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

News

New study finds reduced harassment and discrimination in Canada’s live entertainment industry

A survey of those working in Canada’s live entertainment industry reported a significant reduction in incidents of harassment and discrimination following introduction of Canadian Actors Equity’s 

October 27, 2020

News

CFE joins international call for whistleblower protection during COVID-19 crisis

Major whistleblowing organizations from around world, including the Centre for Free Expression, issued a joint letter  today calling on governments and institutions to protect those who report or e

April 6, 2020

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

News

The ‘incomprehensible’ Phoenix meltdown: entirely predictable and entirely preventable

Good whistleblower protection could have prevented Phoenix, argues David Hutton.

June 4, 2018