OTTAWA, March 10, 2010 – The Federal Accountability Initiative for Reform (FAIR), Canada's whistleblower charity, is pleased to announce the appointment of Niagara Parks Commission whistleblower Bob Gale to its Advisory Board.
"I'm proud to be a part of what FAIR is trying to accomplish." said Gale. "Employees are often the first to know about wrongdoing that threatens the public interest, but in Canada, as I found out, there is little to protect them if they speak out. We need to correct this absurd situation and I'm confident that we will."
"We are delighted to have someone of Bob Gale's calibre supporting our efforts" said David Hutton, Executive Director of FAIR. "Through his personal example he has demonstrated that whistleblowers can prevail even when the official channels that are supposed to protect them don't work. We hope to learn from his effective use of the media to expose unacceptable behaviour by officials and, most important, to get it put right."
In 2008, while serving on the board of the Niagara Parks Commission, Gale objected to a sweetheart deal that the commission signed with the current operator of the Maid of the Mist boat tours. Worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the operator, this 25-year extension of the lease shut out other potential bidders offering more favourable terms. When Gale's complaints through official whistleblower channels failed he alerted the media and more damaging revelations emerged. Finally the commission was ordered to conduct an open competitive tender process for the lease – a rare victory for the whistleblower and for the public interest.
Gale is the owner and president of Gale’s Fuels, the Niagara region’s only locally-owned oil company and an employer of 130 people. He is well known and highly respected for his contributions to the local community. He has involved himself in various local charities and provided generous financial support to worthy causes with a particular focus on helping children and the disadvantaged. An arena that he helped fund is named for him – the Gale Centre – and he played a leading role in the creation of an ER unit at the Greater Niagara General Hospital.
For more information: David Hutton, Federal Accountability Initiative for Reform, 613-567-1511; Bob Gale, Gale's Gas Bars Limited, 905-356-4820.