Whistle Blower Rights and Protection Act

An Act respecting the protection of employees in the public service of Canada who on reasonable belief make allegations respecting wrongdoing in the public service of Canada

This bill was last introduced in the 38th Parliament, 1st Session, which ended in November 2005.

Sponsor

Gurmant Grewal  Conservative

Introduced as a private member’s bill. (These don’t often become law.)

Status

Not active, as of Nov. 17, 2004
(This bill did not become law.)

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

February 8th, 2007 / 11:40 a.m.
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NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Thank you to the Auditor General for being here today.

It's been said and needs to be said again that you have done exemplary work over the years. Congratulations on that.

There seem to be two fundamental criticisms or concerns that you raised on the notion of moving the Commissioner of the Environment out. One is around effectiveness—the ability to effect change within government policy and performance. The second is around straying into policy. You've talked about expectations that have been raised.

On the expectations question, I remain confused, because I don't know why that would matter, why you would care or why the Commissioner of the Environment would care that an NGO or a member of Parliament incorrectly interpreted the mandate of the Commissioner of the Environment.

I remember reading Mr. Rodriguez's bill, Bill C-288, the first time, and there was a note in it about who would assess the government's policies. My first thought was “We have to strike that out, because it doesn't work.”

So there will always be expectations. Some will be right and some will be wrong. But I will not use that as a motivation to direct my deliberations on this.

On policy, you said that auditors can't audit themselves. It's a very important principle. If the Government of Canada has a legally binding commitment to do a certain thing—let's take the Kyoto Protocol as an example--and the government then puts forward a plan that, by their own admission, will fall short of that commitment, is there any room for an auditor to comment on that?

December 7th, 2006 / 9:40 a.m.
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NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Yes, and a friendly amendment to look at workers. If that's more poignant and more directed at the people affected, then that's fine with us.

The only thing I would suggest is that we're not comparing the oil and gas sector to the textile industry, but keeping in mind that under Bill C-288 it's certainly more than just the oil and gas sector that's affected. I'm thinking of certain mining operations or anyone who produces any greenhouse gases.

So if it's workers, and if that's acceptable to Monsieur Bigras or others, we'd be willing to accept that amendment.

December 7th, 2006 / 9:40 a.m.
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NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

The problem with the use of the word “communities” is that this can very much broaden to include somebody who may not be affected by anything in Bill C-288 suddenly having access to a just transition fund, and that's certainly not the intention.

Using the word “workers” may have more specific relevance. This person was affected; their job was removed; and the company is looking to transition to another form of energy production, manufacturing, or something. That might make more sense, but I would hesitate to use “communities”. That really broadens it as to who is affected. It could go on and on, and that's not the intention of the amendment.

December 7th, 2006 / 9:35 a.m.
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NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Yes, this is an important clarification.

The original submission talks about a “just transition fund”. That is not what's being proposed now. It's:

measures to provide for a just transition for industry affected by greenhouse gas emission reductions

I appreciate the concern that Mr. Bigras raises. It's not an intention or a motion to suggest that we subsidize or pay those who are polluting. But we heard from many in the industry who are looking to make the transitions that if Bill C-288 is brought into full force, there was a relatively strong consensus that within some industries there would be a pretty big impact. We don't necessarily know what the impact would be, but it would be measurable.

Creating some allowance for workers in particular to move from industry to industry, into a more sustainable industry, for example--the measures would be directed in that way, not to allow industry to continue to pollute, but to allow them to transition away from their polluting practices without significantly harming one industrial sector or another. It's something for us to consider seriously, as members of Parliament, in passing a bill. If it overly targets one section or area of the country in too negative a way, the resistance within our communities will be strong.

We've seen this before in other pieces of legislation that allow for workers to move from the textile industry, for example, in southwestern Ontario, in Quebec, into other industries that we know we want to promote.

Whistle Blower Rights and Protection ActRoutine Proceedings

November 17th, 2004 / 3:15 p.m.
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Conservative

Gurmant Grewal Conservative Newton—North Delta, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-288, an act respecting the protection of employees in the public service of Canada who on reasonable belief make allegations respecting wrongdoing in the public service of Canada.

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the people of Newton—North Delta and indeed all Canadians, I am reintroducing my private member's bill with respect to the protection of employees in the public service who, on reasonable belief, make allegations respecting wrongdoing in the public service.

This bill, written with the assistance of actual whistleblowers, is also known as the whistleblower rights and protection act. The public interest is served when employees are free to expose wrongdoing, waste and abuse within the public service without fear of retaliation and discrimination.

Whistleblowers should be praised and rewarded, not punished or harassed. They should not pay for their public service by putting their jobs on the line. My bill would offer them protection from retaliation. This bill is a very important one and all members of the House should support it.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)