Published in the Hill Times on October 24, 2011
It was last October that Christiane Ouimet resigned as the first Public Sector Integrity Commissioner. In three years, with a staff of over 20 with a budget of over $6.5 million, she was unable to find a single whistleblower in a public service over 400,000 employees.
In contrast, our organization, Canadians for Accountability – with a very limited budget and staffed only by volunteers – managed to meet and validated of over 100 potential whistleblowers in the same period. Not surprisingly, some of them had tried to report the situation to the Integrity Commissioner with disastrous results.
Recognizing the need to help people, I let it be known that I would be applying for the position of Integrity Commissioner when the opportunity presented itself. I felt that I could offer the right perspective in the job as very few people understand whistleblowing other than from a legal or academic viewpoint. And, on the other hand, many who do understand the issues don’t have the background or knowledge of the process and legal framework.
However, having now seen the Selection Criteria for the new Integrity Commissioner, I have decided not to apply.… Read the rest
Posted by Allan Cutler on October 25, 2011
(Published in the Hill Times on August 14, 2011)
Why does Canada treat its whistleblowers so badly? Even though only it has been just a few years since the Sponsorship Scandal, which was exposed by Allan Cutler and another anonymous whistleblower, it’s a question that needs to be asked.
Why? Because, yet again, Canadian whistleblowers have been successfully persecuted as an example to deter any potential ethical dissenters.
On Monday, August 8, the Public Service Labour Relations Board (PSLRB) upheld the dismissal of Shiv Chopra and Margaret Haydon. Chopra, Haydon and a third Health Canada scientist (Gerald Lambert, who was reinstated) were fired in 2004 for insubordination after they defied industry pressure and management orders to approve drugs for livestock that they determined to be potentially harmful to human health. The axe fell after they testified at Senate Committee. The Senators who heard from them did nothing to stop the reprisal.
This abuse of power has been sustained and has undoubtedly cost millions of dollars. Exact figures are impossible to obtain, because such expenses are considered subject to solicitor-client privilege. (And if you, the real client, are wondering why you don’t have a right to know how much is being spent defending the indefensible, you’re in good company.)
PIPSC, the union representing Chopra, Haydon and Lambert called the decision “a bad day for whistleblowers”.… Read the rest
Posted by Ian Bron on August 14, 2011