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
Canada, unlike other countries, has little effective legal protection for those who speak out to stop wrongdoing that harms the public.
Whistleblowers typically pay a huge price for their openness and honesty. Why is that? What can be done to protect them and the public interest.