POLITICS

Andre Marin, Ontario Ombudsman, Asks For Job Extension Over Twitter

09/11/2015 09:32 EDT | Updated 09/11/2016 05:12 EDT
TORONTO — Ontario ombudsman Andre Marin took to social media Friday in a last ditch effort to get reappointed for a third term as the government watchdog.

Marin's second, five-year term was extended by four months in May to give politicians time to search for other candidates, but it expires Monday and there's still no agreement on a replacement.

Government house leader Yasir Naqvi wrote the Progressive Conservatives and New Democrats Friday saying he would be asking for unanimous consent when the legislature resumes sitting Monday to put deputy ombudsman Barbara Finlay in the position temporarily.

Marin started complaining on Twitter that no other officers of the legislature were removed from their job while applying for another term.

He says Gord Miller served three terms as Ontario's environment commissioner and Ann Cavoukian was privacy commissioner for 17 years, and both were allowed to stay on the job while seeking reappointment.

The New Democrats say Marin has done a good job holding the Liberals to account and would like to give him another temporary extension until the three parties can agree on a candidate.

The NDP are unlikely to grant unanimous consent Monday to promote the deputy as Marin's temporary replacement.

Naqvi called the situation urgent and asked the opposition parties to help "restart the hiring process" immediately.

"The standard practice in most organizations, including the Ontario public service, is for the deputy to assume the leadership position when it is vacant," he wrote to PC house leader Jim Wilson and NDP house leader Gilles Bisson.

Marin is famous for the blunt language in his special reports on everything from the mass violation of civil rights during the G20 in Toronto to huge billing errors by Hydro One.

He came under fire last spring when using his Twitter account to compare Ontario to a "banana republic" as he made an online appeal for another term.

Marin was Canada's first military ombudsman from 1998 until his appointment as Ontario ombudsman in 2005.

The three parties have agreed on a new environmental commissioner to replace Miller, who is now a Green Party candidate in the Oct. 19 federal election. Naqvi's office said the name of the new environment watchdog would be announced Monday.

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