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

CFE calls for action on new federal whistleblowing report

The Centre for Free Expression has encouraged the Trudeau government to implement the recommendations of today’s standing committee report on improving Canada’s federal whistleblowing law.

The Government Operations Committee report recommends a number of changes to provide genuine protection to federal civil servants that blow the whistle on government wrongdoing.

“The report’s recommendations go a long way to fixing a law that has failed to protect federal whistleblowers since it was introduced ten years ago by the Harper Government,” said David Hutton, Senior Fellow at the Ryerson University Centre for Free Expression and one of Canada’s leading experts on whistleblowing.

June 16, 2017

News

The Hill Times publishes CFE Senior Fellow David Hutton’s critical examination of federal whistleblower protection

CFE Senior Fellow David Hutton has published an excellent 4-part series in The Hill Times that critically examines federal whistleblower protection in Canada. 

March 3, 2017