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News September 30, 2022

Report finds Ontario legislation for protecting whistleblowers to be useless

In the first of a series of reports on the adequacy of whistleblower protection in Canada, Ontario’s legislation received a failing grade. According to report author, Ian Bron, it meets none of the key criteria necessary for adequate protection “to a degree that renders it useless.”

Issued by the Centre for Free Expression (CFE) at Toronto Metropolitan University, the report measures the provisions of the Ontario legislation against Evaluation of Criteria for Protection of Whistleblowers developed by researchers at the Centre. “The [Ontario] whistleblowing provisions fail all CFEWI criteria, mainly due to what we identify as critical shortcomings,” the report finds.

“We hope this report will help be a wakeup call to the Ford government to take steps to provide real protection for Ontarians who speak out on matters of interest,” said James L. Turk, director of the Centre for Free Expression. “We look forward to working with them to fix a very bad situation they have inherited.”

Turk pointed out that what is necessary to provide real protection is well known and readily doable.

At the end of each month for the coming year, the CFE will issue a report detailing its assessment of a different province’s law protecting whistleblowers, ending in September 2023 with a report on the Federal legislation. Next month’s report will be on whistleblower protection in Nova Scotia.

The Centre for Free Expression is a non-partisan platform focused on freedom of expression – the human right to hold opinions and to seek, receive, and share information and ideas. It works in collaboration with academic and civil society organizations across Canada and internationally and is based in the Creative School at Toronto Metropolitan University.