After reading with interest the March 2013 report of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner, Mario Dion, regarding misconduct at the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), we would like to congratulate him for finding and substantiating a whistleblowing situation.
On the positive side, Dion’s office received the report on May 11, 2012 and initiated an investigation four months later on Sept. 5, 2012. It was concluded on Nov. 9, 2012. This proves that when the commissioner wants to, that investigations can be done in a timely fashion. Furthermore, there was a clear-cut finding of wrongdoing.
But while this is encouraging, we at Canadians for Accountability still have concerns. Based on the information provided, it appears that CBSA had already recognized the problem, at least in part, and chose to do nothing but incorporate the relevant observation into the employee’s annual review. In addition, these actions have should have triggered a security review for the officer involved by CBSA. This would have involved the RCMP, and based on what we now know, would certainly have led to a revocation of the officer’s security clearance—and resulted in him being removed from his job.
This leads us to two questions: Why did CBSA management choose to ignore a criminal association by one of its border officers, and why did the integrity commissioner not sanction them?… Read the rest
Posted by Allan Cutler on March 20, 2013
Today’s post, my first in the New Year, was triggered by a story on the contempt with which most self-represented litigants are treated by judges (thanks to Denis Rancourt for posting it; his is a case in point). It’s not exactly surprising news – everything I’ve experienced or heard from ordinary citizens to police officers tells me that judges are seriously out of touch. Not only do they not understand the challenges of daily life faced by many Canadians, they seem completely insulated from the critiques of their profession. For example, a retired Chief Justice once told a group I was a member of that his accountability was to the law – as if that meant anything. The idea that there be an independent review of his judgments and conduct was repugnant to him.
Despite his assertion, it is exceedingly rare for a judge to be removed from the bench. Even stories of misconduct which reach the press and inspire widespread repugnance end up with – at worst – the judge retiring. More and more, I see and hear examples of judges ranting – even screaming – at litigants, even lawyers. They can do so because, well, they can’t be held in contempt of their own courtroom.… Read the rest
Posted by Ian Bron on January 2, 2013