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Liberals nominate ex-IRB head Mario Dion as next federal ethics commissioner

Public sector integrity commissioner Mario Dion is shown in Ottawa, on December 13, 2011. Canada's public sector integrity watchdog and protector of civil service whistleblowers is quitting.Mario Dion says he will leave his post as integrity commissioner in December after four years. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

OTTAWA – The Liberals are tapping a long-time public servant to be the new ethics watchdog for the House of Commons.

Government House leader Bardish Chagger says Mario Dion is being nominated to become the next ethics and conflict of interest commissioner.

Dion is currently the chairman of the Immigration and Refugee Board, but has previously served as chairman of the National Parole Board and the public sector integrity commissioner.

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

Today’s announcement comes after a heated question period during which the Conservatives peppered the government about who would take over from outgoing commissioner Mary Dawson, who is looking into a conflict-of-interest controversy involving Finance Minister Bill Morneau.

Justin Trudeau and some of his top aides sat out the selection process because Dawson is investigating whether the prime minister broke ethics rules during a vacation to the Aga Khan’s private island last Christmas.