Almost 33-hundred complaints were received by Saskatchewan’s Ombudsman about governments and agencies.
That from Mary McFadyen’s Ombudsman report, tabled in the Legislature this morning (Thurs) along with her report as Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner.
She says the complaints were about all levels of government from provincial to municipal, to Crown corporations, publicly funded health entities and municipalities.
The top two complaints dealt with Social Services and Corrections.
Of the 906 complaints for Social Services in 2017, the majority were about income assistance services.
Corrections complaints were down 9 per cent year over year, but are still 18 per cent higher than the 5 year average.
About a quarter of the calls are about health care, another quarter are about security ratings and placements and other issues include phone and mail access and programming.
Also, now that the province has one single Health Authority, McFadyen wants the public to know that her office still takes health complaints just like before when there were 12 health authorities.
Recommendation to Correction Officials
One of the recommendation’s from Saskatchewan’s Ombudsman in her report is that corrections officials need to do better at video documentation.
McFadyen says correctional centres need to accurately record and properly retain video footage of incidents.
In two cases this year, her office couldn’t fully investigate because the video wasn’t available or was incomplete.
One investigation was a complaint from a woman at the White Birch Remand Centre in Regina who was restrained for 5 hours, something that had been approved for youths in custody, but not for adults.
McFadyen says the restraint wasn’t authorized and the way it was used was unreasonable.
She has recommended that Corrections give the woman a written apology and draft a policy to ensure that basic human dignity is preserved, including reasonable time limits for use of the restraint and proper video and audio recording of its use.