Ontario ombudsman Andre Marin pointed out a number of areas where the Ontario government has fallen short in aiding the province's most vulnerable. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

Ontario's ombudsman says the province's most vulnerable are too often not getting the help they need.

Andre Marin says the number of cases where families are asked to give up custody of their special needs children so they can receive care has climbed from 2009-2110.

And a government system set up to ensure parents aren't faced with such a choice has failed on more than one occasion.

Marin also points to gaps in the availability of services for adults with special needs, noting complaints from families who had funding for their child's services slashed or abruptly cut off at age 18.

He says he had more than 100 complaints about the agency that deals with the finances of incapacitated people, flagging cases of inappropriate or even abusive communications.

In his annual report, Marin also found several instances of people getting over-billed by government agencies or hospitals, most notably by Hydro One — the fourth most-complained about organization.

He cites one case where his office had to convince Hydro One not to cut off the power of the wife of a soldier serving in Afghanistan who couldn't pay her $1,280 bill until her husband's paycheque came through.

The always-outspoken ombudsman called once again for an expanded mandate to review municipalities, schools and hospitals, as well as for more transparency in the government.

The secret expansion of police powers for last summer's G20 summit, Marin adds, is one good example of how the government is failing to keep the public informed of its actions.