Whistleblower Protection

The Issue

Public or private sector employees who report illegal, unethical or abusive institutional behaviour typically face retaliation, which can include discipline, ostracism, social stigmatization, demotion, dismissal, and criminal charges. Laws in Canada to protect whistleblowers are largely ineffective and sometimes counterproductive -- the legal forum created by the laws can be a vehicle for formally endorsing the retaliation.

Why It Matters

Whistleblowing serves vital institutional and public purposes. It allows issues of concern to be identified and resolved internally, where possible, and, where not, it brings alleged wrongdoing to public attention so problems can be corrected and future harm avoided.

Our Work

The Centre’s focus is protecting Canadian society by making public-interest whistleblowing possible through effective protection for Canadian whistleblowers in both the public and private sectors. The CFE Whistleblowing Initiatives (CFEWI) will help make it possible for Canadians to live and work with integrity and to combat misconduct that may threaten the well-being of our communities and our democracy. Our work is guided by the CFEWI Steering Committee. If you wish to contact us securely, click here.

Resources

BPC Bulletins

BPC Bulletin: Indigenous Government Tries to Silence Whistleblower

August 19, 2019 - In northwestern British Columbia, the Nisga’a Lisims Government (NLG) is trying to legally silence one of its employees.

Initiative

CFE Whistleblowing Initiatives

Founded in March 2017, the CFE Whistleblowing Initiative is a project of the Centre for Free Expression at Ryerson University. Our mission is to protect Canadian society by making responsible whistleblowing possible through effective protection for Canadian whistleblowers.

News

CFE launches investigation of Phoenix payroll debacle

The Centre for Free Expression at Ryerson University (CFE) has launched an independent investigation of the Phoenix Pay System debacle. The goal of the investigation is to determine if the devastating problems might have been prevented had there been adequate whistleblowing protection for public servants who could have safely alerted their superiors to the impending deficiencies and errors.

October 6, 2018

News

CFE Senior Fellow David Hutton featured in important CBC coverage of whistleblowing

CFE’s David Hutton was featured prominently in CBC's excellent recent coverage of whistleblowing.

September 10, 2018

Blog Post

Developing a Whistleblowing Culture in Canada

Being a whistleblower in Canada is tough.

By Abbas Kassam