The director of Nova Scotia's police watchdog will take over as head of a similar agency on Canada's west coast.

Ron MacDonald has been appointed as the new chief civilian director of the Independent Investigations Office of B.C.

The IIO falls under the provincial Ministry of Justice, and MacDonald will assume its top job on Oct. 24.

Prior to his appointment, MacDonald served as the first director of Nova Scotia's IIO equivalent, the Serious Incident Response Team.

In a statement making the announcement, B.C.'s justice ministry said MacDonald has been a lawyer for more than 30 years, and spent much of his career working as a Crown attorney and defence counsel.

He was a criminal law policy advisor for Nova Scotia's Department of Justice, and served as president of both the Nova Scotia Barrister Society and the Federation of Law Societies in Canada.

He's a recipient of the National Heads of Prosecutions Humanitarian Award, worked at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, and volunteered as a softball and basketball coach.

MacDonald will be the second person to officially take on the IIO role, following Richard Rosenthal who led the organization when it began in 2012 and retired at the end of his term in January 2017. In the interim, Bert Phipps served as interim director.

The IIO is called to investigate in all police-related incidents of death or serious harm to determine whether officers have commited an offence.