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Step 1 - Register your two requests at the 311

1.1 Exhaustion of your administrative remedies

As a general rule, citizens must have registered an initial request with 311 and file a complaint on that same request when:

  • The request has not been resolved to your satisfaction;
  • The maximum time limit for resolving your request has been exceeded.

Tip: The maximum time limit for resolving a request is the time the City allows itself to process your request. It may vary depending on the type of request registered.

It is important to be aware of this timeframe so that you can call 311 at the right time to be informed of the resolution of your request, and so that a complaint can be registered, if necessary, if the resolution timeframe has not been respected.

To find out the maximum resolution time for your request, ask the question when you call or consult the timeframe under “Maximum resolution date” in the Citizen Portal.

Step 2 - Filing your complaint

2.1 Acknowledgement of receipt

When a request is received, the Ombudsman de Gatineau acknowledges receipt.

There are several ways to file a complaint:

  • Online complaint form;
  • By telephone at 819 595-4141;
  • By e-mail at;
  • In person by making an appointment.

Step 3 - Preliminary examination

3.1 Admissibility study

Once your request has been submitted, an admissibility analysis is carried out by the administrative assistant (± 5 days), in collaboration with the ombudsman.

The purpose of this analysis is to determine whether:

During the analysis, the assistant contacts the citizen to obtain additional details and inform him or her of the process.

Step 4 - Status

4.1 Accepted

The Ombudsman de Gatineau relies on Council Resolution CM-2019-100 to determine whether your request falls within its jurisdiction and whether you have exhausted your administrative recourses.

Following the admissibility review, the assistant will contact you to inform you of the status of your request, and official correspondence will be sent to you by e-mail.

4.2 Not accepted

The Ombudsman de Gatineau relies on Council Resolution CM-2019-100 to justify the non-admissibility of a request.

Following the admissibility study, the assistant will contact you to inform you of the status of your request.

For requests that are not accepted, but fall within the OG’s jurisdiction, the assistant will guide you through the 311 request processing process.

Some people are unaware that they must contact 311 again to complain about their initial request, when they have not received a response or disagree with the decision rendered.

For requests that fall outside the OG’s jurisdiction, the assistant will contact you to provide information and refer you to an external resource. More details in step 5.3.

Step 5 - Processing and conclusion

5.1 Intervention

The purpose of the Ombudsman’s intervention is to discuss the problematic situation with the municipal administration in order to:

  • Identify a solution to the problem and correct the situation;
  • Confirm that the decision rendered in your file complies with current processes and municipal by-laws.

When the Ombudsman de Gatineau deems that the decision rendered is fair and equitable, the office contacts you to justify its conclusion.

Click here to view examples of our files.

5.2 Investigation

Investigation files require in-depth analysis of municipal processes and by-laws. Interviews with the parties involved (citizens and administrative staff) are necessary.

The ombudsman is neither the complainant’s lawyer nor the administration’s attorney – Paquet, Jean-Claude – L’ombudsman au Québec: agir selon ce qui est légal, raisonnable et équitable. 2014

As a result, he may conclude his investigation in favor of the complainant or the municipal administration.

An investigation may identify avenues for service improvement, leading to recommendations addressed to the General Management. Click here to consult the recommendations.

When an investigation is concluded, a report is drawn up and sent to all parties concerned. Reports are de-identified and published on the website. Click here to view investigation reports.

The Ombudsman de Gatineau follows up on recommendations twice a year, and these follow-ups are presented in the annual report. Click here to consult the annual reports.

5.3 Information and referral

When your request does not fall within the jurisdiction of the municipal ombudsman, the OG offers an information and referral service:

  • You will receive information to help you with your request (information capsules, documents, etc.);
  • You will be referred to an external organization that offers services adapted to your needs.

Click here for a list of current referrals and useful resources.