All posts tagged Clerk of the Privy Council

Government doesn’t care about whistleblowers

From left to right: Mario Dion, Pierre Poilievre, Tony Clement and Wayne Wouters

Sean Bruyea

Canada’s Public Sector Integrity Commissioner, Clerk of the Privy Council, President of Treasury Board and Pierre Poilievre need some serious schooling from University of Saskatchewan’s recent uproar over the unjust firing of a whistleblowing professor. Maybe then public servant whistleblowers who truly care about the public will be protected and not persecuted by an insular and out-of-touch senior bureaucracy.

Robert Buckingham, a tenured professor, was fired May 14, 2014 from the University of Saskatchewan. His crime: speaking out against a money-saving plan to restructure and reduce faculties and staff.  Dr. Buckingham reported the usual litany of whistleblower reprisals including attacks to his credibility, management isolating him, intimidation and even an escort off campus after his dismissal.

What was unusual for Canada was the reaction. Students held mass demonstrations, politicians waded in, and academics worldwide pressured both the university and the provincial government to defend a whistleblower. Dr. Buckingham had his tenure restored the next day. The following week, the university provost, author of the letter firing Robert Buckingham, resigned. The university president was fired from her post but offered another position and a hefty severance.… Read the rest

The Clerk, the flag and ideal public servant

Sorry for the long period since my last post, but I’ve been out of town on a trip to speak about whistleblowing. And, of course, being stuck in a metal tube for four hours was just what my already tired and stressed body needed – so I caught a cold, complete with laryngitis.

But I’m mostly better now, and I’d like to tell you about the conference I attended.

It was for The Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC), and Allan Cutler and I were invited to speak on whistleblowing. The theme was “Sharing Knowledge to Shape our Future: the Power of Stories”. I guess we fit in because whistleblowers tell a story about corruption and wrongdoing.

Tthe keynote speaker on the first day was none other than Wayne Wouters, Clerk of the Privy Council. Canada’s most powerful civil servant.

I made sure to arrive early to hear him speak, as did Allan. I wasn’t feeling great, dragged down by my cold. Nor did I have especially high expectations – we’re talking about bureaucrats, after all. But I did hope for a glimpse of his vision for the public service. After all, he has championed the use of social media in the federal government – most notably the development of GCPEDIA, a government version of Wikipedia.… Read the rest