A new “loyalty agreement” for employees of members of Parliament makes government even more secretive at a time when transparency is sorely needed, critics say.
“It’s pretty shameful,” David Hutton, the executive director for the Federal Accountability Initiative for Reform (FAIR) said in an interview on Thursday.
Hutton said there is a need for protections for those who follow their consciences and expose wrongdoing.
“Canada is essentially a wasteland when it comes to whistleblower protection,” Hutton said.
Even before the new lifetime gag order was put in place, Canada lagged far behind protection for whistleblowers in Britain and Australia and even further behind American protections, Hutton said.
The code calls for a lifetime ban on revealing work information. A former employee who breaches it would be called upon to pay back termination pay.
Osgoode Hall law professor Trevor Farrow said we live in political times when transparency and accountability are required to renew public trust in politicians.
“Transparent processes lend themselves to trust, secret processes do not,” Farrow said. “A lifetime ban based on principles of loyalty, in my view, will further militate against building public trust and confidence.”
Federal employee gag order â€˜shameful,â€™ say critics | Toronto Star