Friday, October 19, 2012

Whistleblower fired

David Hutton, Canada’s leading whistleblower, has been kicked off of an advisory committee to the federal government’s agency that’s supposed to protect whistleblowers.

Hutton runs a charity called FAIR. It’s mission is “protecting whistleblowers who protect the public interest”.

Hutton has been a thorn in the side of the federal government’s Public Sector Integrity Commission, revealing how the first Harper-government appointee did almost nothing to protect whistleblowers and how the current Integrity Commissioner Mario Dion is not much better.

Dion fired Hutton after Hutton wrote a letter to the editor of the Ottawa Citizen newspaper commenting on a federal judge’s ruling that was critical of the commission.

The judge said the commission made so many mistakes on the case under review that they amounted to “a clear breach of the common law duty of procedural fairness”.

Two other organizations are calling for Hutton to be reinstated as a member of the advisory committee.
They are Canadians for Accountability and Democracy Watch.

Among Hutton’s current “clients” are Norman Bourdeau, who took records from L.H. Gray and Son Ltd. that lawyer Donald Good of Ottawa wants to use in a court case to prove there has been cheating on egg grading, price-fixing and a conspiracy among Gray, Burnbrae Farms Ltd. and the Ontario egg marketing board to drive a tiny competitor out of the egg business.

The defendants claim they have done nothing wrong. Both the allegations and defences have yet to be tested in court, but Gray has launched several court actions to try to silence Bourdeau.

Hutton also says he has heard from people involved in the XL Foods Inc. massive beef recall and plant closure who are too afraid to speak up about what they know.