June 16th, 2017

NDP: Enact all-party plan to protect whistleblowers

OTTAWA – The NDP is calling on the government to enact an all-party plan to protect whistleblowers after the Government Operations Committee presented a unanimous report calling for stronger whistleblower protection in the federal government.

“If public servants and government contractors were empowered to blow the whistle, the Phoenix Pay System boondoggle, and others like it, could have been prevented,” said NDP committee vice-chair Erin Weir (Regina–Lewvan). “These projects involved hundreds of people, many of whom perceived mismanagement long before it was recognized or admitted by government.”

Today’s committee report recommends broadening the definitions of “wrongdoing” and “reprisal” against which the law protects whistleblowers, empowering the independent Public Sector Integrity Commissioner to oversee and evaluate whistleblower protection in departments and agencies. Analysis from senior officials, horror stories from whistleblowers and comparisons from international experts at committee all indicated huge problems with whistleblower protection in Canada.

“A key test of Prime Minister Trudeau’s promises of openness and transparency will be whether he implements these concrete proposals to protect whistleblowers in his own government,” added NDP Labour Critic, Sheri Benson (Saskatoon West). “The NDP is calling on the government to enact an all-party plan to protect whistleblowers. The public sector must foster an environment in which employees may honestly and openly raise concerns without fear or threat of reprisal.”