All posts tagged Golden Whistle Award

Sylvie Therrien, 2014 Golden Whistle Award Winner

Last Monday, POGG Canada and Canadians for Accountability awarded the seventh annual Golden Whistle Award. This Award is presented annually to honour a whistleblower for integrity, courage, and resolve in the service of “Peace, Order and Good Government”. As usual, there were a number of worthy candidates, but unfortunately only one can be chosen. This year, the award went to Sylvie Therrien, a former employee who blew the whistle on a grossly unethical policy targeting employment insurance claimants.

When she started her job as a federal Employment Insurance fraud investigator, Ms. Therrien was surprised to find out that the main – perhaps only – measure of her performance was whether she had met her target for cutting off EI claimants on the basis of fraud: $35,000-$40,000 per month. If she had been able to meet those targets using  only those who had actually committed fraud, it’s likely we would never have heard of her. By her estimate, only a very small minority were actual fraud cases – as low as one in twenty.

Rather than assessing each case on the basis of its merits and assuming innocence until proven guilty, she and other fraud inspectors were told to comb through people lives to find any excuse to cut benefits.… Read the rest

Whistleblowers: Vilified for Doing the Right Thing?

The following piece was first published in the Epoch Times on March 25, 2014..

Treat whistleblowers with respect, says sponsorship scandal hero

By Epoch Times

Whistleblowers should be hailed as heroes but are all too often stigmatized, harassed, marginalized and blacklisted for life, says the former public servant who blew the whistle on the federal sponsorship scandal.

In 2004, former Public Works bureaucrat Allan Cutler triggered one of the biggest political scandals in modern Canadian history when he revealed that millions in public funds were being misdirected to Liberal-friendly advertising firms — a scandal that contributed to the Liberal party’s defeat two years later in the federal election.

Cutler was vilified, monitored, threatened, and demoted, before being finally vindicated by a 2006 inquiry into the scandal.

But Cutler’s battle has never really stopped. The stress of the ordeal damaged his health and forced him into early retirement. His reputation as a whistleblower consistently blocks him from professional and personal opportunities, he says.

“My life is totally different because of what I went through,” says Cutler, adding that many whistleblowers share a similarly traumatic experience.

“The consequences for whistleblowers range from being dead-ended in a job to being fired, to your health permanently destroyed, your self-confidence ruined, nervous breakdowns, suicide.… Read the rest

Golden Whistle Award Presentation – March 31, 2014

In conjunction with POGG Canada, Canadians for Accountability will be presenting the seventh annual Golden Whistle Award on Monday March 31. Join us at 6:30 at the Ottawa Army Officers Mess, 149 Somerset Street West, in Ottawa. Tickets in advance for POGG members and non-members is $25. For more information, go to the POGG Meeting Programs page, or download the flyer.… Read the rest