Marin will be missed

The awful move by the province to not renew the contract of its fearless ombudsman

Given his year, you might think Dalton McGuinty would have relished the chance to demonstrate a committment to transparency and equity over and above his own narrow interests.

Alas. No.

This week, the premier, showing a shocking puniness, has refused to renew the contract of ferocious ombudsman Andre Marin, and we’re all the worse for it.

It figures the preem would ditch the very guy NOW named 2009 Activist of the Year. We couldn’t resist bestowing this award after watching Marin horrify, humiliate and humble dumb pols over the last few years, in the name of folks forgotten in the system.

Check the Ombudsman Ontario website for various skirmishes in this blessed loudmouth’s war for fairness. Here’s a few of my faves:

  • Marin pioneered a Special Ombudsman Response Team so his office could do large-scale, systemmic investigations.
  • he won services for Ontario children traumatized by their parent’s military service in Afghanistan, declaring them “the collateral damage of the war we have asked their parents to fight.”
  • he scored the removal of a funding cap on drug Avastin for colorectal cancer patients, calling the government’s withholding “verging on cruelty.”
  • he probed the police oversight body, the Special Investigations Unit, and concluded it was steeped in a culture of complacency, calling it “practically pathological in its avoidance of public controversy.”

McGuinty obviously can’t take the pyrotechnics, but watching the Marin show over the years has been a bit like eating comfort food – the world just feels a little safer.[rssbreak]

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