Dean Baxendale, is a distinguished figure in the realms of communications and publishing, currently serving as the CEO of Optimum Publishing International and the China Democracy Fund. With a prolific career that spans various facets of the industry, he is celebrated for his roles as an entrepreneur, writer, columnist, publisher, educator, and communications specialist. Baxendale's academic journey began at the British Columbia Institute of Technology, where he completed a degree in Marketing Management in 1980, followed by studies in economics at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada.
From a young age, Baxendale harbored a deep interest in civic engagement and politics, a passion that has informed his lifelong commitment to public policy. His expertise has significantly impacted several domains, including healthcare, Indigenous rights, technology, and industrial infrastructure, collaborating with both the Liberal and Conservative parties of Canada.
In 2017, Baxendale took the helm of Optimum Publishing International, revitalizing the forty-five-year- old legacy left by its founder, Michael Baxendale. Under his leadership, Optimum has carved a niche in publishing works focused on public policy, global affairs, transnational organized crime, global human rights issues, and geopolitics. He has authored six notable books critiquing the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) human rights practices, transnational repression, and their extensive efforts to sway academia, business, and politics in the Western sphere, with four titles achieving recognition on the Globe and Mail Best Seller List.
Since 2021, Baxendale has been an influential voice against the CCP’s human rights violations and their complex web of influence operations and hybrid warfare tactics, contributing articles, columns, and academic papers on the subject. He has also been an active speaker, shedding light on these critical issues.
Collaborating with prestigious international organizations, including Hong Kong Watch, The Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC), and the MacDonald Laurier Institute, Baxendale has played a pivotal role in human rights conferences and China-focused initiatives. His commitment to publishing integrity is evident in his work with whistleblowers and investigative journalists, ensuring that stories of truth are told with the utmost confidentiality and respect for those courageous enough to challenge power.
Dean Baxendale’s career is a testament to his unwavering dedication to fostering transparency, advocating for human rights, and contributing to informed public discourse through his publishing endeavors.
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:
Ian Bron, PhD is a consultant and accountability activist interested in assisting individuals and organizations develop speak-up cultures in order to prevent misconduct before it can cause serious damage. His career has spanned a number of roles: naval officer, educator, federal government regulator, and program evaluation lead. He recently received his PhD at Carleton University. His dissertation focused on whistleblowing systems. Besides Whistleblowing Canada, he is a founding member of Anti-corruption and Accountability Canada (formerly Canadians for Accountability), a grassroots organization dedicated to improving the integrity of Canadian institutions.
In 2005 Ian Bron began to raise concerns regarding the inadequacy of standards being developed by Transport Canada for security in our ports to prevent terrorist attacks. Management's response was to isolate and harass him. When he wrote a formal report about his concerns in 2006 his bosses claimed that he was harassing them and launched an investigation that would ultimately last 3 years.
In 2013 Bron left the public service. He asserts that his concerns regarding security were never properly investigated and that few of the problems he identified have been addressed.
Capt. Sean Bruyea (Ret’d) served as an Intelligence Officer in the Canadian Air Force. As a leading advocate for the rights of serving military members, Veterans and their families, Sean Bruyea has made hundreds of media appearances as well as authoured over 125 articles appearing in most major Canadian newspapers and magazines over the past 20 years. As an outsider whistleblower he has blown the whistle repeatedly on government’s unfair and circumspect treatment of our disabled Veterans and their families.
Garry W.G. Clement is Chief Anti-money Laundering Officer for Versabank and President and CEO of Clement Advisory Group. During his 34 years of policing experience Garry has worked in roles as the National Director for the RCMP’s Proceeds of Crime Program, Liaison Officer in the Hong Kong Canadian High Commission, and has also worked as an investigator and undercover operator in some of the highest organized crime levels throughout Canada.
He has received numerous awards and commendations for his investigative abilities. Garry has authored and/or co-authored several papers in national and international publications on organized crime and money-laundering. He is also qualified as an expert witness on organized crime, money laundering, drug trafficking networks – both national and international - and Asian-based organized crime.
Julie Gouin, M.A., c.o., ASC is a licensed Guidance Counsellor and consultant in organizational psychology based in Québec. Since 2007, she has worked with individuals on career-related issues and helped organizations select and develop competent leaders. She has also served on the board of several non- profits and public institutions.
Julie Gouin holds a master's degree in counseling psychology and a bachelor's degree in international studies and modern languages from Université Laval, and a graduate diploma in nature and adventure- based intervention from UQAC. She is also a certified corporate director (ASC), having completed a university certification in corporate governance at the Collège des administrateurs de sociétés of Université Laval.
Having blown the whistle herself and suffered retaliation and the ensuing trauma, she has developed a keen interest in ethical suffering, moral injury, power and ego in the workplace, and the links between governance and organizational climate.
Joanna Gualtieri, Lawyer, was a pioneer in the whistleblowing movement in Canada, advocating that honest employees must have the right to speak out about workplace wrongdoing that threatens the public interest.
In the 1990s, Gualtieri worked as an analyst at Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs. She identified what she believed to be systemic and widespread abuse of public monies, enabling lavish lifestyles for Canada’s diplomats through the provision of extravagant overseas diplomatic residences. This systemic abuse was estimated to cost taxpayers billions of dollars, in violation of the government’s own laws and policies.
As a lawyer, Joanna believed that the rule of law dictated that corrective action need be taken. As a citizen, Joanna believed the public had a right to honest, transparent, and responsible government. Unwilling to turn a blind eye, Gualtieri brought suit against not only the government but senior department officials to hold them accountable. In a landmark “David vs Goliath” case spanning more than a decade — making it the longest court case ever litigated in the Superior Court in Ottawa — Gualtieri fought for integrity, accountability and whistleblower rights.
As Canada’s prominent whistleblower and respected expert, Joanna recognized early on that the Canadian government had for too long operated in functional secrecy flouting the essential democratic principle of the public’s right to know. As such, Joanna was an avatar in recognizing the essential need for employees to engage journalism as a public service and vehicle to inform Canadians of government abuse of powers and waste. She was the subject of documentaries, regularly featured in national media and formed relationships with leading professional organizations, and universities and their student bodies, all in pursuit of stimulating public engagement and dialogue about the indispensable role of whistleblowers in democratic society.
Joanna was asked to sit on the Board, and ultimately serve as Chair, of the Government Accountability Project (GAP) — the world’s leading whistleblower organization — in Washington, D.C. She founded Canada’s first whistleblower organization the Federal Accountability Initiative for Reform (FAIR). She drafted federal whistleblower legislation and testified numerous times to Parliamentary and Senate committees, while her commentaries on whistleblower rights have been widely published.
After close to three decades work, Joanna has returned to her foundational belief: that any prosperous, free and accountable democracy requires an enlightened and engaged citizenry as the most potent force to challenge and reform governmental and institutional abuses of power and wrongdoing. While laws are essential, so too is an enlightenment cultural shift that appropriately recognizes the public’s collective power. To this end, Joanna is working on the development of TIP (The Integrity Principle), a project to educate and embolden young people about the indispensable role of integrity in vocational life by engaging them in real-life stories of ordinary people living integrity in action.
Sean Holman Associate Professor, Wayne Crookes Professor of Environmental and Climate Journalism at the University of Victoria.
Sean joined the faculty in 2021 from Mount Royal University, where he was an associate professor of journalism. Before entering academia, Sean was an investigative journalist and documentary filmmaker in British Columbia. As a journalist, he was best known as the founder and publisher of the pioneering online public affairs news service Public Eye, as well as the host and producer of the syndicated talk show Public Eye Radio. His bylines have appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review, the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, the Vancouver Sun, and the Times-Colonist. Sean is a frequent commentator on climate change coverage and government secrecy. His research focuses on how we use and misuse information, particularly against the backdrop of catastrophic climate change and biodiversity loss, as well as democratic decline.
Nancy Olivieri, MD, MA, FRCP(c) an internist and hematologist, began clinical research in the hemoglobin disorders, thalassemia and sickle cell disease at the Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto in 1982. In 2003, she obtained a Masters in Medical ethics and Law from King’s College, London, UK with a thesis examining ethical dilemmas in medical research.
Olivieri is famous for raising doubts about an experimental drug with which she was treating thalassemia patients. The drug was deferiprone and the drug company involved was Apotex. Once Olivieri discovered preliminary evidence of deferiprone’s toxicity, she did her duty and warned her patients as was her moral obligation. She did this in the face of hospital harrassment and company threats intended to silence her. She has been honored for so doing.
Her principled stand in putting patient safety first and the resulting scandal led to many changes. Her struggles and the sordid circumstances that were brought to light, eventually led universities to offer researchers some protection against illegitimate drug company pressure. Medical journals changed their publication rules. Research hospitals changed their policies.
Dr. Olivieri is currently Professor of Pediatrics, Medicine, and Public Health Sciences at University of Toronto, Senior Scientist at the Toronto General Hospital and Executive Director at Hemoglobal.
Vicki Poirier is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and expert in Forensic Accounting (CPA∙IFA, CFF). For the past ten years, she has owned and managed the Quantum Group, which regroups three complementary companies. She has over 27 years of experience in professional services. Ms. Poirier has been involved in processing hundreds of complaints, from managing their reception and supporting the authors of the complaints, to coordinating their treatment, analyzing their admissibility and investigating them in-depth. The quality of the services rendered by her and her team makes them a service provider of excellence and a leader in Quebec and Canada.
In 2016, Ms. Poirier and her team developed ALIASTM, a confidential and anonymous reporting mechanism. This technological tool, as well as the professional services that complement it, are present in several types of organizations (NPOs, SMEs, municipalities, sports federations, Crown corporations), in Canada and internationally. These services include expert investigative services and independent management of the reporting mechanism. Ms. Poirier also conducts training sessions and conferences about reprehensible acts prevention, investigation processes, interrogation techniques, etc.
Richard Rapoport is a Psychotherapist, Sex and couple counsellor, Clinical Supervisor, Organizational Consultant/Trauma Specialist, teacher, and author with both public and private sector experience in Canada and the United States.
He has decades of professional practice and personal experience with victimization by organizational and corporate harassment, intimidation, denigration, and immoral acts in the workplace environment, often compounded by the inability to seek recourse, appeal or justice.
His goal in working with organizations is to induce “Climate Change” in groups experiencing considerable stress, change, uncertainty, and even danger.
Richard has developed and presented bilingual corporate webinars on workplace harassment and bullying and the dehumanization of the victim for various organizations, including UNESCO.
He has worked with the Canadian Armed Forces (in addition to six years of military service in the U.S. Army and Canadian military), Indigenous First Nations settings, in Palliative Care and with professional athletes including World Champions, members of the NHL, and with police organizations, and emergency medical technicians.
Richard served as a talk radio therapist (‘Shrinkrap’) and television guest for many years, in addition to taking part in media related to the psychological impacts of working in prison environments.
He currently sees clients privately, from Health Canada, the Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services, and is an Organizational Emergency Intervenor for Homewood Health and is a part-time Book Reviewer at the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy.
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.
Nadia Smaili, PhD, CPA, CGA, CFE, CFF, is a Full Professor of Accounting at the School of Management Science, University of Quebec in Montreal (ESG UQAM). Professor Smaili’s research focuses on financial statements fraud, whistleblowing and corporate governance. She has published in Journal of Business Ethics, ll, Journal of Management and Governance, Comptabilité- Contrôle-Audit (CCA) and Journal of Applied Business Research. Professor Smaili holds a Ph.D in business administration from HEC Montreal. She has developed several courses and postgraduate programs related to prevention and detection of fraud.
Kelly VanBuskirk, Q.C., PhD., C. Arb, practices in the field of litigation with emphasis on labour and employment law and human rights. He is an adjunct professor in the Faculty of Business at the University of New Brunswick and is a part-time instructor in the Faculty of Law. Kelly teaches the U.N.B. Workplace Investigations certificate course and has designed and implemented respectful workplace training programs for international organizations.
His current research interests include employee claims motivations, dispute resolution models, workplace harassment and accommodation of disabilities. Kelly’s articles and commentaries have appeared in many magazines, journals, newspapers, radio and TV. His book titled "Why Employees Sue: Rethinking Approaches to the Resolution of Employment Conflicts", was published by Thompson Reuters in April 2017.
Stephanie Donahue, CPA, is a professor at Laval University in Quebec City and is currently completing her Ph.D. at Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario). Stephanie’s thesis is on whistleblowing. She is particularly interested in powerful wrongdoers and the dreadful impacts they have on potential and actual whistleblowers. Her thesis examines ways to find solutions to that problem. Prior to returning to academia, Stephanie worked for KPMG, an audit firm, for more than 5 years. She worked both in Montreal and Toronto. She was a senior manager when she left the firm.
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.
Ian Foxley is Founding Trustee and CEO of Parrhesia Inc., a retired army Lieutenant Colonel and the Founding Chairman of Whistleblowers UK.
In a 24-year army career he commanded a parachute squadron and 3rd (UK) Division Headquarters and Signal Regiment on operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina as well as appointments in Counter Terrorism (Special Projects) and Communications and Surveillance equipment procurement in the Ministry of Defence and has had many other achievements and awards.
His 15 years in commercial life, as a Procurement Project Manager, culminated as Programme Director for an Airbus Group subsidiary in a £1.96 billion UK Government project to modernise defence communications for the Saudi Arabian National Guard. In 2010, at great personal and professional risk, he blew the whistle after discovering secret payments to ‘additional’ sub-contractors in the Cayman Islands. His disclosures, and absolute commitment over the past ten years, directly initiated wider investigations into Airbus Group resulting in the largest fine (£3.6 billion) ever imposed on a commercial company under a Deferred Prosecution Agreement in the world. The direct benefit to the UK Exchequer has been over £900 million along with a significant, and globally acknowledged, success to UK law enforcement in the fight against corruption.
He co-founded Whistleblowers UK in 2012 as a whistleblower support group, and acted as Chairman until 2015, establishing the whistleblowing study programme at the annual Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime. He has contributed and co- ordinated responses to national consultations (Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards (PCOBS), the Business Innovations and Skills Departmental Consultation on Whistleblowing, the Armed Forces (Service Complaints and Financial Assistance) Act 2015, PCAW’s Whistleblowing Commission, the Independent Review of Whistleblowing in the NHS (Freedom to Speak Up), the Home Office Review of the UK Anti-17 Corruption Strategy, and the Independent Review of the Financial Reporting Council.
He is currently a member of the British Standards Institute (BSI) Standards Committee Panel on Whistleblowing and a research panel advisory member for an Economic and Social Research Council
Georgina Halford-Hall is a founding member and has been CEO of WhistleblowersUK since November 2015. She is the director of strategy and policy for the All Party Parliamentary Group for Whistleblowing and leads a growing secretariat. Georgina is the Director of the Whistleblowing alternative Programme at the International Symposium of Economic Crime at Jesus College Cambridge for the last 9 years.
As a leading campaigner for global cooperation and collaboration to make whistleblowing work, Georgina has brought together some of the most talented thinkers in the field of ethics, compliance and governance, and law to develop 3 separate whistleblowing Bills. All of these Bills have been heard in the UK government and the most recent the Protection of Whistleblowing Bill is progressing through the Parliamentary process. Georgina divides her time between managing the strategic and policy work with hands-on support for whistleblowers.
She says, "As CEO of WhistleblowersUK I understand the impact of the word 'Whistleblower'. I regularly speak at conferences and in the media about the opportunity that whistleblowing presents to organisations and society more widely and I am delighted to become part of Whistleblowing Canada. Whistleblowing is complex but the risks arising from ignoring whistleblowers can have a catastrophic effect as demonstrated by events including the global pandemic. I believe that the secret to successfully transforming the way we think about whistleblowing is international collaboration."
Caroline Hunt-Matthes is Adjunct Professor at Grenoble Business School in France and Webster University in Geneva. Her research interests include whistleblowing, corporate social responsibility, academic integrity and diversity and inclusion. She is co editor and author of « whistleblowing and retaliation in the United Nations « ( Bristol University Press) 2021. She has championed the issue of safety of reporting channels and proper whistleblower protection as a foundation of good governance.
She is also an International Human Rights Investigator specialising in sexual violence.
She served as a United Nations staff as a peacekeeper and Investigator for 15 years in Rwanda and former Yugoslavia. She was also a UN whistleblower.
In addition to her advocacy for social justice she is passionate about nature, is a founding member of the Natures Rights Charity Scotland, A board member of the Earth Focus Foundation, Switzerland and Nanshe Foundation.
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.