Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Trudeau nominates lawyer Caroline Maynard as new information commissioner

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has nominated government lawyer Caroline Maynard to be Canada’s new information commissioner.

Maynard, currently the interim chairperson and chief executive officer of the Military Grievances External Review Committee, would replace Suzanne Legault, whose term in the role is coming to an end.

Legault began her seven-year term in June 2010, but was reappointed on an interim basis for a two-month term late last year to allow the government more time to find a successor.

Maynard’s nomination must still be approved by the House of Commons and the Senate.

The commissioner’s office was established in 1983 under the Access to Information Act, and aims to encourage and help federal institutions to make information more easily available, while providing oversight for freedom of information legislation.

Maynard, a bilingual member of the Quebec bar with a degree from the University of Sherbrooke, has spent 20 years in government service.

After a stint in private practice, she joined the Canada Revenue Agency before being appointed as legal counsel with the RCMP external review committee in 1998.

She served as legal counsel for the Office of the Judge Advocate General at National Defence and then joined military grievances review committee as director general of operations and general counsel.

Trudeau said she will make an excellent commissioner.

“She has a deep appreciation of the need for an open and transparent government and I trust she would do an outstanding job on delivering the mandate of the office of the information commissioner,” he said in a statement.

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