5 charges resulting from those investigations and obtained no convictions. Marin was sued twice by police officers for malicious prosecution.[3]

In June 1998, André Marin became Canada’s first military Ombudsman, responsible for investigating complaints from members of the Canadian Armed Forces.[1][2] He created a “Special Ombudsman Response Team” (SORT) which investigated broad systemic issues, such as post-traumatic stress disorder among soldiers and compensation for the families of soldiers who are killed or wounded.

A 2006 workplace assessment conducted by the Canadian Department of National Defence (DND) and commissioned by Marin's successor, Yves Côté, in the wake of Marin’s seven-year tenure found that he left a dysfunctional workplace, rife with complaints and 150 staff departures.[4] The report found the human resources department under Marin "may actually be contributing to inefficiency in the organization” and that "adversarial investigations were anticipated and encouraged" during Marin's tenure.[4] On Marin’s departure, the report stated that staff expressed “overwhelming relief . . . to see the new leadership take its place.”[4] 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.[4]

As Ontario Ombudsman (2005-Present) Marin’s personal expense practices have been the source of controversy. In 2010, the Globe and Mail publicized some of Marin’s claimed expenses, including his personal grooming products, a $38 toothbrush and a $2,000 for a flat screen TV for his Ottawa home.[5] The Star revealled that he had awarded more than $140,000 in untendered contracts to his mentor law professor and now Ontario Court of Justice, David Paciocco to help him write his reports. [6] In April 2015, Marin’s expenses came under scrutiny again for billing Ontario taxpayers an average of $14,800 in three months for housing expenses so he could maintain residences in both Toronto and Ottawa, sometimes spending more than $2,000 a month in rent while in Toronto, with an estimated total $592,000 since being appointed in 2005.[7] Many Ontario Ombudsman staff had similar complaints of Marin as the DND Ombudsman staff. Many human rights and labour complaints have been filed against Marin and his management team and a support group of 35 current and former employees called Coalition Against Discrimination at Ombudsman Ontario (CADOO)was formed during Marin's first term.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Canadian Who’s Who 2011. Orillia, Ontario: Third Sector Publishing. 2011. p. 792. ISBN 978-0-921173-27-4. 
  2. ^ a b c d Hyson, Stewart, ed. (2009). Provincial and Territorial Ombudsman Offices in Canada. University of Toronto Press. p. 200. ISBN 978-1-4426-4067-2. 
  3. ^ "Ontario ombudsman wrong person to lead SIU probe, critics say". National Post. 
  4. ^ a b c d Bruser, David; Welsh, Moira (June 2, 2010). "André Marin left dysfunction and discontent as military ombud". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on 2015-03-06. Retrieved February 28, 2015. 
  5. ^ Howlett, Karen; Radawanski, Adam (August 23, 2012). "Tables are turned as Ontario Ombudsman's expenses come under scrutiny". Globe and Mail. Retrieved 4 February 2015. 
  6. ^ Bruser, David (July 11, 2010). "André Marin gave contracts to friend starting in 2001". Toronto Star. Retrieved 18 February 2015. 
  7. ^ Csanady, Ashley (22 April 2015). "Why are taxpayers forking over hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Ontario ombudsman’s pricey commute?". National Post. Retrieved 22 April 2015. 
  8. ^ Welsh, Moira; David, Bruser (May 28, 2010). "Staff say Ombudsman André Marin’s office plagued by ‘culture of fear’". Toronto Star. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
Legal offices
Preceded by
James M. Stewart
Director of the Special Investigations Unit
1996–1998
Succeeded by
Peter A. Tinsley

External links[edit]