Repost: “Whistleblowers and Good Governance”- a talk by the Hon. David Kilgour

In light of the health firings tragic & despicable scandal, the Plecas report allegations and the weekends W5 report, I thought it would be timely to revisit an older post that still resonates. Not only does it resonate, it clearly establishes a pattern that is still often repeated within public service across Canada when individuals come forward and blow the whistle on wrong that’s been done. Instead of trying to correct the wrong, often the individual is targeted,maligned, isolated from peers, and made to feel ‘crazy’. Only…they aren’t.

This is what needs to be addressed. Whistleblower legislation must protect people, and give them a safe space to come forward, seperate from every ministry.

In reading this, it is also timely to point out one man, Brian Mcadam, must feel somewhat vindicated by many of the revelations that have now surfaced…many of today’s reports of Triads, drug trafficking and money laundering were mentioned back in the Sidewinder report debunked by both RCMP and the federal government of the days. ( surprised no ones talked about this yet in relation to all this,but then that would out the feds under scrutiny again too)

Without further delay, here is that repost from 2012:

***************************

 

 

Truth does not always come without a cost,personal or professional.

However, these men and women have not not allowed themselves to be bullied, nor silenced, nor do many Canadians know their incredible stories.

This is a phenomenal piece,  detailing four Canadian lesser known heroes and how the Canadian government shafted each of them in an effort to silence the truth they bravely came forward to tell..

WHISTLEBLOWERS AND PUBLIC SERVICE GOVERNANCE

Hon.David Kilgour

OTTAWA SOUTH ROTARY CLUB

Hunt Club Golf course clubhouse

16 July 2012

 

Canada has witnessed no shortage of major corruption scandals; the following come readily to mind:

􀁸Tainted Blood, in which about 60,000 Canadians were infected with hepatitis C, some of them fatally.

 􀁸The Gun Registry, in which a program with a budget of $2 million spent $1 billion without authorization or adequate reporting of cost overruns to Parliament.

 􀁸The Sponsorship Scandal, in which millions of dollars of public money were diverted illegally to government-favoured advertising agencies.

Other advanced democracies have adopted whistleblower protection partly as an anticorruption strategy. The U.S. is the pioneer in the field, and took the first steps more than 30 years ago. The UK has had effective legislation in place for more than a decade, which covers its entire workforce. This includes a tribunal system that has processed more than 7,000 whistleblower cases.

 The history of such legislation in Canada is one of foot-dragging by politicians and officials alike. Successive governments have promised whistleblower protection for years. We still have no legislation that works effectively and no agency that reliably protects public servants at any level of government, or in the private sector, or in any part of the country. In terms of protecting conscientious and courageous employees from reprisals, Canada is still largely a wasteland.

 Westminster Governance

Our Westminster system of government itself has a serious structural flaw in terms of modern best democratic practices. With the fused executive and legislative branches, our Executive Democracy encourages legislators to defer excessively to party leaders, whether prime ministers, premiers or opposition leaders. In turn, public servants in both national and provincial capitals answer to deputy ministers, not to the general public good or taxpayers.

 This institutional and cultural reality is a major reason why, among related governance problems, there has been so little development of effective whistleblower legislation across our country.

 Four National Heroes

 Joanna Gualtieri

As a property specialist in the Dept. of Foreign Affairs and International Trade starting in1992, lawyer Gualtieri exposed gross waste and extravagance in the procurement of accommodation for some of our diplomats abroad. In Tokyo, for example, government owned residences valued up to $18 million sat vacant while large sums were spent renting other accommodation senior diplomats preferred. She also discovered that luxury living in violation of Treasury Board policy was the norm in the Americas. Rather than correct the policy breaches, managers retaliated, harassing her and eventually forcing her out of her job in 1995. Both times she attempted to return to her job, she faced the same hostile environment and refusal to allow her to do her work. In 1998, she left the department for good.

Despite acknowledgement in internal documents that her case had merit, the ministry publicly asserted that nothing wrong had been done. When Gualtieri sued, Justice Department lawyers used a range of tactics to drag out her suit for 12 years, forcing her, for example, to answer more than 10,500 pre-trial questions. The strategy was clearly to ruin her with massive legal bills and break her spirit.

  In the end, the government settled, virtually at the court house in early 2010, thus avoiding a public trial which would have exposed incompetence and waste. Gualtieri now has her life back, although she was harmed from the loss of almost twenty tears in an unequal legal battle seeking to make an example of her as to what happens to public servants who fail to tow the management line.

As part of the settlement, she is today subject to a gag order, preventing her from speaking about the misfeasance she put her career on the line to expose.

 

Brian McAdam

A career immigration officer, McAdam learned in 1991 that our immigration office in Hong Kong might have been penetrated by organized crime, allowing criminals to immigrate to Canada. His exposure of corruption, missing blank visas, fake embassy stamps, reports about organized criminals known as Triads, penetration of top-secret files in the computer system, inappropriate gifts to staff, and revelations about Chinese party-state espionage activities were poorly investigated.

 Rather than correct serious problems, senior managers instead turned on McAdam,  eventually forcing him out of his 30 year government service. As well, they stalled, blocked and undermined subsequent inquiries into his allegations. Much evidence he provided to a joint RCMP-CSIS investigation was destroyed; CSIS top management shredded ‘Sidewinder’,the report confirming his concerns in 1997. The government ignored an Auditor General report corroborating McAdam’s concerns about the computer system, a serious rebuke by the RCMP Review Committee, other agencies intelligence reports, and one of the largest espionage probes ever done in the U.S.

 Zabia Chamberlain

In 2007 and 2008, Chamberlain, a manager at Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, experienced repeated sexual and aggressive harassment at the hands of the executive to whom she reported and an excessive workload from managers above him. Instead of disciplining the harasser and moving her, senior management opted to close ranks and deploy the familiar tools, “deny, delay, devalue and discriminate”, breaching workplace human rights and safety policies.

Chamberlain’s doctors diagnosed severe post-traumatic injury and requested that she be relocated to a new organization and position. This was refused despite her strong 20-year job performance. A number of officials from her department and Treasury Board even asked her to remit an assault-form and sign a declaration that the harasser was a “third party”, although he remains today in his position. Chamberlain brought her case to adjudication in the spring of 2009, asked for reassignment help and tried on her own to look for other positions. Her time before the Public Service Labour Relations Board will soon total 35 days without any resolution on the horizon (She is in hearing today).

 She has lost her two-decade career; yet the perpetrators of the harassment, breaches and stalling remain, highly-paid, in their public service jobs.

Sean Bruyea

In 2005, former Air Force intelligence officer Bruyea realized there were serious flaws in a new proposal for injured soldiers. It would end the comprehensive life-long benefits provided to injured veterans and replace them with a one-time lump sum payment of much lower value.

Not personally affected, Bruyea nonetheless became an outspoken critic. He also advocated the creation of a veterans’ ombudsman. Veterans Affairs Dept. officials attempted to punish him by seeking to cut off treatment and benefits while distributing in briefing notes distorted interpretations of his medical condition to persons who had no clear need to know.

 Bruyea had suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other psychological and physical injuries as a result of his service in the 1991 Gulf war. The briefing notes were given in their entirety or formed the basis of briefings given to cabinet ministers, staff in the prime minister’s office, a parliamentary secretary, his Member of Parliament as well as to dozens of the most senior managers within Veterans Affairs Canada.The notes and associated briefings falsely suggested that Bruyea was mentally unstable.

 Bruyea has now received more than 20,000 pages of documents through Privacy Act requests, which were held by more than 400 departmental officials. The Department’s own internal review determined that out of the 614 officials who accessed his computer based files, 54 “did not have a valid reason for access[ing]” those files.

 The notoriety of the violations resulted in the Harper government issuing Bruyea, on October 26, 2010, one of only two official apologies given to Canadian individuals in more than twenty years. The Veterans Affairs media relations director has confirmed that not a single official involved appears to have been formally disciplined.

 Conclusion

These and many other cases share similar features: hostility towards honest employees whose work threatened to expose shoddy conduct; workplace reprisals; justice long denied by legal and procedural stratagems ; and oceans of tax dollars spent protecting alleged wrongdoers and pursuing truth tellers.

 The House of Commons should give priority to improving the governance of our national public service. A logical first step would be to draw on the experience of countries such as the U.S. and U.K. to enact effective whistle blower legislation without further delay.

The complicated and costly whistle-blower system created by the Accountability Act has been a complete failure. Whistle-blowers are being persecuted just as fiercely under the Harper government as they were in the past. The Conservative promise to protect truth-tellers now looks like a cynical election campaign ploy. In order to show good faith, the government should immediately stop stalling on whistle-blower cases that are before the courts, and take steps now to strengthen this country’s whistleblower protection legislation.

 A recent media release by FAIR, the whistleblower NGO, (FAIR Media Release, 29 June 2012)) noted that the Government whistleblower watchdog has failed to deliver after five years.  “After five years of bureaucratic charades, taxpayers have essentially nothing to show for more than 30 million dollars spent on the Integrity Commissioner’s office and the associated Tribunal,” said David Hutton, executive director of FAIR. “Not a single wrongdoer has been sanctioned and not a single whistleblower has been protected. It is time for a root and branch reform of this law.”

 The new Integrity Commissioner Mario Dion has to date uncovered only one case of wrongdoing out of more than 320 complaints submitted over the past five years. The government has also failed to initiate the five-year review of the Whistleblower Act as legally required.

The time for white horses and transparency promised in 2006 in the cause of better public service governance is long overdue.

 Thank you.

10 Comments on “Repost: “Whistleblowers and Good Governance”- a talk by the Hon. David Kilgour

  1. https://vancouversun.com/news/politics/more-b-c-legislature-employees-allege-mistreatment-the-speaker-says/amp?__twitter_impression=true

    ” Mullen declined to say exactly how many more disgruntled former and current legislature employees have contacted him, beyond the original 20. He said it will take time to verify or dismiss the allegations.

    James and Lenz, the two most powerful non-elected people in the legislature, were suspended from their jobs Nov. 20, with little public information available to explain the surprise suspensions. Until the release of Plecas’ report in January, he and Mullen were criticized for what appeared to be a heavy-handed move against the two longtime employees.

    That critical reaction, Plecas claimed, reinforced for the former employees that they were right to stay silent about their alleged poor treatment because no one may have believed them.

    “There was no focus on the people (James and Lenz) being accused. It was nothing, absolutely nothing. It was all about us as the whistleblowers, and of course this made it extremely difficult for the 20 employees because they are all saying, ‘Thank God I didn’t say anything because look at what’s happening to them,’” Plecas said.

    “It was a pretty serious beating for a couple of months. And I’m under no illusion that we are going to continue to take that beating.”

    • Laila: In regard to Brian McAdam’s experience with whistleblowing in Canada: Brian, an Immigration officer, was the go-to guy on anything to do with Triads and their concerted infiltration into Canadian society (ie., politics). He uncovered corruption in the Canadian Mission in Hong Kong where staff deleted criminal records of Triad members applying for Canadian Visas. They also stole stacks of blank Visa applications which they rubber stamped for approval. For his efforts McAdam was vilified by his superiors, suffering severe depression as a result, culminating in early retirement. Cpl Robert Reid, assigned to foreign service with the RCMP, championed his cause and suffered the same treatment. His successor determined that his concerns were baseless. All evidence to the contrary were shredded (a few copies survived). Fast forward to 2019, the same concerns expressed by these two whistleblowers are still relevant, perhaps more so. Concerns about PRC influenced Canadian politicians are a daily occurrence. Rumours circulate that the PRC has affiliated itself with the Triads and millionaire tycoons, offering them limited immunity in return for passing on relevant information. Ironically, or perhaps not, the Federal Liberals were the party in power when this information came to light, then and now.

      • Which is why the feds have such a lacklustre response to everything that involves the PRC and the CCP: fentanyl imports into Canada handled via the dark web from China continue unabated, Huawei, money laundering.

        Nothing that impacts trade relations with Beijing will be allowed to transpire. As I wrote before, the bc ndp still have Panda/dim sum bonds issued in China, not maturing until Nov this year or next. How hard will they push China to act on fentanyl producers and traffickers?

        Meanwhile both Huawei and SNC Lavalin sit and contribute to the China Canada business council, whose board includes Stockwell Day and James Moore.

        Oh what a tangled web between the BC Libs and the federal Iibs right now, an opportunity for the ndp to make an impact on corruption by holding a full Charbonneau style commission with powers of subpoena and not limited in scope so we can see who and where in government this rot spread to.

        Theres only one choice here as far as I see it. But it’s going to require a lot of moral courage to do it. Is Horgan that man?

  2. Well now, this is classic, isn’t it? Moved by Liberal house leader Mary Polak and seconded by Solicitor General Mike Farnworth, that Linda Reid be removed as Assistant Deputy Speaker.

    The optics of any liberal voting against this are too large to fathom so, it shall be unanimous the Liberals are throwing one of their own under the bus.

    https://bc.ctvnews.ca/legislature-to-hear-motion-seeking-to-replace-assistant-deputy-speaker-1.4292673#_gus&_gucid=&_gup=twitter&_gsc=0wjdsAD

    I love the sight of a squirming in the morning.

    NEXT!!!

  3. Hello Laila,

    I was looking back at some earlier Posts of mine from 2011 on the travel habits of the Chief Electoral Officer then, it was Kieth Archer, the forerunner to Craig James. Mr. Archer published his travel expense via a pdf file and all of a sudden the information just STOPPED. Mr. James intervention as the new Chief, I suppose, didn’t want that sort of information our there. https://web.archive.org/web/20120203104701/http://blogborgcollective.blogspot.com/2012/01/its-cheaper-to-go-to-mexico-city-than.html

    Travel Expense Claim Summary
    Keith Archer, Ph.D., Chief Electoral Officer
    https://web.archive.org/web/20120203104701/http://www.elections.bc.ca/index.php/about/ceo-travel/

    Then there was the outrageous sandwich delivery by candidate Christy Clark to within the forbidden 100 metre (300 feet) voting booths. The Press were tipped off on her generosity to her workers … but when YOU contacted Elections BC on behalf of Cheryl ….https://lailayuile.com/2011/05/12/a-question-for-craig-james-did-christy-clark-break-the-elections-act-yesterday/#comments

    ” Here’s the response I got from EBC today.

    Hi Cheryl,
    you are correct, candidates are only allowed within a voting place if they are voting. We have reviewed the facts and determined that lunch was delivered to campaign workers outside the building where voting was being conducted. At no time did Christy Clark go within the voting place.

    Thank you for bring this to our attention.

    Regards,
    Chris Roberts
    Elections BC

    Chris Roberts would be a likely candidate to talk to Speaker Plecas?

    I bring this to your attention because of Craig James’ having sought out help from the BC Liberals, on the public’s dime.

  4. By the time the new century arrived so too did a Realization.

    Ethics – formal philosophical reasoning, logical reasoning meant to uphold the rule of Law – including International Law – is on Life Support everywhere.

    The purpose of Ethics? It defined and supported good conduct, in humans, in their business and government activities, by providing an argument base, a higher ground from which to chastise and shun rogues.

    But, too bad. For being too damned nosey, Ethics has been rendered passe, on a forced march to complete extinction. And why not? Ethical theorizing makes people think and talk about things they shouldn`t.

    Which bring us to Mr. Kilgour.

    Anyone here ever read “The Epoch Times on line, or in print?” Probably not many.

    “The Epoch Times is part of the Epoch Media Group (EMG), a New York-based global news and entertainment company. With uniquely positioned media assets, EMG is at the forefront of digital video publishing. Across multiple content platforms, EMG produces the highest quality content, in 23 languages, to meet the diverse demands of our growing audience.”

    A search on the Times website for David Kilgour yields “Total found: 641” (available in 23 different languages? Can`t say. I have trouble enough with the language I speak.)

    The point? What Mr Kilgour has tried to do, for years, is convince our federal government, various other governments, and the global business community of something no stakeholder in Global Trade wants to understand.

    https://www.theepochtimes.com/human-harvest-screens-at-national-health-ethics-week-event-in-ottawa_2240409.html

    “Kilgour, who is a former MP, cabinet minister, lawyer, and prosecutor, is featured in the film [“Human Harvest: China’s Illegal Organ Trade”] along with his co-authors of the update report: Winnipeg-based international human rights lawyer David Matas and American investigative journalist Ethan Gutmann.“

    “As we saw in the film, prisoners of conscience often convicted of nothing are the primary source of pillaged organs. They include Uyghurs, Tibetans, and Christians, but are overwhelmingly Falun Gong practitioners long dehumanized in Party-state media across China,” Kilgour said.“

    But wait. What do our, “Stop. It`s Just None of Our Business” stalwarts have to say in rebuttal?. This? Dinky countries like Canada should pay no attention to awful things abroad or ever say something critical to Chinese Communist authorities (or heads of Big Companies) other than, “Hey! Look! Here`s some unsolicited legal advice that your Huawei rep can use to get a free pass!“

    The crusade to save Ethics from the dustbin is almost embarrassing. Because? Ethics just aren`t 2019 at all, but instead so very last century, when theologians of various faiths and professors of human rights ran for government in an effort to influence policy and render it humane. But with Parliamentarians world-wide “Whipped“ to prevent rational second thought, or derail even rational first thought – who wins?

    Now? Whatever barbarities countries commit to shock their neighbours and the world – like killing thousands of people in hospitals, (yes, in HOSPITALS) to profit from illegal organ sales to the world`s dying rich – well, golly, that fact must not be allowed to affect the sanctity and engineered lawlessness of TRADE loopholes.

    Or dare harm decent companies like God Fearing good old SNC-Lavalin.

    Punish Lavalin again? After it was prevented (for 8 years) from bidding on any World Bank sponsored project, anywhere on earth? A thought too cruel to contemplate for Ottawa. Let all big corporations be advised: Canada and its provinces have joined to the rush to end annoying trials and awkward jail sentences. Let our beloved corporations plea bargain instead!

    Perhaps only the elderly – who remeber times when governments were trusted – are likely to recognize that a Justice system is only as useful as it is a deterrent to crime.

    A system severed from Ethics is NOT a Justice System.

    Bravo Laila, for finding the link to David Kilgour.

    • Thanks,those two older Playing with the Dragon posts play right into so much of today’s events. Sidewinder was squashed by the rcmp and politicians because it was politically damaging to the government of the day which happens to be our federal government of today. Different players…same power brokers moving the players around…

  5. Speaking of “thanks for the demotion, but I don’t think I belong here”…

    https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-read-jody-wilson-rayboulds-resignation-letter-to-justin-trudeau/

    “Read Jody Wilson-Raybould’s resignation letter to Justin Trudeau”

    “Jody Wilson-Raybould has resigned from Justin Trudeau’s cabinet in the midst of allegations that the Prime Minister’s Office tried to pressure her while she was justice minister to abandon a corruption and fraud prosecution of Montreal construction giant SNC-Lavalin. “I am writing to tender my resignation as the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence,” she wrote to the Prime Minister on Tuesday, Feb 12, 2019”.

    Now that’s a decision that we all should respect because it represents CLASS.

    As a former Attorney General Ms Wilson Raybould – for reasons to be made public some day – resigns. Meanwhile BC’s current Attorney General directs his and our attention to mindless conjecture over what’s on The Table. Is it still there?

    Because if what Mr Eby is doing is drawing attention to the same sort of top-level interference in the justice system here as allegedly exists in Ottawa why hasn`t he resigned?

    Those 76% of BC voters who want a Public Inquiry? I think that too represents CLASS on a Wilson-Raybould scale.

    I recall you wondering whether there was a gulf between what Victoria’s pols wanted from the feds (and their national Police folice) and what the Police thought they were expected to do.

    Hello again, Sam Cooper!

    https://globalnews.ca/news/4949413/as-rcmp-investigated-casino-money-laundering-police-distrust-of-b-c-government-grew/?utm_medium=Facebook&utm_source=GlobalBC

    “As RCMP investigated casino money laundering, police distrust of B.C. government grew”

    “Senior police officers were concerned B.C. government officials might have leaked information that “compromised” October, 2015 RCMP raids targeting sophisticated alleged underground casinos in Richmond, B.C., according to records from a B.C. Lottery Corp. whistle-blower.”

    “The records obtained by Global News and source interviews suggest that as RCMP’s Federal Serious and Organized Crime (FSOC) unit ramped up casino money laundering and underground banking investigations in 2015, senior police and B.C. Gaming Policy Enforcement Branch (GPEB) investigators increasingly viewed B.C. Lottery Corp. (BCLC) — and possibly others in B.C.’s government — with distrust.”

    “Global News asked the RCMP and B.C.’s government whether information was believed to be leaked that compromised E-Pirate raids, and whether there have been investigations into the integrity of information sharing between RCMP and B.C.’s government. By deadline they had not responded to questions.”

    Interesting news, no?

  6. Reporters failed to ask the right questions today?

    The fact of self-censorship has been visible in media but never acknowledged factually as how things are done to ensure reporters are allowed ACCESS.

    Remember when that became the go-to excuse to explain why Canada’s federal journos axed their best stories? ..

    Today it’s somewhat different. Remember the hit song.. They’re only, “Takin Care Of Business”?

    Well, apparently, the gloves and blinders are off and there’s even more awkward news about the self-inflicted plight of SNC-Lavalin…

    https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2019/02/12/snc-lavalin-faces-criminal-probe-over-montreal-bridge-contract-documents-reveal.html

    “SNC-Lavalin faces criminal probe over Montreal bridge contract, documents reveal”

    “MONTREAL—Quebec prosecutors are working with the RCMP on the possibility of new criminal charges against SNC-Lavalin tied to a contract to refurbish Montreal’s Jacques Cartier Bridge, court documents show.”

    “In December, Quebec court approved a request by prosecutors to retain until June thousands of documents seized by the RCMP in connection with an investigation that drew on more than two dozen witnesses.”

    “In court documents, the RCMP lays out a bribery scheme involving a $127-million Jacques Cartier Bridge contract in the early 2000s. Former federal official Michel Fournier pleaded guilty in 2017 to accepting more than $2.3 million in payments from SNC-Lavalin in connection with the project.”

    “Following his arrest, RCMP officers seized more than 3,200 documents between August 2017 and October 2018 under an investigation dubbed Project Staple 2, according to a December court filing from Crown prosecutor Patrice Peltier-Rivest.”

    “A statement from Nkili attached to the warrant application alleges: “Between 2001 and 2003, more than $2.2 million in bribes were paid to Swiss accounts controlled by Michel Fournier and his spouse, Judith Barkley Fournier, by SNC-Lavalin Inc., through the company Promotag.” Fournier is the former head of the Federal Bridge Corp. and of Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Inc.”

    Also back in The Mysterious East..

    https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2019/02/12/more-details-expected-on-toronto-and-montreal-raids-police-linked-to-money-laundering-network.html

    “RCMP says dismantled network in Toronto and Montreal laundered tens of millions in drug money”

    “On Monday more than 300 officers from the RCMP and other forces, aided by the Canada Revenue Agency, took part in raids in Ontario and Quebec. They seized drugs, cash and bank accounts and restrained real estate with a total estimated value of $32.8 million.”

    “Myette explained the two-year investigation was triggered in 2016 by a tip from the United States Drug Enforcement Administration. He said investigators observed hundreds of clandestine exchanges of bags filled with between $250,000 to $500,000. The money was often stuffed in bags or suitcases and transactions took place in parking lots and other locations.”

    “Documents and other evidence suggests hundreds of millions of dollars were allegedly laundered through the group without ever leaving the country. The group used what is known as an informal value transfer system.”

    Back east many of their police forces move against criminals apparently regardless of “political considerations”.

    Can we assume the same freedom to act exists here?

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