More than a month after the deadline specified in the law, Ottawa has not yet announced when it will begin the process of reviewing the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act (PSDPA). This is of great concern to groups defending the rights of whistleblowers, who fear that the government may bypass the process to avoid a real discussion.
“After years of inaction and a spectacular false start, Canada is now decades behind countries like the USA, the UK and Australia. It is essential to consult with experts from these countries, which unlike Canada have considerable experience with effective laws, and have carried out excellent in-depth research” said David Hutton, executive director of Federal Accountability Initiative for Reform (FAIR).
This organization has long called for changes to the current legislation passed by the Conservative government in 2006. This position is also supported by Democracy Watch and Canadians for Accountability.
The President of Treasury Board, Tony Clement, is responsible for the review. However, no information has yet emerged about the review, which should have been commenced no later than April 15, the groups point out.
Following the controversial departure of the former Public Sector Integrity Commissioner, Christiane Ouimet, replaced by Mario Dion as head of the agency, little progress has been made according to the three groups. After five years and an expenditure of $30 million, only one case of misconduct has been reported.