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Whistleblowing and the Public Trust Federal Accountability Initiative for Reform (FAIR)

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Presentation on theme: "Whistleblowing and the Public Trust Federal Accountability Initiative for Reform (FAIR)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Whistleblowing and the Public Trust Federal Accountability Initiative for Reform (FAIR)

2 Standards, Integrity & Trust Well-designed standards + Effective implementation = Trustworthy products & services

3 Our Vulnerability to Misconduct Ponzi schemes (Earl Jones…) Securities fraud (Bre-X, Nortel...) Faulty pharmaceuticals (Vioxx, Cisapride…) Tainted food (Listeriosis, e-Coli…) Aviation practices (Pilot fatigue, maintenance…) Investor abuse (Markarian…) Health care (Superbugs, tainted blood…) Diet / lifestyle risks (Cancer, diabetes, heart…) Work environment (Asbestos, carcinogens…) Policing: organized crime (Drugs, prostitution, extortion…) Education system (Abuse, bullying, bad food…) Lost tax dollars (Fraud, waste…) Employee Consumer Investor Parent

4 What Honest Employees Can Achieve Employees are the single best source of information for exposing misconduct They can: Provide the last line of defence, when every other safeguard has failed… Protect the public interest… …but only if only they can speak out and be heard!

5 The Joanna Gualtieri Story 1992: found massive waste and extravagance in accommodations for diplomats abroad Harassed out of her job 1998: sued her bosses for harassment Protracted, abusive ‘defence’ of lawsuit –12 years of legal manoeuvres –31 days of pre-trial discoveries, 10,576 questions –50 linear feet of legal files –Judge ruled that government lawyers abused process 2011: Government settled on courthouse steps

6 The Gualtieri Files

7 Some landmark cases Dr. Margaret Haydon, Dr. Shiv Chopra, and Gerard Lambert Health Canada Dr. Nancy Olivieri Sick Kids Hospital Toronto Joanna Gualtieri Foreign Affairs

8 A few Canadian whistleblowers Allan Cutler Bernard Dussault Bob Gale Bob Stenhouse Brian McAdam Bruce Brine Chief Supt. Fraser Macaulay Cpl. Robert Read Denise Revine Detective Ron Robertson Dr. Barry Armstrong Dr. John O'Connor Dr. Margaret Haydon Dr. Michelle Brill-Edwards Dr. Nancy Olivieri Dr. Shiv Chopra Gary Lovett Gerard Lambert Ian Bron Joanna Gualtieri Lesley Anthony and Jean Bowen Linda Merk Michael Sanders Perry Dunlop Pierre Blais Richard Colvin Sean Bruyea Selwyn Pieters Staff-Sgt. Mike Frizzell Staff-Sgt. Ron Lewis Staff-Sgt. Steve Walker AND MORE…

9 Typical outcomes Allegations well supported, reporting procedures followed Misconduct continues Whistleblowers suffer various types of reprisal –suffer life-changing psychological injuries (like PTSD) –lose their jobs, careers, livelihood, and homes – are abandoned by colleagues and friends –see their families torn apart by stress and fear ‘Official channels’ used to punish whistleblowers further –Endless legal / administrative proceedings –Massive imbalance of resources Accused wrongdoers are promoted and prosper

10 The Christiane Ouimet Story Career bureaucrat appointed as first Public Sector Integrity Commissioner Track record for 3½ years: found zero cases of wrongdoing, zero cases of reprisal Abruptly ‘retired’ when it became public that she was under investigation by Auditor General AG’s report was scathing: Ouimet abused her staff; carried out reprisals; did not do her job Media revealed that Ouimet’s ‘severance package’ was $500,000 (with a gag order) Parliamentary committee voted in secret not to follow-up on AG’s report (hence no sanctions)

11 Our Legislative History in a Nutshell 1993: Liberals came to power on a promise to clean up government –no government whistleblower legislation introduced –private members bill rejected in : Conservatives came to power on a promise to clean up government –deeply-flawed legislation passed in 2006 – all Senate amendments rejected –first Integrity Commissioner left in disgrace after producing no results for 3 years –still almost no results today after 5 years Repeated scandals have led to changes of government – but not changes to the system

12 Roadmap for Change Explain problems in the law Expose poor implementation Show research, best practices Engaged citizens Concrete proposals Irresistible demand for change Educated media Media exposure of scandals Human face of whistleblowing Articles, op-eds Educational materials Website, newsletter Preventable catastrophe New, powerful legislation Competent, proactive leadership Political support, judicial respect

13 What you can do to help 1.Visit our extensive website and learn more –fairwhistleblower.ca 2.Discuss the issues with colleagues and friends e.g. –Professional ethics –Standards implications 3.Donate to FAIR –a registered charity, Canada’s first public interest organization dedicated to whistleblower protection 4.Stay informed – register for our monthly newsletter 5.Give us your support when we call for it

14 For more information Federal Accountability Initiative For Reform 82 Strathcona Ave Ottawa, ON, K1S 1X Facebook: FairWhistleblower YouTube: fairwhistleblower


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