All posts tagged reprisals against whistleblowers

Time to turn a new leaf with whistleblowers

We are now about six months into the new Liberal government mandate. It’s a good time to stop and take stock. From a whistleblowing viewpoint, has anything changed under the new regime?

There are some indicators of a positive change. In November 2015, scientists were reported to have been “unmuzzled.” We’ve also heard from public servants speaking off the record about a positive change in culture inside government; impartial advice is again valued. The new government has also dropped several legal cases—for example, one in which the previous government tried to silence Cindy Blackstock and her efforts to get fair funding for aboriginal education.

On the other hand, there are also negative indicators. While the Liberals promised to be open by default with information—and continue to reinforce this message—they have recently announced that reforms to the Access to Information Act will have to wait until 2018. This is a major disappointment for advocates. They believe that good recommendations for change already exist and simply have to be enacted. So why the wait? After 10 years of Conservative government, none of the skeletons in the closet will belong to the Liberals. There are still significant delays in obtaining information from departments under the ATI.… Read the rest

Integrity Commissioner Dion should be replaced

Allan Cutler

Public Sector Integrity Commissioner Mario Dion

“Gross Mismanagement” “These are not my words but the words used by the Auditor General in his recent report on the Office of the Integrity Commissioner. “We found that the actions and omissions of PSIC senior managers (the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner) in relation to this file amount to gross mismanagement “The score is now 2 for 2. Two reports by the Auditor General for two Integrity Commissioners. Both Christiane Ouimet and Mario Dion are batting zero.

Furthermore the Auditor General states that both the Commissioner and the Deputy Commissioner committed wrongdoings as defined in subsections 8(a) and (c) of the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act. A question now needs to be answered. Which is worse – internal abuse or external abuse? The abuse done to employees of the Integrity Commissioner under Ouimet or the abuse done to all those who have tried to expose federal bureaucratic corruption with Dion? Both Commissioners were former senior bureaucrats. Both appeared more interested in their position and protecting former colleagues than in helping others.

Gross Mismanagement: The two OPSIC cases reviewed by the Auditor General overlap the terms of both Commissioners. The Auditor General states that he did not expect 100% of the files to be managed without error.… 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