All posts tagged Auditor General of Canada

Our 2014 Wish List

Allan Cutler

We now mark the beginning of a New Year, 2014. At this time it is worth pausing, thinking back to what was or was not achieved and looking forward with our wish list of what may or may not be achieved in the future.

Wish #1: That there will be a sincere effort to expose wrongdoing in the workplace and to protect whistleblowers.

I was recently sent a cartoon by a whistleblower. While the source of the cartoon was inadvertently left out, the caption struck a nerve. It read, “Do you realize that exposing the illegal things your government has been doing is illegal?” Unfortunately, there is more truth than fiction in this caption. We know of ‘gag orders’ that have been forced on some whistleblowers to prevent them from speaking out about wrongdoing. In fact, according to a reliable source, one of these gag orders was drafted by Office of the Integrity Commissioner of Canada (OPSIC) – the Office who should be encouraging whistleblowing.

From a whistleblowers viewpoint, OPSIC has been a dismal failure. While there is the appearance of small successes, they are few in number. There appear to be two goals in that office. First is to find a reason to reject an accusation.… Read the rest


Veterans deserve best democracy possible

Sean Bruyea

Another Remembrance Day has come and will quickly be gone. Lest We Forget.  But we do forget. Sad because now we need to remember more than ever why so many sacrificed, both the dead and the broken who are still amongst us. They sacrificed to hold the world accountable to what are hopefully higher principles.

It seems easier to understand the reasons for a past war like WW II: fight or be conquered (or stand by idly while others are conquered). We chose to stop regimes intent on destroying those treasured values which made our system work: rule of law, democracy, fundamental freedoms, etc.

Now we have soldiers returning from wars where the enemy is often indistinguishable from those we are trying to rescue in regions of the world which may or may not share common Canadian values. Debates rage and tempers flare as to whether there are “just” wars anymore.

What is irrefutable is that soldiers believe that they are fighting to make others accountable for a failure to treat fellow humans with dignity, respect and/or fundamental human and democratic rights. That’s correct, military members are the ultimate and hopefully last tool of ensuring accountability.

We have often seen the numbers: more than 115,000 Canadian military men and women have died holding others accountable.… Read the rest


There’s no accountability at Veterans Affairs Canada

The article below was first published in Ottawa’s Hill Times on February 27, 2012

By Allan Cutler and Ian Bron

Three weeks ago, John Larlee, chair of the Veterans Review and Appeal Board, responded to an op-ed written by Sean Bruyea. Bruyea’s comprehensive evidence and testimony effectively called Larlee to account for the failure of the Veterans Review and Appeal Board (VRAB) to provide dignified and adequate recourse for veterans as guaranteed by Canadian law.

What struck us as most curious about Larlee’s letter was its near complete lack of a substantive rebuttal to Bruyea’s original article. And since then, a scandal has arisen inside the VRAB which challenges Larlee’s missive.

To begin with, Larlee ignores the fact that in the last five years, the board has voluntarily and reluctantly granted permission for only two files to be returned to the Minister of Veterans Affairs for reconsideration. In the three years of Larlee’s tenure as chair, the board has not granted a single compassionate award allowed for in the legislation, another glaring shortfall in Larlee’s accounting of VRAB.

Hearing the story of VRAB member Harold Leduc, who was awarded $4,000 by the Canadian Human Rights Commission because of ill treatment by his colleagues, it makes perfect sense.… Read the rest