The NWT’s Ombud Office is open

NWT Ombud Colette Langlois

The NWT’s first Ombud’s Office opened in 2019. Colette Langlois and staff opened the Office just before the pandemic hit. Since then the office has been quietly taking complaints about administrative fairness in the territorial government departments and agencies.

What is meant by administrative fairness? Any person who deals with a government department or one of its agencies has a right to timely, clear and concise information in relation to any decisions government departments and agencies make on behalf of someone.

Recently, Section 16 was added to the Ombud’s Act which allows for Indigenous governments to use the services of the Ombud’s Office. Why would an Indigenous government want to use the Ombud’s Office? The Ombud’s Office can investigate and suss out any problems that the Indigenous government is having and will privately present their findings to the Indigenous government. This is not a public process and results of any investigations are private and available on to the Indigenous government who requested the investigation. The cost according to the Ombud’s Office is minimal and those interested should call the Ombud’s Office to find out more on how to begin the process.

Although the Ombud is appointed by the Legislative Assembly, their work is independent of government and the MLAs.
The Ombud’s Office does not take sides, they are looking for fairness.
The Ombud’s Office is considered a last resort after all avenues for fairness have been exhausted. The Ombud’s Office is confidential and all investigations are done in private.

The Ombud’s Office is required to maintain the confidentiality of any information received on behalf of those they are investigating as well as keeping the outcome of investigations private and confidential.

The Ombud’s Office also has a website where those interested in learning more about the Office can find the information in all of the territory’s Indigenous languages.

To contact the Ombud’s Office by telephone call toll free at: 1-844-686-6283

Or check out their website at: