Public Complaint Process

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A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction related to the service, actions or lack of actions by the Town in connection with the delivery of services to the public. Complaints may relate to the actions of an individual or a policy, process or procedure.

A complaint is distinct from:

  • a request for service made on behalf of a citizen for a specific service, or to notify the municipality that a scheduled service was not provided;
  • a general enquiry or specific request for information regarding municipal service;
  • an opinion or feedback, comment and expression of interest in a program or service;
  • an expression of approval or compliment for municipal staff member, program, product or process; and,
  • a suggestion or idea submitted by a customer with the aim of improving a service, program, product or process.

Some complaints are exempt from the Town's Public Complaint Policy, including:

  • anonymous complaints;
  • requests for service, assistance, information, or a response to an inquiry regarding a Town program or service;
  • complaints that are deemed to be frivolous or vexatious by the Town Clerk;
  • complaints regarding a decision or recommendation of Council or a Committee of Council;
  • complaints against Members of Council, Advisory Committee or Board for matters subject to a Code of Conduct duly approved by Council (subject to review by the Town's appointed Integrity Commissioner, or in lieu thereof, by Council);
  • complaints regarding whether a meeting of Council was properly held in accordance with the Municipal Act (subject to review by the Town's appointed Closed Meeting Investigator);
  • complaints which involve ongoing litigation;
  • any decision, recommendation, act or omission of any person acting as a legal advisor to the Town or acting as counsel to them in relation to any proceedings;
  • the outcome of an insurance claim processed by the Town's insurer; and,
  • matters pertaining to a Board under the Public Libraries Act; any decision, recommendation, act or omission by the Town, in respect of which there is, under any Act, a right of appeal or objection, or a right to apply for a hearing or review, on the merits of the case to any court, or to any tribunal constituted by or under any Act.

Complainants are advised to contact the department responsible for the services related to the complaint. Complaints may be given verbally or in writing to departments responsible and will be dealt with in an expeditious manner. All complaints are dealt with fairly and respctfully. In the case that a response cannot be provided in a timely manner, complainants will be provided with an estimated timeframe for response.

When providing a response to a complaint, departments will provide clear and understandable reasons for how decisions on the complaint were determined. When providing a decision, complainants must be informed and provided with the option to contact the Ombudsman if they remain dissatsifed with the Town's process or decision related to their complaint.

Effective December 12, 2016, the Council of the Town of Whitby appointed ADR Chambers Inc. as the Ombudsman for the Town of Whitby. In accordance with the Town's Public Complaint Policy, anyone wishing to make a complaint against the Town must first seek resolution through the Town's internal complaint process prior to submitting a complaint with the Town's Ombudsman.