All posts in category C4A Editorial

Surveys on accountability and mental health in the Canadian Armed Forces

Canadians for Accountability is conducting surveys (see below) to examine accountability in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), specifically dealing with two issues: the handling of offences perpetrated by military personnel and the treatment of military personnel with physical or psychological injuries.

The first of the came to national attention in April 2014 with a Maclean’s magazine’s exposé on sexual assault in the CAF. This was widely reported by other sources. It was estimated that five sexual assaults occur each day, and that the vast majority aren’t reported. Of those, many victims reported reprisals for making allegations, and investigations were either cursory – resulting in no charges – or aborted by senior officers. Victims also appear to be penalized when they suffer ill effects such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or depression, with many being released. The perpetrators typically, with very few exceptions, face no consequences. Canadians for Accountability is concerned that many of the perpetrators leave the service and enter the civilian workforce without their new employers having any idea of their past.

Of particular concern is the fact that this story is a reprise of the same revelations in the May 1998 edition of Maclean’s magazine.… Read the rest

Adieu to a friend, ally in accountability wars

Allan Cutler, Sean Bruyea and Ian Bron

A stalwart champion for whistleblowers and the laws to protect them is stepping down. Wrongdoers, especially those in government and their apathetic allies in oversight may think they can take a breather. They may not have long to rest.

There are only two organizations that focus on whistleblowing in Canada – the Federal Accountability Initiative for Reform (FAIR), and Canadians for Accountability (C4A). FAIR became a powerhouse of advocacy under David Hutton’s direction. David has recently announced he is stepping down.

Prior to FAIR, David was already an expert in management systems and organizational change. A senior executive inindustry, he later led a successful consulting practice for 20 years, publishing two authoritative books on quality management. David took over as Executive Director of FAIR in 2008.

David Hutton worked arduously to build FAIR. He created the website from scratch compiling more than 3,000 pages of valuable whistleblower resource material. David produced original reference works such as “The Whistleblower Ordeal” and “How Wrongdoers Operate”. Most frustrating for government was David’s thorough analyses of Canada’s disturbingly weak whistleblower laws and the frequent lame duck operations of the office entrusted to enforce them, the Integrity Commissioner. Kady O’Malley, prolific political journalist, aptly billed FAIR’s website as the “most dangerous website in Ottawa.” Sadly, since David’s departure, FAIR’s website remains down.… Read the rest

Prime Minister Harper: Thank you for Julian Fantino

Dear Prime Minister Harper:

Gosh, the Veterans Affairs portfolio has been difficult hasn’t it? I don’t think you have received enough credit however for appointing Julian Fantino as the Department’s Minster. He has been a blessing in disguise to Canada’s disabled veterans and their families.

Canadians, particularly veterans, may be widely repulsed by the constant shenanigans of Minister Fantino. I suspect that being the veteran and military champion you claim to be, you had a hidden plan to bring substantive change to that poorly managed department. Our senior public servants and their policies are largely integrity, compassion, transparency and innovation challenged.  Those at Veterans Affairs (VAC) are arguably the worst of the lot.

Back to Minister Fantino. Many believe you appointed the highly controversial ex-police chief because he could somehow command order amongst those ungratefully vocal veterans who dared exercise the very rights for which they sacrificed in uniform. You know, I am referring to those pesky fundamental freedoms of expression, association, peaceful assembly and the press.

Just as Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn noted following the widespread breaches in my privacy in 2010, VAC all alone in Charlottetown needed a change in culture. Rightly bringing the department back to Ottawa would be a rather large budget line.… Read the rest