André Marin

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André Marin
Ontario's sixth Ombudsman, André Marin.jpg
6th Ontario Ombudsman
In office
April 1, 2005 – September 14, 2015
Preceded byClare Lewis
Succeeded byPaul Dubé
Personal details
Political partyProgressive Conservative
ResidenceOttawa, Ontario, Canada
Alma materCarleton University

André Marin is a lawyer who served as Ontario Ombudsman from 2005 to 2015.


Marin is a graduate of Carleton University (BA 1985) and University of Ottawa (LL.L 1988, JD 1989).[1]


After graduating from law school, Marin became an assistant Crown Attorney in Ottawa, Ontario in 1991 and was a part-time professor of law in Ottawa.[2][3]

From September 1996 until June 1998, he served as the Director of Ontario's Special Investigations Unit (SIU).[2][3] During his tenure at the SIU, the office initiated over 300 investigations, laid 5 charges resulting from those investigations and obtained no convictions.[4]

In June 1998, André Marin was appointed as Canada's first military ombudsman for complaints from members of the Canadian Armed Forces.[2][3][5] A 2006 report for the Canadian Department of National Defence found Marin had created a dysfunctional workplace at his office during his tenure, with multiple complaints and staff departures.[6]

Ombudsman of Ontario[edit]

On April 1, 2005 Marin was appointed as Ombudsman of Ontario by the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.[2][3] On June 1, 2010, he was reappointed to a second five-year term ending on May 31, 2015.

Office complaints[edit]

In 2010, the Toronto Star investigated human rights and labour complaints made by staff under Andre Marin's tenure.[7] Current and former staff members complained of a culture of fear and harassment.[7] A number of complaints were filed against the ombudsman, the office and his management team with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal and the union.[8][9] Marin had called the allegations "absurd". Marin was quoted as saying he had "high expectations" for his employees.[7]

In January 2011, the Ontario Press Council dismissed a complaint launched by Marin in relation to the content of a Toronto Star article which relayed information provided by former employees about his office's management practices.[10] Council initially accepted a complaint by Marin about references in the articles to his retention of then Ottawa lawyer David Paciocco, but the complaint was ruled on and ultimately dismissed.[10] The decision itself was "...the first in its 38-year history to deal with the permissible limits of investigative journalism."[10]

Notable reports[edit]

In March 2007, Marin's office released a report on the province's conduct in regards to the Ontario lottery retailer fraud scandal.[11][12]

In December 2010, Marin's office released a report on the province's conduct in regards to the 2010 G-20 Toronto summit.[13] Marin said that it was "illegal" for the government to pass secret regulations allowing for the detaining of protesters during the 2010 G-20 Toronto summit protests.[13]

In October 2013, he released a report criticizing London, Ontario mayor Joe Fontana and city councillors for a secret meeting at a restaurant where they discussed city business.[14] The councillors and mayor denied the report.[14]

In November 2014, Marin released a report that was critical of the Liberal government, calling it 'systematic government ineptitude" that led to the deaths of four children in unlicensed home daycares.[15][16] The investigation was prompted after a 2-year-old child died in an unlicensed daycare in Vaughan.[15] Marin issued an "unprecedented" 113 recommendations, and called on the province to take urgent action.[15][16]

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.[17] The Star also reported that Marin used the office's corporate services director to pick-up his dry cleaning and keep an eye on Marin's maid when she cleaned his Toronto condo.[17][18][19]

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 Marin billed taxpayers $592,000 in housing since being appointed in 2005.[20]

Extending term[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.[21]

Social media activities[edit]

Marin developed a reputation for an aggressive use of social media, including sometimes issuing personal attacks and grandstanding.[22][23] Some members of the press have criticized his judgment and impartiality.[23][24]

In 2013, after being harassed on Twitter by an individual identifying himself as "Joe Mayo," Marin wrongly identified a 12-year respected veteran of the Durham Region police force, Dennis Scott. Marin used the official Ontario Ombudsman Twitter account to publicly release the wrongly accused officer's badge number, police force, and salary. The officer's personal information was widely reported in the media based on Marin's information.[25] 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.[26] Marin publicly boasted that his (Ontario Ombudsman) staff had identified the name and badge number behind the account "within minutes."[26] Marin refused to answer questions as to how his staff was able to track this information when the office has no jurisdiction over police forces.[27]

In early May 2015, with his term soon coming to an end and no decision made whether to rehire him for an unprecedented third term, Marin used the Ontario Ombudsman Twitter account to call for supporters to urge for his rehiring and to retweet attacks aimed at the Liberal government and Premier Wynne.[22] A sarcastic comment was also sent about Globe & Mail columnist Adam Radwanski's late father after Radwanski commented that his Twitter feed was being clogged tweets aimed at Marin.[28] Marin also endorsed tweets calling Wynne's government a "banana republic" and another tweet calling Wynne's government as corrupt as FIFA.[22][23] The Globe and Mail in an editorial said he exercised "extremely poor judgment."[23] Andrea Horwath, leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party, defended Marin's Twitter use, saying he had good reason to cause a fuss in support of his attempts to be rehired.[22][28]

In July 2015, Marin acknowledged his tweets from May were a mistake and said he had learned from the experience, but defended his right to be vocal about criticizing the government.[29]

End of tenure as Ombudsman[edit]

On September 14, 2015, a motion to grant Marin a second extension was defeated in the Legislature, bringing his tenure to an end.[30] Barbara Finlay was appointed acting Ombudsman in September 2015 and Paul Dubé was appointed Marin's permanent successor effective April 1, 2016.[31] Since leaving office he has taught law at the University of Ottawa.[31]

On April 15, 2016, it was revealed that Marin filed a lawsuit against the Ontario government and the office of the Ontario Government for wrongful dismissal. He is claiming $3.5 million in damages.[32][33] Marin argued that he had been fired without cause or notice when he was not rehired for a third term, and that he should have been given two years notice.[34] Marin also claimed that because he had assumed he would be rehired, he had failed to find another job, had bought a new home, and had been publicly humiliated.[35] Justice Peter Cavanagh of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruled against Marin by agreeing to requests by the legislature to dismiss the case over jurisdiction issues and to strike Marin's statement of claim from the record because it lacked a reasonable cause of action.[35] In May 2017, the court ordered Marin pay legal costs – $18,552 to the ombudsman's office and $49,984 to the provincial legislature.[34]

In May 2015, while still ombudsman, Marin filed a complaint with The Law Society of Upper Canada against Warren Kinsella after Kinsella repeatedly criticized his behaviour in office.[36] In August 2016, Marin's complaint was dismissed by the law society, and no hearing was held.[36]

Later career[edit]

In 2016, the town of Brighton, Ontario recommended Jon Ewart, who serves as integrity commissioner for many local municipalities, for the position of Brighton integrity commissioner. Andre Marin had applied for the same position. Marin took to social media to accuse the process of being unfair and non-transparent and asked for a halt of the hiring process. The mayor defended the municipality's process stating that Mr. Marin is not one of the 28 legal professionals recognized as municipal law specialists by the Law Society of Upper Canada.[37]

After leaving office Marin began teaching part-time in the University of Ottawa's faculty of law and writing a column for the Ottawa Sun and Toronto Sun.[38]


On September 24, 2016, Marin was named the Progressive Conservative candidate for the November 2016 by-election in Ottawa—Vanier.[39] He was defeated by Liberal candidate Nathalie Des Rosiers by a 19-point margin, the best performance by a Progressive Conservative candidate in the riding for decades. In remarks given after his defeat, Marin warned that party leader Patrick Brown had to put social conservatives "in their place" because they are "a threat to the party" that might cost them the 42nd Ontario general election.[40]

Electoral Record[edit]

Ontario provincial by-election, November 17, 2016: Ottawa—Vanier
Resignation of Madeleine Meilleur
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Nathalie Des Rosiers 14,678 48.56 -7.00
Progressive Conservative André Marin 9,023 29.85 +7.56
New Democratic Claude Bisson 4,544 15.03 +1.72
Green Raphaël Morin 972 3.22 -4.79
Stop the New Sex-Ed Agenda Elizabeth de Viel Castel 399 1.32
Libertarian Dean T. Harris 202 0.67 -0.17
None of the Above Above Znoneofthe 157 0.52
Canadian Constituents' Stephanie McEvoy 77 0.25
People's Political Party Kevin Clarke 73 0.24
Freedom David McGruer 53 0.18
Pauper John Turmel 51 0.17
Total valid votes 30,229 36.36 -12.50
Eligible voters 83,137  
Liberal hold Swing -7.28
Elections Ontario[41]


  1. ^ Marin, André. "André Marin on". Retrieved 2016-10-26.
  2. ^ a b c d Canadian Who’s Who 2011. Orillia, Ontario: Third Sector Publishing. 2011. p. 792. ISBN 978-0-921173-27-4.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ "Ontario ombudsman wrong person to lead SIU probe, critics say". National Post.
  5. ^ Taylor, Scott (May 6, 2015). "Back to square one on sex abuse in the military". NOW Magazine. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  6. ^ Bruser, David; Welsh, Moira (June 2, 2010). "André Marin left dysfunction and discontent as military ombudsman". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on 2015-03-08. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
  7. ^ a b c Welsh, Moira; Bruser, David (May 28, 2010). "Staff say Ombudsman Andre Marin's Office Plagued by Culture of Fear". Toronto Star. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
  8. ^ "Lam v. Ontario Ombudsman, 2009 HRTO 1261". CanLII. CanLII. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
  9. ^ "Foote v. Ombudsman (Ontario), 2008 HRTO 415". CanLII. CanLII. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
  10. ^ a b c "Press council rules on complaint against Star". The Toronto Star. 2011-01-21. Retrieved 2015-11-13.
  11. ^ "Lotteries: A Game of Trust".
  12. ^ "Ont. lottery fraud suits urged by ombudsman".
  13. ^ a b Ferguson, Robert Benzie and Rob (2010-12-07). "Ombudsman Andre Marin has recommended that the little-known 1939 legislation should be revised and protocols developed so the public is made aware when police powers are modified". The Toronto Star. ISSN 0319-0781. Retrieved 2015-10-23.
  14. ^ a b Brennan, Richard J. (2013-10-22). "Ontario Ombudsman André Marin's has found a secret meeting of the mayor and six London, Ont. city council members was a betrayal of public trust". The Toronto Star. ISSN 0319-0781. Retrieved 2015-10-23.
  15. ^ a b c Monsebraaten, Laurie; Oved, Marco Chown (2014-10-22). "Andre Marin issued an unprecedented 113 recommendations, and calls the case of 2-year-old Eva Ravikovich's death in a 'brazenly illegal' daycare, the 'canary in the coal mine.'". The Toronto Star. ISSN 0319-0781. Retrieved 2015-10-23.
  16. ^ a b "Ontario's unlicensed daycares require 'urgent action': ombudsman Andre Marin". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 2015-10-23.
  17. ^ a b Howlett, Karen; Radawanski, Adam (August 23, 2012). "Tables are turned as Ontario Ombudsman's expenses come under scrutiny". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  18. ^ "Public Sector Salary Disclosure 2009". Ontario Ministry of Finance. Ontario Ministry of Finance. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  19. ^ Bruser, David (July 11, 2010). "André Marin gave contracts to friend starting in 2001". Toronto Star. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
  20. ^ 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.
  21. ^ Ferguson, Rob (May 28, 2015). "Ontario ombudsman André Marin's job extended". Toronto Star. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  22. ^ a b c d Morrow, Adrian (May 28, 2015). "Ontario's Ombudsman starts Twitter flame war as end of term approaches". Globe & Mail. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  23. ^ a b c d "Ontario ombudsman goes rogue. Government smiles". Globe & Mail. May 31, 2015. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  24. ^ "Andre Marin gets four-month extension after Twitter appeal". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 2015-10-23.
  25. ^ Bitonti, Daniel (August 28, 2014). "Police and Ontario ombudsman André Marin tangled in Twitter dispute". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
  26. ^ a b "Ombudsman should apologize for ID'ing wrong cop for offensive tweets: lawyer". CTV News. Canadian Press. August 27, 2013. Retrieved August 5, 2016.
  27. ^ Artuso, Antonella (August 8, 2013). "Andre Marin ID's Twitter troll as Durham Police officer". Toronto Sun. Retrieved November 20, 2014.
  28. ^ 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.
  29. ^ Ferguson, Rob (2015-07-28). "Ontario ombudsman André Marin calls tweets a mistake". The Toronto Star. ISSN 0319-0781. Retrieved 2015-10-23.
  30. ^ "Motion to extend Ontario ombudsman Andre Marin's term denied". City News. Sep 14, 2015. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  31. ^ a b "Ontario appoints Paul Dubé permanent replacement to André Marin as provincial ombudsman". National Post. 16 February 2016. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  32. ^ "Former Ombudsman Andre Marin suing for wrongful dismissal". CP24. Retrieved 2016-04-15.
  33. ^ Csanady, Ashley (April 14, 2016). "Ex-Ontario ombudsman sues for wrongful dismissal, says Wynne's office orchestrated public humiliation". National Post. Retrieved 19 April 2016.
  34. ^ a b "Ex-ombudsman André Marin ordered to pay $68K in legal fees after failed lawsuit". CBC News. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
  35. ^ a b Jones, Allison (March 16, 2017). "Court disisses lawsuit from former ombudsman Andre Marin". CP24. The Canadian Press. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
  36. ^ a b Ferreira, Victor (2016-08-09). "'I don't care about him': Complaint filed by ex-Ontario ombudsman against outspoken lawyer fizzles out". National Post. Retrieved 2016-08-09.
  37. ^ Hyatt, Sarah (August 18, 2016). "Former Ontario ombud thinks he's the best man for integrity job in Brighton". Brighton Independent. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  38. ^ Reevely, David (24 September 2016). "Former ombudsman André Marin wants to run for Progressive Conservatives in Ottawa-Vanier". Ottawa Citizen.
  39. ^ "Former ombudsman André Marin wants to run for Conservatives in Ottawa-Vanier". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 2016-10-26.
  40. ^ Platt, Brian (November 18, 2016). "Social conservatives a 'threat' to Ontario PCs, says André Marin after byelection loss". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
  41. ^ "Internet Application - Search Candidates". Elections Ontario.
Legal offices
Preceded by
James M. Stewart
Director of the Special Investigations Unit
Succeeded by
Peter A. Tinsley

External links[edit]