Last month, The York Region Taxpayer’s Coalition made the news about our push for transparency: http://www.markhamreview.com/More-transparency-wanted
We were thrilled when York Region Government urged their council to appoint an Ombudsman as a result of our advocating: http://www.yorktaxpayer.ca/pressreleases/big-win-for-taxpayers-today-as-york-region-government-staff-recommends-council-adopt-transparency-and-accountability-policies-after-york-region-taxpayers-coalition-proposes-the-idea/
Yesterday, we hosted a free event for our members presenting the City of Toronto Ombudsman, Fiona Crean.
Fiona was gracious to travel to Markham to speak about her role as Ombudsman for Ontario’s capital. Ms. Crean was poignant, articulate, and left no doubt in our minds that she put her job protecting the people as a priority. Our afternoon with Fiona was enormously educational.
Last February, our Toronto chapter hosted the equally gracious and passionate Ombudsman of Ontario Andre Marin, whose recent report exposing Hydro One’s practices illustrated his commitment as the public’s Number One Watchdog.
Fiona reminded us that the role of an Ombudsman was to “protect the citizen,” a principal our Coalition will continue to advocate for.
Our organization sent out email invitations to all members of York Region Council; including those of the local councils that make up the 9 municipalities of York Region.
Not a single elected official replied to our email; in fact, York Region member of Council John Taylor (Newmarket) and Newmarket member of council Jane Twinney, unsubscribed to our event posts almost immediately upon reading and receiving our invitation.
That’s sad, because our event was funded and entirely organized by our volunteers: hard working taxpayers.
Even Fiona made a quip asking where our elected politicians were yesterday.
On the other hand, we were thrilled that York Region Government expressed interest in our event and sent a lovely staff member – who also happened to be genuinely interested in learning about Fiona’s role and how York Region could benefit with her advice.
We’re glad we could make the introduction so that York Region could take up Ms. Crean’s offer and experience to help them implement their own Ombudsman.