Study shows bureaucrats still fear blowing whistle despite 'ironclad' protection

Christiane Ouimet

By Bruce Cheadle, The Canadian Press, 2 February 2012

Federal public servants remain fearful of disclosing wrongdoing, years after Stephen Harper's Conservatives rode to power promising protection for whistleblowers.

A government-commissioned study completed in December 2011 found that most federal workers see job reprisals as the likely outcome of any effort to expose a wrong. […]

Under the heading "lessons learned," the study summarized civil service perceptions with five bullet points:

  • "Don't stick your neck out."
  • "Disclosing a wrongdoing is a career-limiting move."
  • "There is no real protection for disclosers of wrongdoing."
  • "It's typically the disclosure of wrongdoing that gets punished, not the perpetrator(s)."
  • "These types of stories never end well."


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Photo: Patrick Doyle/The Canadian Press Archives