October 19, 2012

Pressed on Travel Expenses, Toronto Ombuds Cites IOA Practices

Just weeks after Toronto's Ombudsman, Fiona Crean issued a scathing report on the city's public appointments process, she was subjected to detailed questions about her budget. City Councillor Doug Ford, who sparred with Crean during her last appearance before the council, objected in particular to Crean's trip to Azerbaijan for the first Eurasia Ombudsman conference. According to the Toronto Sun, Crean said it was part of sharing professional best practices through the International Ombudsman Association.

Crean was the keynote speaker at the conference and the trip cost the city $1,922. Ford asked Crean, “Do you think that benefits Toronto residents at all?” She said, “I do.”  (Toronto Sun.)

It is possible that the Sun has misreported some of the details of this story.  On June 28, 2012, Crean was a featured speaker at The X International Baku Conference of Ombudspersons "Protection of Human Rights in Emergency Situations: Challenges and Possibilities" in Azerbaijan. The event was attended by 52 representatives of International and European Ombudsman Institutes, as well as Asian Ombudsman Association, but not the International Ombudsman Association. (IOI News.)

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