On June 12, 2019, while in the process of preparing this report, the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal delivered a compelling decision concerning a question of jurisdiction and access to records involving this Office.
Legislative Counsel, at the request of a committee of the House of Assembly, contacted the Office regarding the Nova Scotia House of Assembly Prevention and Resolution of Harassment in the Workplace Policy that was under development. In this policy, the Office of the Ombudsman is responsible to investigate certain allegations of harassment. Representatives from this Office provided feedback on a draft version of the policy. A meeting was also held with Legislative Counsel to discuss the role of the Ombudsman’s Office in investigating allegations of harassment under the policy.
An individual contacted this Office regarding the seizure of livestock by the Department of Agriculture and alleged they were treated unfairly by department staff throughout the inspection and seizure process.
In July 2016, this Office issued the Final Report in a matter brought forward by a Municipality in relation to the Municipality’s handling of roaming horses. The situation involved the Municipality, Department of Natural Resources, and the Animal Welfare Division of the Department of Agriculture. The Animal Welfare Division now falls under the authority of Nova Scotia Environment.
It is infrequent, but not unheard of, for a matter to be brought to the attention of the Office by a respondent. A preliminary review of the matter indicated a formal investigation was warranted.
In May 2014, this Office initiated an own motion investigation of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission (NSHRC). This investigation was initiated based on a number of complaints received by this Office which were similar in nature and were also related to issues previously identified in an investigation conducted by the Office.