Fiona Crean, Toronto's ombudsman, not returning after delivering final report
'Council is not living up to the commitment of fairness'
Fiona Crean, Toronto's first-ever city ombudsman, will leave office in November, she announced on Monday.
She delivered her farewell while releasing her last report, Advocating for Fairness, an argument for strengthening her office's ability to oversee the municipal government.
Crean's term had come to an end and city council were due to debate renewing her appointment on March 31. She could have been reappointed to a three or five year term, or not been renewed at all.
Crean had at times been at odds with the mayor's office while Rob Ford was in office, and the council debate was expected to be fierce. Council had already voted to slash the ombudsman's term limits, allowing for a two year term extension instead of the original five year appointments.
"The debate on my reappointment next week promises to be divisive, and I feel this will hurt the office, and its efforts to ensure fairness for the city’s residents," she said in a press release.
Her report details the major public investigations her office has undertaken in the past five years, and points out the success of those reports — all the recommendations from her reports have been accepted by council — and the inadequacies of the office.
"Residents face delays in getting help, because my office’s budget has not kept pace with the 129 per cent increase in complaints," she said. "Council is not living up to the commitment of fairness and independent oversight that was promised in the City of Toronto Act."
Crean's last day as city ombudsman will be Nov. 17.