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
Canadians for Accountability has filed a complaint with the Canadian Bar Association, arguing that the federal government is requiring its lawyers to violate their moral and ethical obligations and requesting that it conduct an investigation into this matter.
The complaint arises from the suspension of Justice Canada lawyer Edgar Schmidt, who argued that the department was failing to provide Parliament with a full and proper assessment when proposed laws might breach the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. He alleges that internal departmental guidance stipulates that such warnings do not need to be given if there is even a 5% chance that it would survive a legal challenge.
“The Minister of Justice has a duty to report to the House of Commons’ said Allan Cutler, President of Canadians for Accountability. “If they are prevented from doing so, we’re in danger of losing fundamental rights to overreaching legislation. The ordinary citizen doesn’t have the resources to launch a Charter challenge against the government – which has infinite resources.”
Schmidt has brought his case before Justice Simon Noël of the Federal Court. Justice Noël, while he has not yet ruled on the case, blasted Justice Canada for its heavy-handed response to Schmidt’s whistleblowing.… Read the rest
Posted by Ian Bron on February 8, 2013