André Marin

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André Marin

André Marin LLB (born January 12, 1965) is a former Crown Attorney and government employee in Canada. 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] On May 28, 2015, his term was extended to September 14, 2015. A panel is reviewing candidates for a new five-year posting.

Career[edit]

André Marin has 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 was appointed as Canada’s first military ombudsman for complaints from members of the Canadian Armed Forces.[1][2]

A 2006 report for the Canadian Department of National Defence (DND) found Marin had shortcomings reflected in a workplace with poor morale.[4] On Marin’s departure, the report stated that staff expressed “overwhelming relief . . . to see the new leadership take its place.”[4]

Human Rights and Labour Complaints[edit]

In 2010, Toronto Star (the Star) investigated human rights and labour complaints made by staff under Andre Marin’s tenure.[5] Current and former staff members complained of a culture of fear and harassment, similar to the staff complaints appearing in the workplace assessment report on Marin after he left the role of Canadian Military Ombudsman in 2006.[5][6] Due to the number of complaints, the employee union hired an external investigator to interview over 25 employees on instances of discrimination due to race, gender and disability, harassment and forced terminations.[5] A number of complaints were filed against the ombudsman, the office and his management team with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal (OHRT) and the union.[7][8][9][10][11]

Controversy over expenses[edit]

In 2010, the Globe and Mail publicized some of the expenses he billed to taxpayers, including his personal grooming products, a $38 toothbrush and a $2,000 for a flat screen TV for his Ottawa home. The Star also reported that Marin used the office's corporate services director, who’s salary was $142,000 at the time, to pick-up his dry cleaning and keep an eye on Marin’s maid when she cleaned his Toronto condo.[12][13][14]

In April 2015, Marin’s expenses came under scrutiny again when the National Post revealed Marin had billed 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. It is estimated he billed taxpayers $592,000 in housing since being appointed in 2005.[15]

Lobby Controversy[edit]

On May 28, 2015 the Ontario Legislature voted to extend Marin's term as ombudsman until September 14, 2015 to allow him to wrap-up investigations. Over 60 people applied to become Ontario's next ombudsman, including Marin and outgoing Toronto ombudsman Fiona Crean.[16]

During the social media publicity that followed, Marin's communications staff used the official Ontario Ombudsman twitter account to re-tweet support and attacks aimed at the Liberal government and Premier Wynne by attacking and blocking opponents.[17] Followers and the media reacted with shock, anger, and disapproval when a sarcastic comment was tweeted under the assumed authority of Marin and aimed at Globe & Mail columnist Adam Radwanski's late father after Radwanski commented that his Twitter feed was being clogged tweets aimed at Marin.[18] There was a similar reaction when he endorsed tweets calling Wynne's government a “banana republic” and another tweet which asked “Who's more corrupt and needs oversight #FIFA or @Kathleen_Wynne?”[19][17] Andrea Horwath, leader of the Ontario New Democrats was the only MPP to support Marin's Twitter use.[18][17]

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 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. ^ a b c Welsh, Moira; Bruser, David (May 28, 2010). "Staff say Ombudsman Andre Marins Office Plagued by Culture of Fear". Toronto Star. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  6. ^ Bruser, David; Welsh, Moira (June 2, 2010). "André Marin left dysfunction and discontent as military ombud". Toronto Star. Retrieved 28 February 2015. 
  7. ^ "Lam v. Ontario Ombudsman, 2009 HRTO 1261". CanLII. CanLII. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  8. ^ "Foote v. Ombudsman (Ontario), 2008 HRTO 415". CanLII. CanLII. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  9. ^ "Hutchinson v. Ombudsman Ontario, 2012 HRTO 1558". CanLII. CanLII. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  10. ^ "Correia v. Ombudsman (Ontario), 2012 HRTO 501". CanLII. CanLII. 
  11. ^ "Sudac v. Office of the Ombudsman of Ontario, 2010 HRTO 1744". CanLII. CanLII. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  12. ^ 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. 
  13. ^ "Public Sector Salary Disclosure 2009". Ontario Ministry of Finance. Ontario Ministry of Finance. Retrieved 4 February 2015. 
  14. ^ Bruser, David (July 11, 2010). "André Marin gave contracts to friend starting in 2001". Toronto Star. Retrieved 18 February 2015. 
  15. ^ 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. 
  16. ^ Ferguson, Rob (May 28, 2015). "Ontario ombudsman André Marin’s job extended". Toronto Star. Retrieved 1 June 2015. 
  17. ^ a b c Morrow, Adrian (May 28, 2015). "Ontario’s Ombudsman starts Twitter flame war as end of term approaches". Globe & Mail. Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
  18. ^ a b Csanady, Ashley (May 28, 2015). "Ontario Ombudsman tweets his case to keep his job as the competition piles up". National Post. Retrieved 1 June 2015. 
  19. ^ "Ontario ombudsman goes rogue. Government smiles". Globe & Mail. May 31, 2015. Retrieved 1 June 2015. 
Legal offices
Preceded by
James M. Stewart
Director of the Special Investigations Unit
1996–1998
Succeeded by
Peter A. Tinsley

External links[edit]