Transparency International Canada Calls for Better Protection for Whistleblowers

Posted by Shannon Walker

on December 16, 2013

graphic transparency internationalBetter statutory protection for whistleblowers, an enhanced focus by law enforcement on domestic bribery,and public agencies introducing strict sanctions for corruption offenders are among 11 recommendations included in a report released on December 9, 2013, by Transparency International Canada (TI-Canada) for the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) Implementation Review.

The report was prepared by TI-Canada with input from non government organizations. Efforts were made to obtain information for the report from government offices and to engage in dialogue with government; a draft of the report was provided to the federal government.

“Canada has taken steps to meet its obligations under UNCAC, which we signed in 2004 and ratified in 2007,” said Peter Dent, President and Chair of TI-Canada. “However, as this carefully researched report reveals, the public and private sector can and must do a great deal more to eliminate the corrupt practices which harm us all.”

In particular, the TI-Canada report notes that Canada should ensure adequate statutory protection for whistleblowers, within both the public and private sectors. This would require the federal government to amend the Criminal Code and all levels of Canadian governments to introduce more robust legislative protection for whistleblowers in the private sector.

All provinces and territories should also have whistleblower protection statutes in place for both public and private sector employees. Legislation should ensure that whistleblowing employees are protected whether they choose to take their information “up the ladder” or outside the organization and directly to law enforcement officials.

In addition, a civil remedy that would enable whistleblowers who experience reprisals to recover damages for their treatment would enhance the protection of whistleblowers. For example, employment standards legislation could be amended to provide for greater entitlement to damages if a wrongful dismissal were the result of a reprisal for whistleblowing.