A former assistant commissioner of the RCMP in Nova Scotia,Dwight Bishop of Wolfville, was appointed provincial ombudsmantoday, Dec. 12, by Justice Minister Michael Baker. “Nova Scotians are well-served by a person of Dwight Bishop’sintegrity and qualifications,” said Mr. Baker. “A review of theOffice of the Ombudsman and the Nova Scotia Human RightsCommission concluded that the ombudsman should remain separate,and I’m very pleased that a person of his stature will fulfillthat role on behalf of Nova Scotians.” Mr. Bishop’s five-year appointment will take effect on Jan. 1, Speaker Murray Scott said Mr. Bishop takes on an important rolewithin government. “Nova Scotians need assurances that they canaccess independent, objective reviews when they are concernedabout issues of administrative fairness and good governance,” hesaid. Mr. Scott extended thanks to Ms. Francis for her dedicatedservice. She will continue to serve as chief executive officer ofthe Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission. The competition process for the ombudsman position began inNovember 2002. A selection panel interviewed candidates and madea final recommendation to government. A similar process is usedfor judicial appointments. The ombudsman is an independent officer of the House of Assembly,and reports to the legislature through the Office of the Speaker.Any person, group, society or company with a complaint against aprovincial or municipal government department, agency, board, orcommission can ask for help. In 2001-02, the Office of the Ombudsman addressed more than 800complaints, 66 led to formal investigations and 424 inquirieswere redirected to other authorities. In addition, the office’schildren’s section was contacted 782 times by children and youthin protective custody. For more information on the Office of the Ombudsman, includingthe 2003-04 business plan, see the website at www.gov.ns.ca/ombu. He succeeds Mayann Francis, who assumed the role of interim ombudsman in December 2000.