All posts tagged whistleblowing legislation

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

Federal Integrity Commissioner claims to be making headway

Feds rooting out wrongdoing in the public sector

That’s what the headline reads in several newspapers. The basis of this claim is a report by the Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner, where Mario Dion is the Commissioner. In it, he claims that the office is receiving more complaints of wrongdoing.

How journalists leap from “more complaints” to “rooting out wrongdoing” is beyond us, particularly as most complaints received still aren’t being investigated and only one instance of wrongdoing has been found. To make matters worse, that solitary case included no sanctions for the wrongdoer (who had left the public service) or the people who were supposed to be supervising her. She wasn’t even named. Parading this sole case as a triumph is, frankly, laughable. Furthermore, expecting public servants to be impressed insults their intelligence. They won’t be fooled, nor surprised: such propaganda-like overstatements are commonplace in the bureaucracy.

While Dion is a huge improvement over his predecessor, the disgraced Christiane Ouimet, it is our opinion that he is still the wrong man for the job. He showed a lack of integrity in accepting the post – which he had promised not to seek, and then denied making the promise.… Read the rest

An offer to Alberta Premier Redford on whistleblowing legislation

The following was sent by our President, Allan Cutler, to Alberta Premier Allison Redford. It is an offer to assist her government in developing legislation for whistleblower protection – which she promised prior to winning the leadership of the provincial Progressive Conservatives in 2011. It was sent on May 8, 2012; to date, we have received no reply.

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I will keep my comments brief. Before the election you advised that there was not enough time to consider whistleblowing legislation and, since the election, you announced that you want to have up-to-date whistleblower legislation.

Canadians for Accountability is the only national organization serving and helping whistleblowers. Recently, we presented the Golden Whistle Award to Brian Skakun of Prince George, B.C. This is the only award recognizing the service and importance of whistleblowers in Canada.

We would like to offer our services in helping draft and promote Alberta’s proposed whistleblowing legislation. We have access to legal experts and, as it happens, the majority of our members have been or are whistleblowers. We are familiar with the impact of the lack of sound laws. As for myself, I was the whistleblower during the federal Sponsorship Scandal.

Our expertise and credentials would enhance your government’s credibility for any subsequent whistleblowing legislation.… Read the rest