Parliamentary Committees

Special committee recommends appointment of Ombudsperson


May 26, 2015

VICTORIA –The all-party Special Committee to Appoint an Ombudsperson has unanimously recommended the appointment of Jay Chalke, Q.C., as Ombudsperson for British Columbia. The committee's recommendation is included in a report presented today in the Legislative Assembly.

"The committee conducted an extensive search of candidates in British Columbia, across Canada, and abroad, and we received many highly qualified applications," said committee Chair John Martin. "We are confident that Mr. Chalke's outstanding background, experience, and abilities will provide excellent leadership as B.C.'s next Ombudsperson."

"We were impressed by Mr. Chalke's strong leadership skills, his record of dedication and compassion in providing service to the most vulnerable individuals of society, and his commitment to integrity and high ethical standards," added Deputy Chair Rob Fleming. "We look forward to his work as Ombudsperson in enhancing openness, transparency and accountability."

The Office of the Ombudsperson serves the people of British Columbia by receiving and investigating complaints of administrative unfairness from individuals.

Pursuant to the Ombudsperson Act, the Legislative Assembly recommends to the Lieutenant Governor the appointment of a person to be Ombudsperson based on the unanimous recommendation of a parliamentary committee. Following adoption of the committee's report, the Legislative Assembly passed a motion recommending to the Lieutenant Governor that Mr. Chalke be appointed for a six year term, commencing on July 1, 2015.

Bio attached.

Members of the Special Committee to Appoint an Ombudsperson are:

John Martin, MLA (Chilliwack) chair;
Rob Fleming, MLA (Victoria-Swan Lake)deputy chair;
Donna Barnett, MLA Cariboo-Chilcotin;
Maurine Karagianis, MLA Esquimalt-Royal Roads;
Jordan Sturdy, MLA West Vancouver-Sea to Sky.

The report is available on the committee website or by contacting:

Kate Ryan-Lloyd
Deputy Clerk and Clerk of Committees
Room 224, Parliament Buildings
Victoria, B.C. V8V 1X4
Tel: 250 356-2933 (collect) Toll-free: 1-877-428-8337
Fax: 250 356-8172

Biographical Information

James (Jay) Michael Chalke, Q.C., possesses an extensive background in executive leadership, the conduct of fair and independent investigations, and the use of modern approaches to dispute resolution.

Mr. Chalke has served as Assistant Deputy Minister, Justice Services Branch, in the Ministry of Justice (formerly the Ministry of Attorney General) since 2011, with responsibilities for delivering reforms to justice services, and fostering dialogue and collaboration across the justice system. With a focus on citizens' access to justice, he has overseen the operation of legal aid and family maintenance enforcement programs, and a province-wide network of family justice offices and Justice Access Centres, which help members of the public resolve family and civil legal issues.

Prior to his appointment with the Ministry of Justice, Mr. Chalke was the first Public Guardian and Trustee of British Columbia from 2000 to 2011. During this time, he was instrumental in implementing lasting changes to modernize service delivery, improve collaboration with stakeholders, and enhance public accountability. He was also a member of Canada's delegation to the Hague Conference on Private International Law, which negotiated the Convention on the Protection of Adults.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Chalke held a variety of public sector positions, including Deputy Public Trustee of British Columbia, Deputy Public Guardian and Trustee of Ontario, Head of the Review of Certain Practices in New Brunswick Correctional Institutions, Senior Policy Advisor for justice policy in the government of Ontario's Cabinet Office, and Crown Counsel with the Ontario Ministry of Attorney General. He began his career as a Correctional and Psychiatric Services Investigator with the Ombudsman of Ontario.

Mr. Chalke is a member of the Justice and Public Safety Council of British Columbia, and a Governor of the Law Foundation of British Columbia. He is a member of the Law Society of British Columbia, and was appointed Queen's Counsel in 2006, in recognition of his exceptional leadership and contributions to the legal profession and community.

Mr. Chalke obtained a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Ottawa in 1982, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Western Ontario (now Western University) in 1979. He completed the French Immersion program at Collège universitaire de Saint-Boniface in 1984.

Mr. Chalke is married and has four adult children.