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The Information Commissioner of Canada, Robert Marleau announced today that the Honourable W. Andrew MacKay has accepted the mandate of ad hoc Information Commissioner.

The Information Commissioner of Canada, Robert Marleau announced today that the Honourable W. Andrew MacKay has accepted the mandate of ad hoc Information Commissioner.

On April 1, 2007, the Office of the Information Commissioner became subject to the Access to Information Act, following amendments to the Access to Information Act stemming from theFederal Accountability Act, and is now listed in Schedule I of the Act. As a result, the Office of the ad hoc Commissioner was created to preserve the integrity and the independence of the process and ensure that all complaints are properly addressed.

The ad hoc Commissioner’s mandate is to receive, and independently investigate, any complaints referred to under section 30 of the Access to Information Act arising from access requests made to the Information Commissioner’s Office

The first ad hoc Commissioner, the Honourable Peter de C. Cory, established the guiding principles and functioning of the Office of the ad hoc Commissioner. The ad hoc Information Commissioner is delegated the same functions and powers as the Information Commissioner with regard to conducting investigations and making recommendations.

The Honourable W. Andrew MacKay, a former judge of the Federal Court of Canada, is a distinguished jurist. He was admitted to the Bar of Nova Scotia in 1954 and appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1972. He studied at Harvard University and at Dalhousie University, where from 1957 to 1988, he held various positions including Professor and Dean of the Dalhousie Law School, Vice-President, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University. From 1967 to 1986, he was Chair of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission and was the Ombudsman for Nova Scotia from 1986 to 1988. He was appointed Judge of the Federal Court of Canada, Trial Division, ex-officio member of the Court of Appeal and Judge of the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada in 1988. After retiring as a Judge in 2004, Mr. Mackay served as Deputy Judge of the Federal Court from 2004 to December 2007.