Welcome to Whistleblowing Canada Research Society!
Whistleblowing is considered by countries around the world as a reliable warning system for corruption, and regulatory failure as whistleblowers are usually employees who have in-depth knowledge of complex systems and organizations that are not easily understood by outsiders. Regardless of this, reprisals against whistleblowers are a persistent problem.
Whistleblowing Canada is a non-profit organization (pending charitable registration) incorporated in March 2019 in British Columbia. Its founding was inspired largely by the knowledge gained about whistleblowing and more specifically, reprisals against whistleblowers, from an in-depth case study of an important Canadian whistleblowing event which took place in 1996. The findings from this study indicate that while effective whistleblower protection legislation is necessary, equally if not more important, are dysfunctional cultures in society and organizations. This enables the ongoing contradiction of punishing those who tell the truth while the wrongdoers often continue with impunity. Allowing this contradiction to persist means that people who witness wrongdoing often don't speak up for fear of reprisals. This allows wrongdoing to flourish and presents a major threat to public health and safety, environmental health, organizational accountability-both public and private - and Canadian democracy. These threats are magnified by others:
- disinformation abounds, aided by the digital age, inappropriately shaping public opinion and behaviour
- access to information legislation has not worked as anticipated leaving it difficult for citizens to know what is going on in government and inhibiting citizen participation in public affairs. On the other hand, citizens’ privacy is being threatened via unfettered collection of personal data
- truth is under attack and citizens are often hard-pressed to trust what their leaders tell them
Whistleblowing Canada will conduct research on the phenomenon of reprisals against truth-tellers and often impunity for wrongdoers with a view to advancing education and understanding in this area. This knowledge will inform public policy to improve protections and culture around whistleblowing. We will work in partnership with academia and practitioners to create a community of practice nationally and internationally. This will allow for collecting current knowledge and discovering new, trustworthy, evidence-based knowledge and solutions which will be shared with Canadians and policy-makers.
This knowledge will contribute to public discussion and help strengthen accountability and Canadian democracy.