Mario Dion, former integrity watchdog, named to lead refugee board

Mario Dion, the outgoing integrity commissioner whose latest report singled out RCMP pilots for fudging their flight manifests, has been named the new chairman of the Immigration and Refugee Board

Dion announced his upcoming departure in August, citing personal reasons

Outgoing Integrity Commissioner Mario Dion has more than 30 years in the public service, including a stint where he worked on the aboriginal residential schools settlement and providing legal advice to a number of government bodies. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

Mario Dion, the outgoing integrity commissioner whose latest report singled out RCMP pilots for fudging their flight manifests, has been named the new chairman of the Immigration and Refugee Board.

Immigration Minister Chris Alexander says Dion is the ideal person for the job because of his deep knowledge of the legal system.

Dion, a former chairman of the National Parole Board, became public sector integrity commissioner in 2012.

He announced his upcoming departure from that post in August, citing personal reasons.

The 58-year-old lawyer has more than 30 years in the public service, including a stint where he worked on the aboriginal residential schools settlement.

He is also a former legal adviser to a number of government bodies.

The appointment as chairman is effective Jan. 1 and is for a five-year term.

Dion's final report as integrity commissioner, issued Tuesday, was a sharp rebuke to the RCMP air service.

He said RCMP pilots produced phoney flight manifests in order to fly over-loaded aircraft, although he dismissed several other serious allegations from a whistleblower for lack of evidence.

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