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.
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.
Donate -- Bibliography: Whistleblower Protection -- The Whistleblower's Ordeal -- Whistleblowing: A Practical Guide -- What’s Wrong with Canada’s Federal Whistleblower Legislation -- Bibliography: Whistleblower Protection -- Prominent Canadian Whistleblowers -- Podcast: Don't Shoot the Messenger! The Importance of Whistleblowers in the Public and Corporate Worlds -- Peter Bryce Prize for Whistleblowing
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
CFE’s David Hutton was featured prominently in CBC's excellent recent coverage of whistleblowing.
September 10, 2018
Good whistleblower protection could have prevented Phoenix, argues David Hutton.
June 4, 2018
The Centre for Free Expression has urged the Ontario Security Commission to clarify its policy guidance as to when in-house counsel would be eligible for the whistleblowing award. We endorsed the submission of Bersenas Jacobsen Chouest Thomson Blackburn LLP.
March 6, 2018
David Hutton, CFE Senior Fellow, comments on recent Commons committee report on whistleblower protection and what the Federal Goverment should do next.
June 30, 2017