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.

Two separate individuals contacted this Office expressing concerns for the safety and well being of a senior who was living in the community. According to the individuals, they believed the senior was at-risk and as a result, they submitted complaints or referrals to Adult Protection.

A senior contacted this Office after their home care nursing service was discontinued. They were receiving this service through the health authority and reported that they did not know why they were removed. This Office contacted the continuing care staff within the health authority zone but was unable to resolve the issue.

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.

The Nova Scotia Office of the Ombudsman handled 2,278 complaints, inquiries, and youth contacts in the 2018-2019 fiscal year. In his Annual Report, tabled in the House of Assembly October 1, 2019, Mr. William A.

  • In recognition that some seniors, in comparison to other segments of the population, may be vulnerable or rely on government services such as in-home support services or long-term care, Ombudsman Representatives often take a more direct or hands-on approach to help the individual navigate government processes.
  • In addition to handling complaints, Ombudsman Representatives provide…