Advisory Board

Canada

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Susan Holmes graduated from the University of Waterloo Ontario with an Honours degree in English Literature then received her BEd from Brock University and a Masters in Applied Psychology from the University of Toronto and her Principals Certification from Centre for leadership studies, U. of Toronto.  Susan has partially completed her PhD and is very interested in whistleblowing as an area of research.

Susan has held senior educational positions such as High school Learning Specialist, Principal District Coordinator for student services and Provincial Coordinator for first Nations Integrated Service delivery as well as Provincial English as a Second Language and French as a Second Language Counselling Specialist.  

She left education for a short time to fulfill the role of Manager for the Population

Secretariat, part of the PEI public service focusing on newcomer immigration needs. 

While there Susan, and two other women witnessed, documented and publicly disclosed government malfeasance mostly rooted in the Provincial Nominee Program - part of the larger immigration file.  In retaliation, the government of the day violated their privacy, confirmed by the privacy commissioner of PEI. The three collectively sued those in government who were responsible and an out of court settlement was reached. 

Susan is currently an advocate for the provision by government of robust measures to protect whistleblowers to prevent harm to employees and citizens.  

 

Allan Cutler is a seasoned procurement individual working with all elements of the supply chain. He assists firms in preparing proposals in response to competitive RFPs, understanding procurement documents and negotiating with the public sector.  There are ethics and values needed in negotiation and all interactions in all daily activities of business. In this respect, he teaches and consults in professional and organizational ethics.

Allan Cutler is known as the “Whistleblower” for his role in exposing the corruption in the federal Sponsorship Scandal. He is a frequent speaker and media commentator on ethics, governance and whistleblowing issues.

 

Edgar Schmidt is a former legislative counsel, Senior Counsel, and ultimately, General Counsel in the Department of Justice Canada during the years 1999 to 2013.  He was located in the Legislative Services Branch, responsible over the course of his career for the drafting of federal bills and occasionally regulations, for Charter examination of bills, for providing and organizing instruction in legislative drafting and for the management of the professional development and advisory services section of the Branch. 

In 2012, after years of trying to have the issue addressed internally in the Department, through the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner, and through the Access to Information Act, he asked Her Majesty (acting through Her judges in the Federal Court) to sort out whether the Minister of Justice and Deputy Minister of Justice were properly carrying out Her instructions- set out in 3 Acts of Parliament – to examine proposed legislation for legality and to report any inconsistency with law.  (What they were doing-and continue to do-is to report only provisions whose unlawfulness is so clearly manifest that even the Justice Department’s clever lawyers could not come up with any argument that could reasonably

be made on the side of lawfulness, not reporting provisions that they themselves believed to be almost certainly unlawful.)  As a result of doing so, officials in the Department caused him to be immediately suspended without pay and he ultimately retired.

 

Carroll Boydell  teaches in the Criminology Department at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Surrey, British Columbia.  She holds an MA and a PhD in Forensic Psychology and Law from Simon Fraser University. She teaches a variety of courses about psychological aspects and explanations of criminal and deviant behaviour. Her research interests lie at the intersection of psychology and the law and focuses on disclosures of wrongdoing made by witnesses and informants, and how the accuracy of their disclosures can be improved.

Carroll has recently completed a study on:

Best Practices in Whistleblower Legislation: An Analysis of Federal and Provincial Legislation Relevant to Disclosures of Wrongdoing in British Columbia.

 

Philip Palmer is a legal practitioner in Ottawa.  During his more than thirty year career in Justice Canada he worked in senior legal positions with, among others, the Department of Communications, the Immigration and Refugee Board, the Competition Bureau and Industry Canada.  Among the legislative projects to which he contributed were the Radiocommunication Act, Broadcasting Act, Telecommunications Act, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation.  In those roles he often advised on issues of ethics and conflicts of interest.

Since retiring from the Department of Justice in 2012, he has practiced administrative, internet, privacy and telecommunications law in Ottawa as Philip Palmer Law.

He is a principal of the Windermere Group consultants, and a member of the board of directors of the Internet Society Canada Chapter, for which he has contributed to numerous public policy submissions.

 

Sean Holman is an associate professor of Journalism at Mount Royal University in Alberta, an award-winning investigative journalist and director of the documentary Whipped: The Secret World of Party Discipline.

Holman is the founding editor of the pioneering British Columbia-based online investigative political news service Public Eye. Holman's nine-year career covering public affairs issues also included stints as a syndicated columnist, a legislative reporter for 24 hours and The Vancouver Sun, and a weekly talk show host on CFAX 1070. He joined Mount Royal in 2012, having previously taught journalism at the University of Victoria.

A former government communications advisor, Holman's reporting has regularly appeared in The Globe and Mail, The Tyee, the Times Colonist and Dow Jones News Service.

Holman's research has focused on government secrecy, as well as the normative value of information in democracies.  His research interests include evaluating the state of accountability in Canada's public and private institutions.

 

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David Yazbeck practices as an advocate for unions, employees, and human rights complainants in the areas of labour relations, human rights, judicial review and appeals, and Charter litigation, with an emphasis on the federal public sector.

He has particular expertise in employee free speech, whistleblowing, and anti-reprisal complaints. He has argued many of the leading cases in these areas particularly concerning the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act and the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner. In 2014, David was invited to participate in a working group created by the CSA Group which ultimately established an off-the-shelf Whistleblower Guideline for organizations to use. In 2017, David was invited to appear as a witness before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates (OGGO) when it conducted its Parliamentary review of the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act. Also in 2017, David was retained as a Canadian expert panelist for the European Commission as part of a study- examining whistleblower protection laws and empirical evidence of such protections.

 

Brent Rathgeber QC is a lawyer, author and former politician.  Originally from Melville, Saskatchewan, he is currently practicing law in Edmonton, Alberta.  He is a former Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta and a former Member of Parliament representing constituents from that province.  On June 5, 2013, while an MP, Brent resigned from the Conservative caucus due to its lack of commitment to transparency and open government.  He then sat as an Independent Member of Parliament.

In September 2014, Brent published his first book, “Irresponsible Government- The Decline of Parliamentary Democracy In Canada”.  It chronicles the devolution of Parliamentary supremacy and transition to Executive Government, and provides prescriptions for re-calibrating power between the elected Parliament and the unelected Prime Minister’s Office. In 2015, Irresponsible Government was shortlisted for the Kobo Canadian Emergent Author Prize in the non-fiction category. Brent has become a tireless advocate for Parliamentary reform and has Op Ed pieces published in the National Post, Toronto Star, iPolitics and the Huffington Post.

In November 2014, Brent was awarded the honour of “Member of Parliament who best represents his constituents” by Maclean’s magazine.  Awarded by all fellow MPs, the honour recognizes his ability to represent constituents more effectively when freed from party positions and discipline. Following the 2015 federal election, he returned to private life and the practice of law.

He now specializes in Alternative Dispute Resolution (Mediation and Arbitration).  In 2018, he was appointed Ethics Advisor to the City of Edmonton (Elected Councilors).  In 2019, he joined the Alberta Insurance Council (Regulator) as Director of Policy and General Counsel.

Brent lives in Edmonton with his spouse Katrina Black. In his spare time he enjoys sports, fitness, music, reading and writing.

 

International

 

Mary Inman is a partner in Constantine Cannon’s London Office. After 20+ years representing whistleblowers in the U.S., she moved to London in July 2017 to launch the firm’s international whistleblower practice. She specializes in representing whistleblowers from the U.K., Europe and worldwide under the American whistleblower reward programs, including the Federal and various state False Claims Acts and the SEC, CFTC, IRS and DOT whistleblower programs. Ms. Inman’s efforts to export the American whistleblower programs to the United Kingdom, including her efforts on behalf of a successful British whistleblower, were featured in a recent New York Times article “Law Firm Sees Britain as Hunting Ground for U.S. Whistleblower Cases.”  Ms. Inman’s successful representation of three whistleblowers exposing fraud in the Medicare Advantage program was featured in the February 4, 2019 issue of the New Yorker magazine in an article entitled “The Personal Toll of Whistle-Blowing.” Ms. Inman was interviewed for a CNBC segment entitled "How corporate whistleblowers make millions", which aired in November 2019.   

 

Tom Devine is Legal Director for the Government Accountability Project based in Washington, D.C.  He is the Legal Director, and has worked at the organization since 1979. Since that time, Tom has formally or informally assisted over 7,000 whistleblowers in defending themselves against retaliation and in making real differences on behalf of the public – such as shuttering accident-prone nuclear power plants, rebuffing industry ploys to deregulate government meat inspection, blocking the next generation of the bloated and porous “Star Wars” missile defense systems, instituting a national commercial milk testing program for illegal animal drugs; and sparking the withdrawal of dangerous prescription drugs such as Vioxx.  He has not lost a case since 2006, and has prevailed in advocacy at numerous U.S. courts of appeals as well as the Supreme Court.

Tom has been a leader in the campaigns to pass or defend 34 national or international whistleblower laws, including nearly all in the U.S. federally enacted over the last two decades.

Tom is the recipient of numerous awards and has authored or co-authored many books and other publications.

 

Tina Uys is Professor of Sociology at the University of Johannesburg (South Africa) and served as Head of Department for 15 years. She is a Certified Clinical Sociologist at the Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology. During 2013 she was a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at George Washington University in Washington, DC and at the University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is a past Vice-President of the International Sociological Association (ISA), past President of ISA’s Clinical Sociology and Social Psychology divisions, and a past President of the South African Sociological Association.

Tina is the author or editor of more than 50 publications. Her latest publication is Clinical Sociology for Southern Africa (2020), co-edited with Jan Marie Fritz. She is rated as an Internationally Recognised Researcher (B3) by the South African National Research Foundation. She specialises in clinical sociology with a particular focus on advancing the sociological understanding of whistleblowing.


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