RCMP creates executive director, public affairs role

OTTAWA: The Royal Canadian Mounted Police has hired Sheila Bird in the newly created role of executive director, public affairs, in an attempt to help improve its image.

OTTAWA: The Royal Canadian Mounted Police has hired Sheila Bird in the newly created role of executive director, public affairs, in an attempt to help improve its image.

According to an internal memo from Commissioner William J.S. Elliott, Bird will “lead the development and implementation of initiatives to better inform the public as well as RCMP employees, our partners and our stakeholders about RCMP policies.” She will also be responsible for the RCMP's Access to Information and Privacy program.

“We need strategies and practices to assist the RCMP in ensuring that an appropriate balance is struck between sometimes competing interests, like privacy and the public's right to know,” reads the memo. “In the past we have been criticized on occasion for releasing information at other times for withholding information.”

Bird joined the RCMP from the Department of Justice, where she was director general, communications. Before taking on a number of public service communication roles in 1991, Bird was a reporter for Radio Canada International's Parliament Hill Bureau

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