Meet the Ombud

Marie-France Pelletier headshot

Marie-France Pelletier, B.A., LL.B.

Marie-France Pelletier became the province’s eighth Ombud on January 1, 2022, the second woman to occupy this position since its creation in 1967. An experienced public sector executive, she worked in the administrative justice sector for over 13 years. She was appointed as the first Chief Administrator (CEO) of the Administrative Tribunals Support Service of Canada where she established a service delivery organization specialized in the field of administrative justice. In addition to her work as a tribunal administrator, she is an accomplished adjudicator having served in some of Canada’s largest administrative tribunals, such as the Tribunals Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board and as the Executive Vice Chairperson of the Parole Board of Canada.

Over the span of her nearly 30-year career in federal and provincial governments, Ms. Pelletier developed an extensive knowledge of the machinery of government. In New Brunswick, her work as Deputy Chief of Staff and then Deputy Minister of Policy and Priorities focused on advancing social policy initiatives, such as governance reforms in the health and education sectors, as well as leading the first review of the Official Languages Act in 30 years.

Ms. Pelletier holds a law degree from the Université de Moncton and is a member of the Law Society of New Brunswick and the Canadian Bar Association. She served as a member of the Board of Governors of the Université de Moncton and chaired its governance committee. She also served on the Council of Canadian Administrative Tribunals (CCAT) Board as Vice Chairperson.

Our Vision, Mission and Values


We are agents of positive change.

Ombud New Brunswick serves as a path towards a public sector where people are treated fairly, where information is shared appropriately, and where the public service is protected from favouritism and wrongdoing.


We help find solutions. 

Ombud New Brunswick assists people and public sector organizations with their concerns by conducting impartial investigations, making recommendations and providing guidance to ensure people are treated in a consistent, fair and reasonable manner and that their rights to information and privacy are protected.   


We are independent, impartial and responsive.

Ombud New Brunswick strives to live up to the following values in the accomplishment of our work:

We conduct our investigations on a confidential basis while providing information about how public sector organizations can improve their work.

Our investigations are fair to all those involved.

Our investigations are impartial so that everyone can have confidence in the solutions we recommend.

We are free from outside influence, whether it be from politicians, media or stakeholders.

We treat people with respect and dignity.

Organizational Structure

  • Administrative Fairness Section: Responsible for complaints and investigations under the Ombud Act and Civil Service Act. Assists with complaints under the Public Interest Disclosure Act
  • Information and Privacy Section: Responsible for complaints, notifications, investigations or audits under the Right to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, the Personal Health Information Privacy and Access Act and the Archives Act. Assists with complaints under the Public Interest Disclosure Act
  • Public Affairs Section: Responsible for communications, awareness, outreach, public education, strategic planning, and policy analysis.
  • Operations Section: Responsible for administration services, business processes and case management systems.

How we work

As an Office, our objective is to try to resolve complaints informally and as early as possible. We believe everyone benefits from a complaint process that is genuinely geared to finding practical solutions to resolve the problems people have encountered.

Individuals who contact our Office will typically interact with the following types of employees:

Early Resolution Officers (ERO)

An ERO is responsible for responding to and screening general enquiries and facilitating the early resolution of complaints when possible. ERO’s help to determine whether our Office has the authority to resolve the complaint. If not, they will assist the complainant in finding the places where they might be able to get additional help.

Complaint Analysts (CA)

If a complaint cannot be easily resolved through the early resolution process or if the issues are complex (for example if it involves a number of people or agencies), the complaint will be transferred to a CA. CA’s are responsible for conducting more in-depth analysis of a complaint and continue to try to resolve the matter informally when possible.

Senior Investigators (SI)

An SI is responsible for conducting formal or systemic investigations or audits. These types of investigations and audits can result in public reports and represent some of the most challenging and publicly visible work of Ombud NB. As part of these investigations, SI’s may conduct interviews with complainants and other individuals involved with a complaint.

History of the Office of the Ombud

It is important to recognize New Brunswick’s place in history as being the second province in Canada to create and appoint a provincial Ombudsman in 1967. In doing so, New Brunswick joined other trailblazers such as Alberta, Denmark, New Zealand and other countries who appointed an ombudsman as an agent of the legislature to receive and remedy complaints about bureaucratic action (or inaction). 

On March 14, 1967, the Speech from the Throne stated:

“My government believes that because of the comprehensiveness and complexity of government in modern society, it is important to secure for the citizen full protection against arbitrary or unjust action. For that reason, my government will place before you an Act to establish an Office of the Ombudsman.” 

On April 26, 1967, Bill 43 Ombudsman Act, was introduced by then Premier Louis Robichaud: 

“It is the government’s view that in a day when government and related administrative agencies have so great a role in the lives of our citizens, it is essential that protection be afforded the citizen against unjust, unfeeling and arbitrary or improper administrative acts.”

The Bill received bipartisan support and on May 19, 1967, it received Royal Assent.  On October 11, 1967, the first Ombudsman for New Brunswick was appointed.

To this day, the Ombud benefits from a wide-ranging mandate to investigate “a decision or recommendation made, an act done or omitted or a procedure used with respect to a matter of administration by an authority or an office of an authority whereby a person is aggrieved or, in the opinion of the Ombud, may be aggrieved” (subsection 12(1) of the Ombud Act). The type of public organization for which the Ombud has oversight responsibilities has expanded over time from government departments to local governments, health authorities, school districts, and other agencies of government, as well as universities and custodians of personal health information in relation to responsibilities under information and privacy legislation. 

Since 1967, Ombud NB has undergone several changes to its responsibilities, in addition to its core mandate under the Ombud Act. Following the introduction in 1978 of right to information legislation in New Brunswick and subsequent privacy legislation, the Ombud had been responsible to receive complaints for access to information and privacy. After a major review of this legislation that led to the adoption of the new Right to Information and Protection of Privacy Act and Personal Health Information Privacy and Access Act in 2009, the Office of the Access to Information and Privacy Commissioner was created as the oversight body for these mandates. Later, a mandatory legislative review of the Act was conducted, following which oversight responsibility was transferred to the Office of the Integrity Commissioner in 2018.  In 2019, this oversight responsibility was once again transferred from the Integrity Commissioner to the Ombud, bringing this responsibility full circle, back into the fold of the Office of the Ombud.

In 1994, through a change to the Civil Service Act, the Civil Service Commission was amalgamated with the Office of the Ombud. In December 2009, new amendments to the Civil Service Act were enacted that significantly reduced Ombud NB’s authority under that Act. Allegations of favouritism in selections for appointment to the civil service are now the only ground on which a complaint may be submitted to Ombud NB under the Civil Service Act.

In 2006, Child and Youth Advocate (CYA) legislation was introduced and approved, and Ombud NB took responsibility for the CYA. In 2012, the CYA was split from the Office of the Ombud to function as a separate entity.

In 2008, the Public Interest Disclosure Act (PIDA) came into force.  Amendments to PIDA in June 2011 resulted in the Ombud becoming responsible for receiving complaints under this Act.

Previous Commissioners