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QUESTION PERIOD — Treasury Board Secretariat

Public Servants Disclosure Protection

October 26, 2022

Honourable senators, my question is for the Government Representative in the Senate. Yesterday, I asked you a question about the outrageous witch hunt the federal government is waging against public servants to find out who dared to speak out against its decision to appoint a unilingual anglophone American as the Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Museum of History.

The government searched public servants’ emails and telephone records. No stone was left unturned. That is unacceptable in a democratic, law-based society like Canada. In 2017, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates tabled a report entitled Strengthening the Protection of the Public Interest within the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act. The committee made 35 recommendations to protect public servants who disclose wrongdoing. Essentially, these recommendations sought to strengthen public servants’ ability to speak out against the misuse of public funds or public assets and questionable practices. In light of the federal government’s witch hunt against its public servants, I would like to know what your government has done to follow up on the 2017 report on whistle-blowers.

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate) [ + ]

The report and recommendations are very important. I don’t have a specific answer as to what follow-up has been done, but I will try to find out.

One of the recommendations was that the Government of Canada amend the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act to explicitly mandate managers and supervisors in federal departments and agencies with a duty to protect and support employees who made a disclosure, any person that helped the employees, as well as witnesses and people mistaken for whistle-blowers. Has this been done, to your knowledge?

Senator Gold [ + ]

I will add that to my list of questions.

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