An inquiry was received by an individual who had received an order from Sheriff Services to vacate their home within two days as a result of a previous decision by Residential Tenancies. The individual’s main concern when contacting this Office appeared to be that they were having difficulty with Income Assistance.

Nova Scotia Ombudsman William A. Smith said the year 2020-2021 has been “like no other” for his Office, as it adapted to the new normal of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

It often falls to the Office of the Ombudsman to try to explain what may seem like a confusing government regulation or funding formula to a complainant. Or, more usefully, to persuade an administrator of a particular program to explain it to a complainant in a non-judgmental way.

In January 2019, two complainants contacted this Office to advocate for a sibling, who had been dealing with Housing Nova Scotia (HNS).  The complainants and the sibling felt “wronged” by the actions of HNS related to the sibling’s residency which the family believed the sibling was paying rent-to-own.

The Annual Report of the Office of the Ombudsman for 2019-2020 reflects normal pre-pandemic operations, but also includes achievements and case examples, says Ombudsman William Smith.