Former top RCMP officer poised to become Alberta ombudsman – Edmonton

Marianne Ryan, who retired in March as commanding officer of the RCMP in Alberta, is poised to become Alberta’s ombudsman and public interest commissioner.

A search committee is recommending Ryan’s appointment, effective July 1. She would be Alberta’s ninth ombudsman and second public interest commissioner, and the first woman appointed to either role.

“I knew I wasn’t ready to continue on with police work but yet I was looking for something where I could still make a contribution and be challenged,” Ryan told CBC News on Thursday.

“By the time July rolls around, I will have about four months to get some rest. I’m energized now and enthusiastic to take on the new role so the timing is very good.”

Alberta’s ombudsman responds to complaints of unfair treatment by provincial government authorities and designated professional organizations.

The Office of the Public Interest Commissioner was established in 2013 to ensure protection of public sector employees under the Public Interest Disclosure (Whistleblower Protection) Act.

Ryan held a variety of senior roles during her 35-year career with the RCMP. She was one of the highest ranking officers in Canada.

“Ms. Ryan brings to the role a demonstrated ability to instill a high degree of public confidence balanced with integrity and an enhanced sense of accountability and corporate management,” Edmonton-Centre MLA David Shepherd said in a news release.

Shepherd chairs the search committee that is recommending Ryan’s appointment.

The committee will table its report in the Alberta legislature on Thursday. 

Peter Hourihan, Alberta’s eighth ombudsman and first public interest commissioner, retired earlier this year.

Joe Loran, a former deputy ombudsman, has been acting ombudsman since April.

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