The province announced today, May 10, that after a competitive recruitment process, William (Bill) Smith will become Nova Scotia’s new ombudsman. The appointment is effective June 1, 2016.
Mr. Smith will oversee formal complaints from the public about provincial or municipal government departments, agencies, boards and commissions. Under the Ombudsman Act the office also offers specialized services for youth and seniors, is responsible for the Public Interest Disclosure of Wrongdoing Act and can initiate its own investigations. The office is independent of government.
“The Office of the Ombudsman is an important part of our democracy and helps keep government accountable to its citizens,” said Premier Stephen McNeil. “Bill Smith has devoted his career to serving the public. His breadth of knowledge and experience, and ability to work with communities of diverse interests will serve this province well.”
Mr. Smith was most recently the executive director of Correctional Services for the Province of Nova Scotia. Before that, he was a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for 33 years. His last position in the RCMP was the assistant commissioner – commanding officer for the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador.
He is a member of the Order of Merit of Police Forces and has received the RCMP long service medal with bronze and silver clasps, the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee medals and the National Defence Medal of France, gold level.
“A sincere thanks to Christine Delisle-Brennan who stepped up in the acting position to lead the office,” said Premier McNeil. “She has been a great influence on the work of this office and it is my hope she will continue to be a significant contributor.”
The selection process for a new ombudsman was led by the Public Service Commission. There were about 100 initial applicants. An independent selection advisory committee interviewed six candidates in March.