moved for leave to introduce Bill C-290, An Act to amend the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act.
Madam Speaker, today it is with great pride that I introduce the public sector integrity act, which puts some teeth into the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act.
Public servants who witness wrongdoing must be able to speak out without fear, in the knowledge that their anonymity will be protected and that they will not be thrown under the bus. They need to know that they deserve thanks, not reprisal. They need to know that there will be an independent investigation into the wrongdoing reported, not just an internal review by people who may have an interest in covering it up.
The Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates identified these issues five years ago, but the government has never addressed them. Last year, the International Bar Association found that Canada provides very little protection to its whistleblowers. Canada ranks dead last in this regard, behind countries like the Cayman Islands, Bangladesh, Rwanda, and Pakistan. That is the situation in the best country in the world.
This is what my bill addresses. It protects more people, including former public servants and contractors, and covers more cases, including political interference in the work of government professionals. It can trigger a real investigation by the Auditor General or law enforcement, because wrongdoing must be exposed, not covered up.
Public servants who expose fraud, mismanagement and undue political interference are heroes. Let us protect them.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)