Thu. May 19th, 2022

The city of Ottawa has hired Karen Shepherd to replace outgoing privacy commissioner Robert Marleau, according to a memo released Friday afternoon.

City Attorney Rick O’Connor said Shepherd will start the role on Sept. 1 for a one-year deal with the possibility of renewal for a five-year period.

Shepherd has worked for more than 30 years in the federal public service, “more than half of which was in the ethics field,” O’Connor wrote.

Karen Shepherd becomes Ottawa’s second integrity commissioner ever.

Photo via City of Ottawa

It includes serving as Canada’s first lobbying commissioner in 2009, building a forum for cross-country discussions on lobbying among provincial and municipal regulators.

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She later joined Health Canada as a senior advisor and later ombudsman for the department and Canada’s Public Health Agency.

Shepherd holds a bachelor’s degree in art from Concordia University and a master’s degree in public affairs from Carleton University, where she received the Bissett Alumni Award in 2010 for outstanding contributions to the public sector.

Shepherd becomes Ottawa’s second integrity commissioner ever and steps into the shoes Marleau has occupied since the position started in 2012.

The last year of Marleau’s tenure alone has seen him file a series of high-profile reports on councilors’ behavior, including two judgmental reviews of College Coun. Rick Chiarelli’s behavior towards female employees and job applicants for his office.

Read more:

Woman accusing Rick Chiarelli of sexual harassment sues City of Ottawa for $ 325,000

Recently, his probe in Barrhaven Coun. Jan Harder’s handling of her relationship with a development manager saw the veteran councilor resign from his role as chairman of the city’s planning committee in June.

Shepherd will begin working with Marleau for the next six weeks as a transition period, O’Connor wrote in the memo.

He said 14 people applied for the open integrity commissioner role during May, with Shepherd elected as the preferred candidate in late June.

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