A man who drew the ire of London City Councillors in his old job, is applying for a new gig at Queen’s Park.
Former Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin is running for the Progressive Conservatives in the by-election in Ottawa Vanier and he appeared on AM980’s Craig Needles Show on Monday.
“My last report as Ombudsman was on Hydro One,” said Marin when asked why he decided to throw his hat into the ring. “10,000 complaints from people being over-billed, not billed or getting people’s accounts wiped clean. Hydro has tripled since 2003.”
Marin had a controversial tenure as Ontario’s Ombudsman, a position he held from 2005-2015. His run-ins included members of London City Council, who he investigated following two separate closed door meetings.
After leaving the office, he filed a lawsuit against the government for wrongful dismissal, alleging Premier Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals “orchestrated” his removal from public office.
“In life you do the right thing and let the chips fall where they may,” Marin said when asked about his tenure. “I could have pussy-footed around the Liberals and thrown them softballs and I’d probably still be in the job. But I stood up for the little guy and I fought the unpopular battles.”
But it wasn’t just the Liberals Marin battled with. Corrections officers and municipal politicians expressed anger with him during his tenure. But Marin believes all sides can move on now that he’s changing roles.
“I’ve had my disputes with, for example, the Ottawa Mayor. I’ve got a lot of time for Jim Watson, I don’t go to bed sticking needles in a voodoo doll of Jim Watson,” he added. “We’ll have disagreements and you have to step on toes sometimes to advocate your position.”
The Ontario Liberal Party has held Ottawa-Vanier since 1967. The by-election was prompted by the resignation of former cabinet minister Madeleine Meilleur. There’s no official date on when the vote will be held.