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Whistle Blowing

Quebec Ombudsman now has power to investigate public sector whistleblower complaints

Topics: - Whistle Blowing
Jurisdiction: - Quebec

Since May 1, the Québec Ombudsman has had the power to investigate disclosures about wrongdoings committed or about to be committed relating to public bodies.

The source legislation is the Act to facilitate the disclosure of wrongdoings relating to public bodies, which was passed by the Québec government in December 2016.

The law firm of Miller Thompson provides the following context for the legislation: "Following the publication of the report of the Charbonneau Commission which dealt with corruption and collusion in the awarding of public sector contracts in the construction industry, the Liberal government introduced legislation to facilitate the disclosure of wrongful conduct within the public sector and establish measures to protect whistleblowers from reprisals..." (see: "Quebec Introduces Legislation to Encourage Whistleblowing in the Public Sector" (Janaury 16, 2016).

These are some of the FAQs of note from the Ombudsman website:

Q. What is a wrongdoing  read more »

Yukon's public sector whistleblower legislation now in effect

Jurisdiction: - Yukon

The Government of Yukon issued the following news release on June 15, 2015:

Public Interest Disclosure and Wrongdoing Act now in force

WHITEHORSE-The Public Interest Disclosure of Wrongdoing Act went into effect today. It provides a process that employees can follow if they believe there has been a wrongdoing in their organization or if they believe they have been unfairly treated as a result of raising concerns about a wrongdoing.

The legislation covers Yukon public service organizations listed in the act and is intended to deal with significant and serious matters that an employee believes to be unlawful, dangerous to the public or injurious to the public interest.  read more »

Ontario Securities Commission proposes new whistleblower program for public comment

Jurisdiction: - Ontario

The Ontario Securities issued this news release today (February 3, 2015):

OSC Proposes New Whistleblower Program for Public Comment

TORONTO - The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) today released OSC Staff Consultation Paper 15-401, which proposes a new whistleblower program that would encourage the reporting of serious misconduct of Ontario securities law to the OSC. Under the program, a whistleblower could be awarded a financial incentive of up to $1.5 million upon the final resolution of an administrative enforcement matter.  read more »

United States Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) awards more than $14 million to whistleblower

Topics: - Whistle Blowing
Jurisdiction: - United States

The United States Securities Exchange Commission announced today that it has awarded more than $14 million to a whistleblower, pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act. The full text of the October 1, 2013 news release is as follows:

SEC Awards More Than $14 Million to Whistleblower

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced an award of more
than $14 million to a whistleblower whose information led to an SEC
enforcement action that recovered substantial investor funds.  Payments
to whistleblowers are made from a separate fund previously established
by the Dodd-Frank Act and do not come from the agency's annual
appropriations or reduce amounts paid to harmed investors.

The award is the largest made by the SEC's whistleblower program to date.  read more »

"How Whistle-Blowing Programs in the Workplace Can Lead to Psychological Harassment"

Jurisdiction: - Quebec

Miller Thomson's April 1, 2011 Labour and Employment Communiqué is entitled, "How Whistle-Blowing Programs in the Workplace Can Lead to Psychological Harassment".

The communiqué summarizes the decision of the Quebec Commission des relations du travail in Bernard c. Olympus NDT Canada inc., 2010 QCCRT 461.

It was written by Marie-Pier Côté in the law firm's Montreal office.

When does a cut in remuneration amount to constructive dismissal?

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

At what point can a reduction of an employee's remuneration be considered a fundamental breach of the employment contract and the basis of a constructive dismissal?

In the recent decision of Pavlis v. HSBC Bank Canada, 2009 BCSC 498, the BC Supreme Court reviewed this issue, finding that in previous cases:     read more »

"The Whistleblower and his Obligation of Loyalty"

Jurisdiction: - Quebec

Stikeman Elliot's May 2008 Employment Law Update is on "The Whistleblower and his Obligation of Loyalty".  The article discusses the duty of loyalty owed by an employee in Quebec under article 2088 of the Quebec Civil Code and a case in which an employee was dismissed for disclosing to a journalist the presence of asbestos in government buildings and the existence of cases of asbestosis.

Federal public sector whistleblower law receives royal assent

Topics: - Whistle Blowing
Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal

Bill C-31, the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act, was passed by the Senate and received Royal Assent on November 25, 2005.

As set out on this Parliament of Canada website, the highlights of the bill are that it:  read more »