All posts tagged Michael Ferguson

Time to worry about the state of our democracy

Allan Cutler

I worry about the state or ‘fate’ of democracy in our country. Slowly laws are being passed to restrict freedoms, stifle opposition, and reduce transparency. Sometimes I wonder what the Parliamentarians have in mind.

It is convenient for the governing party to reduce the power and rights of any opposition to ensure that they remain in power. However, do they not see the flip side of the coin? When they are out of office, and it will happen eventually, their ‘replacements’ will inherit these increased tools of power. As a result, they will be deprived of effective opposition by the very laws that they have passed now.

Even more importantly, do Parliamentarians not realize (or do they just not care) that their children or grandchildren will inherit this reduced freedom? As democracy erodes and power concentrates in the hands of the few, our personal freedoms are threatened.

The Elections Canada situation is a prime example and a worrying one. The underpinning of our democratic system is the belief that elections are conducted fairly. The Conservative government is reducing the ability of Elections Canada to ensure elections are fair so they can be re-elected with less opposition or challenges. Sooner or later, the Conservatives will lose the right to govern and become a party in opposition.… Read the rest

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