All posts tagged whistleblower protection

Transparency International Canada calls for better protection for whistleblowers

Better statutory protection for whistleblowers, an enhanced focus by law enforcement on domestic bribery,and public agencies introducing strict sanctions for corruption offenders are among 11 recommendations included in a report released on December 9, 2013, by Transparency International Canada (TI-Canada) for the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) Implementation Review.

The report was prepared by TI-Canada with input from non government organizations. Efforts were made to obtain information for the report from government offices and to engage in dialogue with government; a draft of the report was provided to the federal government.

“Canada has taken steps to meet its obligations under UNCAC, which we signed in 2004 and ratified in 2007,” said Peter Dent, President and Chair of TI-Canada. “However, as this carefully researched report reveals, the public and private sector can and must do a great deal more to eliminate the corrupt practices which harm us all.”

In particular, the TI-Canada report notes that Canada should ensure adequate statutory protection for whistleblowers, within both the public and private sectors. This would require the federal government to amend the Criminal Code and all levels of Canadian governments to introduce more robust legislative protection for whistleblowers in the private sector.

All provinces and territories should also have whistleblower protection statutes in place for both public and private sector employees.… Read the rest

The Failure of the Throne Speech

Ian Bron and Allan Cutler

The following piece ran in the Hill Times on October 21, 2013.

We had hoped that that the Conservatives would commit to protecting Canadians values through the Throne Speech. We had watched and waited for improvements in existing laws already designed to protect these values. But we did not waste time in false hopes. There appeared to be something for everyone offered in the Throne Speech unless you are an advocate of truth, honesty and transparency in government. In fact, we did not witness anything that promotes openness and honesty in government. The following details some of the significant ‘lacks’.

1. A commitment to strengthen the Public Servants Disclosure Protection ActThe PSDPA came into force in early 2006, fulfilling a key Conservative promise. However, the seven years since have shown it to be wanting. The first commissioner, Christiane Ouimet, refused to seriously investigate any cases. Second, the PSDPA, and by extension the tribunal it created, is unlikely to protect any whistleblower, since the burden of proof to demonstrate reprisal is much too high. Whistleblowers also have no right of access to courts.

There are deep flaws including unwarranted secrecy and jurisdictional limits that allow public servants to avoid sanctions simply by resigning or finding a job outside of the public sector.… Read the rest

An update on the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner

After the flurry of coverage about Mario Dion, the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner, things have died down. You can read earlier posts about this, but a summary of events is that he ejected David Hutton, Executive Director of the Federal Accountability Initiative for Reform, from his consultation committee. David had been too critical of Mr. Dion, who, it appears, was unable to see the hypocrisy and irony in the ejection. In protest, both Canadians for Accountability and Democracy Watch resigned in protest.

Mr. Dion has declined to respond either privately or publicly to our resignation. This is unsurprising, as his first reaction to our concern was petulance and a flat refusal to reconsider. This confirms our view that the committee was only ever intended as window dressing to convince Parliamentarians that there was dialogue where none really existed.

There has been one interesting development, however: I and a number of other individuals connected with Canadians for Accountability have suddenly received phone calls from investigators at the Office of the Integrity Commissioner. It appears that there is a new interest in our complaints, which have languished for years. Coincidence? I think not.

While in my last comment on Mr.… Read the rest