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Government Operations committee  Thank you very much to the committee for the opportunity to testify today. My name is Duff Conacher. I am co-founder of Democracy Watch, which started up in 1993. We now have 45,000 supporters across the country and another 100,000 people who have signed petitions in support of

March 21st, 2017Committee meeting

Duff Conacher

Government Operations committee  Other jurisdictions do allow that priority transfer. Is it realistic? It depends, really, on the size of the organization and the wrongdoing. If only a few people know about the wrongdoing, then it is very difficult to protect someone's identity, because one of the few must hav

March 21st, 2017Committee meeting

Duff Conacher

Government Operations committee  I'm just talking about what's within the federal government's power. The provincial governments would have to strengthen their systems for the workers and the institutions that they regulate.

March 21st, 2017Committee meeting

Duff Conacher

Government Operations committee  Essentially, everyone needs to be protected, including suppliers to the government. The enforcement has to include follow-up audits to ensure that they are not losing contracts in the future simply because they've blown the whistle. It would be very difficult for a person such as

March 21st, 2017Committee meeting

Duff Conacher

Government Operations committee  Earlier, I mentioned reversing the onus so that the employer would have to prove the retaliation has not taken place. I think that's important. Also important is giving the commissioner the power to levy administrative monetary penalties straight up, so that chief executives, hea

March 21st, 2017Committee meeting

Duff Conacher

Government Operations committee  Again, as the current banking service scandal shows, the federal government needs to pass a law protecting all federally regulated workers, and provincial governments need to do the same for both public sector and private sector workers. We have a couple of areas covered, with

March 21st, 2017Committee meeting

Duff Conacher

Government Operations committee  We do have an office. It's the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner, but there are literally hundreds of cases that have still not been given the full investigation and fair investigation by that office. The current commissioner is someone who has been there pretty much through t

March 21st, 2017Committee meeting

Duff Conacher

Government Operations committee  I believe it would be difficult to see that happen with the current commissioner unless that commissioner would be required to commission a fully independent audit, not only of the commissioner's office but of how every department is dealing with whistle-blower protection. It is

March 21st, 2017Committee meeting

Duff Conacher

Government Operations committee  Thank you very much to the committee for this opportunity to come and testify again on this very important law enforcement matter. That's what whistle-blower protection is really about, I think, with “law” and “enforcement” defined broadly. Making whistle-blowers front-line inspe

April 4th, 2017Committee meeting

Duff Conacher

Government Operations committee  I would echo what my colleagues have said.

April 4th, 2017Committee meeting

Duff Conacher

Government Operations committee  The explanation requires me to use a fair bit of technical jargon, so it will really put my French to the test.

April 4th, 2017Committee meeting

Duff Conacher

Government Operations committee  I think I'm going to switch to English.

April 4th, 2017Committee meeting

Duff Conacher

Government Operations committee  The wrongdoing with regard to the commissioner's office is historical. Christiane Ouimet was audited by the Auditor General as the first commissioner and was found, in more than 200 cases, to have essentially not investigated but rejected the whistle-blower's complaint. Mario D

April 4th, 2017Committee meeting

Duff Conacher

Government Operations committee  Yes, the Integrity Commissioner is there essentially to receive complaints, but the administration of the whole internal system—and I'd emphasize that—is very much a system that is saying, yes, you can blow the whistle but no one's allowed to hear about it except internally withi

April 4th, 2017Committee meeting

Duff Conacher

Government Operations committee  I would just like to say that you want to have multiple channels. Canadian public sector workers, anyone, has a constitutional right to blow the whistle directly to the public if there is endangerment to health and safety under Supreme Court of Canada rulings from the past. But i

April 4th, 2017Committee meeting

Duff Conacher