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Groups urge Senate to question whistleblower watchdog Mario Dion, and to
end 5-year muzzling of civil society

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

Monday, January 30, 2012

OTTAWA -- Tomorrow morning the Senate Committee on National Finance is scheduled to question Mario Dion, the new Public Sector Integrity Commissioner.  Dion replaces disgraced former commissioner Christiane Ouimet, who resigned after the AG found that she was not doing her job, and was rewarded with a $500,000 payout.

The Canadian whistleblower charity FAIR is calling for members of the Senate to put three simple questions to Mr. Dion regarding his performance to date and his plans (and 10 other key  questions).  This call is supported by other accountability groups including Canadians for Accountability and Democracy Watch.

The groups also call upon the Senate to end the muzzling of civil society organizations, which for five years have been denied any opportunity to testify regarding the performance of the whistleblower watchdog agency.

“The Conservatives sought our support to get elected in 2006, on a promise to protect whistleblowers.  We know better than any other independent organization what is going on in the agency that they created.  Why has the government refused to allow us to testify before House or Senate Committees for a full five years?” asks David Hutton, executive director of FAIR.

“Government whistleblowers have no voice in this country because the Integrity Commissioner’s office has failed to protect them.  Civil society organizations like ours are the only way that they can be heard, yet Parliamentary committees are ignoring us. Why are they so frightened of what we have to say?” said Allan Cutler, President of Canadians for Accountability.

Mr. Dion’s testimony is scheduled to take place Tuesday, January 31st in Room 9, Victoria Building 140 Wellington Street, between 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.  Representatives of the civil society groups will be present and available for comment.

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Tyler Sommers, Coordinator of Democracy Watch and Chairperson of the Open Government Coalition 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

Allan Cutler, President, Canadians for Accountability
Tel: (613) 863-4671

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



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