[Democracy Watch Logo]
                Democracy Watch
                Democracy Watch
What's New
Democracy Watch's Home
Action Alerts

News Release

Groups silenced, former integrity officer ignored as whistleblower watchdog appointment is rammed through committee

Groups call on opposition MPs and Conservative MPs with integrity to vote against appointment in House vote

Join the Facebook group to get the $500,000 back, and to strengthen the federal whistleblower protection system

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

OTTAWA– Today, FAIR, Canadians for Accountability, Democracy Watch and the 30-member group Government Ethics Coalition called on opposition parties and Conservative MPs with integrity to vote against Prime Minister Harper's appointment of Mario Dion as the new Public Sector Integrity Commissioner.


"There are many reasons to be concerned that Mario Dion will continue the extremely weak enforcement record of disgraced former Integrity Commissioner Christiane Ouimet, and so we call on all MPs with integrity to vote against the appointment of Mr. Dion," said David Hutton, FAIR's Executive Director, on behalf of all the groups.  "There are 10 questions about Dion's appointment that raise serious concerns that have not been addressed."


There is no dispute that the appointment of now-disgraced former Integrity Commissioner Christiane Ouimet was a serious mistake, leading to a spectacular 3-year meltdown of PSIC, the agency she headed.  


Regrettably, the appointment process for her successor, Mario Dion, gives little assurance that anything has been learned from this fiasco.


The new Integrity Commissioner is, like Ouimet, an insider whose entire career has been within the bureaucracy – a point of great concern to many.  His appointment is being rammed through Parliament with little opportunity for dissent, debate or reflection.  Highly-qualified witnesses have been excluded from the process and denied any opportunity to testify, and the absurd decision to call no other witnesses besides Dion was made behind closed doors in a secret committee meeting.


Dr. Edward Keyserlingk, the former Public Sector Integrity Officer (who was charged with protecting whistleblowers before PSIC was created, but with very limited powers) called the appointment of a senior bureaucrat ‘disastrous’ in a multi-page letter to committee chair Pat Martin.  Dr. Keyserlingk is highly respected for his efforts to establish a more powerful agency – but he will not be called as a witness either.

- 30 -


Tyler Sommers, Coordinator of Democracy Watch or Duff Conacher, Board member of Democracy Watch and Chairperson of the Government Ethics Coalition
Tel: (613) 241-5179

David Hutton, Executive Director, FAIR (Federal Accountability Initiative for Reform)
Tel: (613) 567-1511

Ian Bron, Managing Director, Canadians for Accountability
Tel: (613) 740-0192

To see
another key news release about this issue, click here

To see the December 2010 report on former disgraced Integrity Commissioner Christiane Ouimet by Auditor General Sheila Fraser, click here.

To see why a full audit is still needed of past cases that Ouimet failed to investigate properly, click here.

To see the list of needed reforms to the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act, click here.

NOTE: FAIR and the Government Ethics Coalition call on federal parties to penalize Ouimet for her misconduct and claw back her obscene, undeserved $500,000 severance payoff (NOTE: The alliance has demanded that the payoff be cancelled and has also requested that the Auditor General audit the payoff and all other similar recent payoffs by the federal government).

Democracy Watch's Open Government Campaign page and Government Ethics Campaign page



Follow on Twitter 

TV and Radio


Please Donate Online Now to Democracy