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News January 31, 2024

CFE joins international call for passage of Bill C-290 to strengthen Canada’s protection for whistleblowers

The Centre for Free Expression joins with 15 other national and international organizations in calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the leaders of the opposition parties to pass Bill C-290 which would take important steps to strengthening Canada’s very weak whistleblower protection legislation.

In a letter initiated by the Whistleblowing International Network, of which CFE is Canada’s member, the signatories say Bill C-290 is “a first step towards reform of Canada’s ineffective federal whistleblower protection law. Such reform is long overdue.”

Canada’s Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act, our federal whistleblower protection law, was passed in 2006 and is badly out of date. A recent study by the International Bar Association and the US-based Government Accountability Project of whistleblower protection legislation around the world found that Canada tied with Lebanon and Norway as having the weakest law in the world. Of the 20 criteria used to evaluate the adequacy of such laws, Canada met only one.

“Bill C-290 would upgrade the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act to largely comply with eight of 20 global best practices for whistleblower laws,” the WIN letter said. “These are important initial steps towards establishing a foundation for credible protection. There is no need for further delay in enacting these reforms.”

Bill C-290 is in Third Reading before the House of Commons, and, if passed, will go to the Senate.