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Re: whistleblowers

Postby admin » Thu Jan 29, 2009 6:44 pm

"In America, Speaking the Truth is a Career-Ending Event"

by Paul Craig Roberts CounterPunch

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration.
He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts@yahoo.com

January 26, 2009

Where Principles Go to Die

Speaking the Truth is a Career-Ending Event


"The evidence is sitting on the table. There is no avoiding the fact that this was torture.”

These are the words of Manfred Nowak, the UN official appointed by the Commission on Human Rights to examine cases of torture. Nowak has concluded that President Obama is legally obligated to prosecute former President George W. Bush and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

If President Obama’s bankster economic team finishes off what remains of the US economy, Obama, to deflect the public’s attention from his own failures and Americans’ growing hardships, might fulfill his responsibility to prosecute Bush and Rumsfeld. But for now the interesting question is why did the US military succumb to illegal orders?

In the December 2008 issue of CounterPunch, Alexander Cockburn, in his report on an inglorious chapter in the history of the Harvard Law School, provides the answer. Two brothers, Jonathan and David Lubell, both Harvard law students, were politically active against the Korean War. It was the McCarthy era, and the brothers were subpoenaed. They refused to cooperate on the grounds that the subpoena was a violation of the First Amendment.

Harvard Law School immediately began pressuring the students to cooperate with Congress. The other students ostracized them. Pressures from the Dean and faculty turned into threats. Although the Lubells graduated magna cum laude, they were kept off the Harvard Law Review. Their scholarships were terminated. A majority of the Harvard Law faculty voted for their expulsion (expulsion required a two-thirds vote).

Why did Harvard Law School betray two honor students who stood up for the US Constitution? Cockburn concludes that the Harvard law faculty sacrificed constitutional principle in order not to jeopardize their own self-advancement by displeasing the government (and no doubt donors).

We see such acts of personal cowardice every day. Recently we had the case of Jewish scholar and Israel critic Norman Finkelstein, whose tenure was blocked by the cowardly president of DePaul University, a man afraid to stand up for his own faculty against the Israel Lobby, which successfully imposed on a Catholic university the principle that no critic of Israel can gain academic tenure.

The same calculation of self-interest causes American journalists to serve as shills for Israeli and US government propaganda and the US Congress to endorse Israeli war crimes that the rest of the world condemns.

When US military officers saw that torture was a policy coming down from the top, they knew that doing the right thing would cost them their careers. They trimmed their sails. One who did not was Major General Antonio Taguba. Instead of covering up the Abu Ghraib prison torture scandal, General Taguba wrote an honest report that terminated his career.

Despite legislation that protects whistleblowers, it is always the whistleblower, not the wrongdoer, who suffers. When it finally became public that the Bush regime was committing felonies under US law by using the NSA to spy on Americans, the Justice (sic) Department went after the whistleblower. Nothing was done about the felonies.

Yet Bush and the Justice (sic) Department continued to assert that “we are a nation of law.”

The Bush regime was a lawless regime. This makes it difficult for the Obama regime to be a lawful one. A torture inquiry would lead naturally into a war crimes inquiry. General Taguba said that the Bush regime committed war crimes. President Obama was a war criminal by his third day in office when he ordered illegal cross-border drone attacks on Pakistan that murdered 20 people, including 3 children. The bombing and strafing of homes and villages in Afghanistan by US forces and America’s NATO puppets are also war crimes. Obama cannot enforce the law, because he himself has already violated it.

For decades the US government has taken the position that Israel’s territorial expansion is not constrained by any international law. The US government is complicit in Israel’s war crimes in Lebanon, Gaza and the West Bank.

The entire world knows that Israel is guilty of war crimes and that the US government made the crimes possible by providing the weapons and diplomatic support. What Israel and the US did in Lebanon and Gaza is no different from crimes for which Nazis were tried at Nuremberg. Israel understands this, and the Israeli government is currently preparing its defense, which will be led by Israeli Justice (sic) Minister Daniel Friedman. UN war crimes official Richard Falk has compared Israel’s massacre of Gazans to the Nazi starvation and massacre of Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto. Amnesty International and the Red Cross have demanded Israel be held accountable for war crimes. Even eight Israeli human rights groups have called for an investigation into Israel’s war crimes.

Obama’s order to close Guantanamo Prison means very little. Essentially, Obama’s order is a public relations event. The tribunal process had already been shut down by US courts and by military lawyers, who refused to prosecute the fabricated cases. The vast majority of the prisoners were hapless individuals captured by Afghan warlords and sold for money to the stupid Americans as “terrorists.” Most of the prisoners, people the Bush regime told us were “the most dangerous people alive,” have already been released.

Obama’s order said nothing about closing the CIA’s secret prisons or halting the illegal practice of rendition in which the CIA kidnaps people and sends them to third world countries, such as Egypt, to be tortured.

Obama would have to take risks that opportunistic politicians never take in order for the US to become a nation of law instead of a nation in which the agendas of special interests override the law.

Truth cannot be spoken in America. It cannot be spoken in universities. It cannot be spoken in the media. It cannot be spoken in courts, which is why defendants and defense attorneys have given up on trials and cop pleas to lesser offenses that never occurred.

Truth is never spoken by government. As Jonathan Turley said recently, Washington “is where principles go to die.”

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions. He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts@yahoo.com

(advocate comment.......ironically, I have always said that the corporate abuse and retaliation against those who tell the truth is also a form of psychological torture towards the truth teller)
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Re: whistleblowers

Postby admin » Fri Dec 19, 2008 4:10 pm

How does a $50 billion Ponzi scheme work? The Answer: when the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the federal government ignores repeated "credible and specific allegations" of fraud made by whistleblowers over the course of 9 years. Now, as reported in Times Online, Bernard Madoff, former chairman of NASDAQ, is responsible for billions of dollars worth of losses among the world's biggest financial institutions, charities, state pensions, and personal savings.

The Solution: real whistleblower protection. Whistleblowers that are courageous enough to stand up and report fraud do not have the legal protection that they deserve. Click here to sign a petition urging Congress to enact a national whistleblower law that will provide all whistleblowers the right to federal court proceedings, a trial by jury, and reasonable damages.

The National Whistleblowers Center has been fighting for stronger whistleblower protection for 20 years. We are a non-profit organization that depends on donations. If you would like to contribute to our ongoing fight to defend American workers and strengthen oversight and accountability please click here.

We will be contacting you in the upcoming weeks as we push to get this critical legislation passed within the first 100 days of the new Congress. To learn more about the NWC's legislative initiative please click here to read our policy paper. You can also learn more about breaking whistleblower news by reading the Whistleblowers Protection Blog.

Thank you for all your help over this past year. We look forward to working with you in the new year.


Stephen M. Kohn
National Whistleblowers Center

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Re: whistleblowers

Postby admin » Wed Dec 17, 2008 7:14 pm


for another peek at what happens to those whose loyalty to the public interest is greater than loyalty to ones immediate superiors

The Fed Who Blew the Whistle
Is he a hero or a criminal?
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Postby admin » Wed Nov 26, 2008 2:10 pm

The Whistleblower's Ordeal & Some Canadian Whistleblowers

The Whistleblower's Ordeal
This article is about the typical experience of whistleblowers: how they find themselves compelled to speak out, and the typical consequences for them.


Did you ever wonder about some big scandal: “Why did no-one speak out and reveal the truth about this?” even though hundreds of people must have known what was going on? The reason is simple:

this is a very dangerous thing to do, and few people have the courage required.
Anyone can find themselves in a position of having to choose between their conscience and what they are being told to do by their boss – most of us are just fortunate that this has never happened to us around an important issue. Most whistleblowers don’t start out intending to take a heroic stance or to confront the powers that be – they simply feel that they cannot ‘go along’ with some course of action that seems wrong to them.

Then one thing leads to another… Only later do they discover that it’s not just their immediate boss or a colleague that they are up against, but perhaps an entire department, perhaps an entire government, desperate to avoid bad publicity.

The reflex to deny and cover up can cause people in positions of power to overlook, condone and perpetuate all kinds of wrongdoing: incompetence, neglect and even criminal acts – all to avoid the spotlight of the media and public opinion.

Thus most whistleblowers find themselves in this role by accident, not by choice. They soon discover that this is a dangerous, career-changing, sometimes even life-threatening role. Although each whistleblower may face different circumstances in different organizations, there are uncanny similarities in what they experience. Here are the typical phases that whistleblowers go through.

1. Awareness
This phase starts with a realization that there is a difficult decision to be made. The individual may realize that:

they are being told (or expected) to do something that they believe is wrong, even illegal
they face a conflict between following orders and obeying their conscience
whatever direction they choose may be irreversible: if they decide to ‘go along’, then they may become implicated, and if not they will be in conflict with the system.
2. The decision of conscience
The individual grappling with this decision will typically agonize at some length over how to proceed. They may seek the advice of close friends and perhaps a lawyer; and they will surely discuss their options with their family, who will also be affected by the decision.

Finally, they settle on a course of action. The decision may be to explicitly refuse to follow orders, or to seemingly 'go along' – but to gather evidence in order to expose the wrongdoing later. Many people will understandably decide to do as they are told, fearful of the consequences of 'rocking the boat'.

3. Raising concerns internally
Many whistleblowers believe at first that the senior people in the organization are unaware of what is going on, would want to know, and would do something about the problem if they did know. So they may decide to take their information ‘up the line’ within the organization.

The first approach may be to more senior people in the chain of command. If this is unsuccessful, the next step may be to go direct to someone at the top who seems honest and trustworthy.

The initial reactions of management may sometimes lead the whistleblower to believe that their information is valued and will be acted on – but this is often nothing but a ploy. This tactic may silence the whistleblower for a while, and lull the individual into a false sense of security while the wrongdoers plan their campaign of cover-up and reprisal.

4. Facing the initial retaliation
Often much sooner than they expected, the whistleblower finds that inexplicably many things seem to be going badly for them at work:

They suddenly receive poor performance reviews (perhaps after decades of stellar work), they are reassigned to less meaningful work, or relocated to a distant backwater (this is called 'freeway therapy')
Sometimes they are told bluntly that these are the consequences of 'rocking the boat'. Sometimes they are given implausible explanations or no explanation at all
They may become the object of a smear campaign by senior people, designed to discredit them and isolate them from colleagues
Colleagues and friends at work may become frightened to speak to, or even to be seen with the whistleblower
Other employees may shun the whistleblower, make jokes about them behind their backs – as well as in their faces, and accuse them of being a traitor or a troublemaker.
This situation is very demoralizing and hard to bear: because it may be almost impossible to prove that this is a campaign of retaliation; because the whistleblower has no recourse; and because it is never-ending.

5. The decision To commit Fully
At this point, many people feel that they cannot take any more and try to escape in some way – perhaps to a new job somewhere else, hoping that this will put them beyond the reach of further retaliation.

Others find themselves even more determined to stick to their guns. Having realized what they are up against, and that their initial efforts have failed, they may decide on a new course of action.

Some whistleblowers – perhaps wisely – avoid this initial retaliation by choosing at the outset to remain anonymous as long as possible, and instead to leak information to the media. These people understand that anonymous leaks to the media, although officially condemned as villainous, are in fact a tried and tested method of obtaining publicity, used frequently by politicians and bureaucrats alike. Every journalist is fully aware of this.

Another benefit of remaining anonymous is that the whistleblower is not immediately neutralized, but can remain in place undetected for longer, still gathering information to expose the wrongdoing.

6. Going public, and the consequences
Facing retaliation, and realizing that those in power are not going to fix the problem, the whistleblower may now feel that the only course of action left is to go public – to provide information to the media. However, this is a dangerous strategy, for many reasons, and it will immediately lead to a serious escalation in the reprisals.

A leak to the media presents a clear and present threat to the wrongdoers, who will immediately ‘pull out all the stops’ to neutralize this threat. If they know the source, their counter-attack will be designed to discredit the whistleblower: typically to paint this person as unreliable, mentally unstable, pursuing a grudge or ulterior motive, being a liar, a thief, a sexual deviant…

No slander is too extreme to be believed by some people -- because those accused have the credibility of their position and authority. Perhaps the whistleblower’s allegations about prominent people seem harder to believe than the lies being told about the whistleblower. People are reluctant to believe that those in power could be so corrupt.

The whistleblower is now completely dependent upon the media to present his/her case. Yet the media are not always reliable and not truly anyone’s ally.

The media will always present both sides of the story, including the wrongdoers’ counter-allegations and slanders, however bizarre. The media can often be superficial or inaccurate in their reporting. The media rarely assign resources to conduct proper investigative reporting to get at the facts: it’s much quicker, easier and cheaper just to print what they are told.

And the media are fickle: they may quickly drop the story as no longer ‘newsworthy’ and move on, leaving the whistleblower in limbo – discredited and without a voice.

The very act of giving information to the media may be itself viewed as unprofessional or illegal, and the wrongdoers may seize on this as a pretext for more harsh and direct punishment: perhaps invoking disciplinary procedures or taking legal action against the whistleblower. If the identity of the whistleblower is not yet known, every effort will be made to discover this – even prosecuting or intimidating journalists to reveal their sources.

7. The war of attrition
The whistleblower is now locked into a massively lopsided war of attrition.

On one side stand the wrongdoers, still with the credibility and authority of their positions and with the full resources of the organization behind them: legions of lawyers and public relations people, private detective agencies, perhaps even hired thugs, and seemingly unlimited funds (often being provided by the taxpayer).

On the other side stands the whistleblower, by now typically discredited in the public’s eyes, unemployed, unemployable (because of the notoriety of their case), running out of money, and perhaps losing the support of friends and family.

A union may sometimes provide some support e.g. helping the whistleblower to fund a legal defense. However, just as often the union does not want to ‘rock the boat’ by challenging those in authority. Or the union may feel that it should focus on issues like pay and benefits that affect all members, rather than taking on the costly and time-consuming defense of just one individual.

And the union itself may be incompetent, corrupt or have its own hands in the till. People who have blown the whistle on union wrongdoing have suffered reprisals just as vicious as from any corporation or government department.

A large proportion of whistleblowers are by this time so worn down by the assault on their lives, their finances and their self-esteem, that they become clinically depressed. Some commit suicide. Others just manage to struggle on somehow.

By this stage few whistleblower are well equipped --mentally, emotionally or financially -- to deal with the demands of the legal process they now face: with endless legal documents to complete, discovery of evidence, appearances in court etc.

Those who don’t have the support of a union or professional association simply cannot afford the legal fees to defend themselves. Often their lives past and present are being put under the microscope, their every word and deed scrutinized, so that ground for further attacks can be found.

As the retaliation continues and escalates, many whistleblowers lose their families, their homes, even their supposedly secure pensions.

Another factor that makes this contest unequal is that those in authority will often abuse their powers further – even blatantly breaking the law – to hide embarrassing facts and thus to discredit the whistleblower. For example, government departments may invoke ‘national security’ to prevent disclosure. Freedom of Information requests may be stalled or ignored. Official inquiries that are getting close to the truth may be arbitrarily shut down. Key reports and documentary evidence may be ordered shredded. Police raids may be conducted to intimidate perceived critics or supporters of the whistleblower.

It’s not unusual for whistleblowers to receive death threats. When there is a lot at stake, or when career criminals are involved in some way, then these threats are highly credible and need to be taken seriously.

Dr. Jeffery Wigand received several anonymous deaths threats after his disclosures of wrongdoing in the tobacco industry. None of these was ever traced back to its source and no-one was ever charged for these criminal acts.

8. The endgame
The harsh reality is that vested interests usually triumph: whenever the laws are inadequate, the media lazy and compliant, or citizens inattentive, then wrongdoers in high positions can discredit their accusers and bury embarrassing facts. In this situation odds are heavily stacked against whistleblowers, and only a few can ever succeed.

Even those who appear to have been successful – such as those recognized on the cover of Time Magazine – may in fact have failed in their own efforts. Later, when the scandal becomes too big to hide, the whistleblowers may be called on to testify in the subsequent inquiries. Then they may be rehabilitated, and their reputations restored. They may even be recognized for their efforts. Few get their jobs back or any kind of compensation for their ordeal.

Some whistleblowers escape to a new life, perhaps in a different place and a different job, with their families and their lives intact. But most never expect to lead normal lives again, or to find gainful employment commensurate with their abilities. Many are forever damaged in some way, perhaps subject to debilitating anxiety or depression.

Aside from the devastating effects on their lives, perhaps the most painful aspect for most whistleblowers is that there is no end to the story. For most, the harassment in various forms never stops. Most are never vindicated: usually their allegations remain unproven or clouded in doubt and controversy. And most never receive justice: the problems that they sought to uncover are not corrected, and no-one is called to account.

9. The Consequences for the Rest of Us
These are the typical consequences for the whistleblower of speaking up. But what are the consequences for the rest of us when whistleblowers are crushed and silenced in this way?

Corruption is like a cancer that strikes at the very roots of democracy. Powerful politicians and bureaucrats get to pursue their personal agendas at public expense; big business interests, power brokers, even organized crime, get to influence government policy decisions and manipulate the use of public resources. The private citizen is kept in the dark and disempowered.

The main problem of corruption is not that money ends up in the pockets of a few wrongdoers: the main problem is that it subverts the entire decision-making process, whether in government or in business.

In government, corruption leads to massive waste of public money on flawed projects, and disastrous policy decisions on important matters – like health care, defense, energy – all because those involved are focused on narrow self interest, not on the public good.

In corporations, corruption leads to practices which are bad for the customers, bad for employees, and ultimately bad for shareholders and the business. In the most extreme cases, like Enron, the corporation wreaks havoc on society (e.g. deliberately causing electricity blackouts in California) – and then after the collapse leaves thousands of employees ruined and millions of shareholders cheated.

10. What we can do
In a democracy the ultimate antidote to corruption is public disclosure, and hence accountability of both governments and corporations to the law. That is why it is essential to protect people like whistleblowers who put themselves at risk to help shine a public spotlight on wrongdoing.

To preserve a free and democratic society, we need to create systems to protect whistleblowers, such as:

strong legislation that gives them the right to speak out, ensures that their allegations are investigated, and outlaws the harsh retaliation that is common practice today
advocacy organizations that will lobby for whistleblower rights, and provide moral and financial support to whistleblowers in need
greater awareness among private citizens – and a willingness to act, so that public opinion can be mobilized and our governments and corporations held to account for their actions.
All of this is possible if the will exists.

None of us knows when we might find ourselves being forced to make an agonizing choice -- to stifle our conscience and 'go along' with wrongdoing, or to defy the wrongdoers and risk the consequences.

We owe it to ourselves, and to all the brave people who have already gone down this path, to do create a system that will protect and honour whistleblowers, so that many more can step forward, tell the truth and protect us.

Some Canadian Whistleblowers
The following people have all demonstrated the courage of their convictions by speaking up when they saw wrongdoing. Many helped exposed corruption that needed to be put right for the public good. A few have been recognized and publicly praised for their efforts -- but most have suffered from harsh retribution from their employers as a result of their actions. Their stories demonstrate the value of whistleblowers, and the absolute need for strong legal protection for these people.

Joanna Gualtieri exposed lavish extravagance in the purchase of accommodation abroad for staff in Foreign Affairs. The Inspector General and Auditor General of Canada later supported her allegations. Gualtieri claimed the Bureau seemed not to care, that her bosses harassed her for raising the concerns and that she was a given dead-end job after coming forward.
Ms. Gualtieri continued to battle for other whistleblowers by founding FAIR (Federal Accountability Initiative for Reform) and by serving as a director for almost 10 years.
Click here for a summary of Ms. Gualtieri's case

The 'RCMP Five'. The RCMP Pension Fund scandal finally came to light through the efforts of five people, who all struggled on courageously in the face of apparent attempts by RCMP top brass to block investigations.

Denise Revine was the human resource director who first uncovered the suspicious transactions and compiled a massive file of evidence.
Her boss Chief Superintendent Fraser Macaulay tried to ensure that this evidence was properly investigated – and was removed from his position and given what he believed was a punitive secondment.
Retired Staff-Sgt. Ron Lewis led persistent efforts to make someone in authority pay attention – first within the RCMP, then in outside agencies such as the Treasury Board and Auditor General, and finally to MPs and the media.
Staff-Sgt. Steve Walker took part in the Ottawa Police Service's criminal investigation into the affair, and
Staff-Sgt. Mike Frizzell was abruptly removed from the investigation as his inquiries got close to senior RCMP management.
In an unprecedented turn of events all five were given the RCMP’s most coveted award, the Commissioner’s Commendation, for outstanding service, and a Commons committee unanimously passed a motion that the five be publicly commended and that commendation be tabled in Parliament. Prior to this, no Canadian whistleblower had ever received formal thanks or recognition from the authorities.
Click here for media articles about the 'RCMP Five'
Allan Cutler was a procurement officer with Public Works Department who refused to go along with improper procurement practices, and as a result suffered retaliation from management over the course of many years. Allan Cutler lodged a complaint, which prompted a departmental audit of the advertising and public opinion division. But by the time the audit was underway, Cutler was transferred to the technical and special services division of Public Works. During the Sponsorship Scandal investigation Cutler tabled an inch thick document which contained meticulous notes, memos and his own diary detailing how the rules were being broken. The evidence that he painstakingly gathered during this ordeal led to the Gomery Inquiry.
Click here for media articles about Allan Cutler
Ian Bron is a former naval officer who held the position of Chief of Marine Transportation Security Regulatory Affairs at Transport Canada. Concerned that systemic mismanagement, unethical practices by management and rampant workplace harassment were undermining the security of the marine transportation system, and placing Canadians at risk, he reported the problems he saw to the Office of the Auditor General and the Public Service Integrity Office in 2006.

Bron alleges that Transport Canada executives immediately initiated a campaign of reprisal and cover-up. While he remains employed in another department, Transport Canada officials have labelled him as disgruntled, disloyal and unethical, and have made it clear that they intend to seek his dismissal from the public service. In 2007 Bron initiated legal action against his former bosses but admits that, faced with the example of Joanna Gualtieri's 10-year old legal struggle, he is deeply concerned about his future.
Click here for media articles about Ian Bron
Brian McAdam's 30 year career in the foreign service ended suddenly in 1993 after he exposed corruption at the Canadian Consulate in Hong Kong and the infiltration of Chinese organized crime members and spies into Canada. His work saved the Canadian government an estimated $50 million, prevented the entry of over 1,000 organized crime figures such as Triad, Yakuza, and Mafia members into Canada, and revealed China's extensive espionage activities in Canada, which have now been confirmed by Canada's intelligence service, Chinese defectors and others.
Click here for media articles about Brian McAdam

Cpl. Robert Read a 26 year veteran of the RCMP was fired after investigating government corruption involving the Canadian High Commission in Hong Kong. In the course of his investigation he uncovered evidence of the corruption and what appeared to him to be a massive cover-up of that evidence. Read‘s investigation involved very rich and powerful members of the business community in Hong Kong, political connections in the People‘s Republic of China and the Liberal government of Jean Chretien.

An RCMP external review committee later vindicated Read saying the Mounties had seriously mishandled investigations into complaints that Asian triads had infiltrated the embassy. The committee also found that the national police force was reluctant to investigate foreign affairs employees who were suspected of taking bribes from China‘s rich and powerful, many of whom are widely known to be part of the communist spy network. In its ruling, the committee said that Read was justified in taking his concerns to the media and ordered him reinstated. The RCMP refused.

Read took his case to the Federal Court of Canada. In June 2005 Judge Sean Harrington condemned Read for “a lack of loyalty to the government” and reaffirmed his firing. Read has since appealed all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada, which in May 2007 declined to hear his case.
Click here for media articles about Cpl. Robert Read

The 'Health Canada three'. In 1998 three Health Canada scientists, Dr. Shiv Chopra, a senior veterinary drug evaluator in Health Canada's Therapeutic Products and Food Branch, along with Dr. Margaret Hayden in the Animal Health Division, and Gerard Lambert blew the whistle on the drug approval process for bovine growth hormone and animal feed. They said human health concerns were being ignored due to pressure from lobbyists of drug companies. In June 2004 all three were fired by Health Canada.
Click here for media articles about the Health Canada scientists

Dr. Nancy Olivieri, a scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children and clinical professor at the University of Toronto discovered evidence suggesting that a drug she was testing might be life threatening. Apotex Inc. which partly funded her research insisted that she should not publish her results and threatened legal action if she were to inform the patients in the trials. The U of T refused to intervene, in spite of its responsibilities for public health and for scientific integrity. Critics observe that the U of T was at that time negotiating with Apotex Inc. for a multimillion dollar donation for a new building. After independent investigations vindicated Dr. Olivieri, she took a leave of absence to pursue her research.
Click here for media articles about Dr. Nancy Olivieri

Bob Stenhouse, a much-decorated, 18-year veteran of the force with extensive undercover experience, landed in hot water in 1999 when he disclosed RCMP media strategies for outlaw biker gangs to Yves Lavigne which appear in the book Hells Angels at War. Frustrated with a lack of enforcement initiatives, Stenhouse believed the national strategy was merely a public relations exercise. Stenhouse was found guilty of discreditable conduct and ordered to resign. A court ruled his disciplinary hearing was unfair and ordered a new one which ruled he should be reinstated. In June of 2004 he was reinstated and then immediately suspended with pay while the RCMP awaits a new court-ordered disciplinary hearing.
Click here for media articles about Bob Stenhouse

Constable Perry Dunlop, a police officer in Cornwall, Ontario, uncovered evidence of an alleged pedophile ring. When he discovered that Cornwall police were not taking action to prosecute the suspects he alerted the Childrens' Aid Society. As a result he was charged with contravening his duties under the Police Act. He was subsequently cleared of any wrongdoing, as judges ruled that his duties to Children’s Aid superceded his responsibilities as a police officer. Dunlop subsequently left Cornwall and moved to the west coast to escape taunts and threats against himself and his family.

A massive petition from Cornwall residents eventually spurred an OPP probe "Project Truth' which laid 114 charges against 15 men. These mostly foundered for various reasons, but in other prosecutions five paedophiles with connections to the members of the alleged ring were eventually convicted. Once the court cases were complete, a long-promised public inquiry was launched, which has been the subject of much controversy.

Click here for media articles about Perry Dunlop and the Cornwall Public Inquiry

Dr. John O'Connor, an Alberta doctor, was startled to encounter several cases of a very rare cancer in Fort Chipewyan, in the Athabasca oil patch. His further investigations revealed unusually high rates of cancers among the residents, and he called for a thorough health review of the community. His findings contributed to concerns that oil extraction operations may be contaminating the environment with carcinogenic chemicals.

In what was perceived as an attempt to muzzle him, Health Canada doctors lodged five complaints against O'Connor with his professional body -- charges which could have resulted in the loss of his licence. Doctors were alarmed by this incident, since such reports from doctors in the field have been vital to the detection of new diseases such as AIDS. Consequently, in 2007 the Canadian Medical Association passed a resolution calling for whistleblower protection for doctors -- apparently to protect them from Health Canada.

Click here for media articles about Dr. John O'Connor

Selwyn Pieters was fired after going public about wrongdoing at the Immigration and Refugee Board. While the board says it axed him for tarnishing its image by lying to the media. He argues in Federal Court documents that his dismissal was in retaliation for blowing the whistle.

Lesley Anthony and Jean Bowen were hailed as heroes after they secretly videotaped the plight of an elderly woman in a Versa-Care Long-Term-Care Home. Lesley Anthony is being accused of professional misconduct for her actions.

Dr. Barry Armstrong, Canadian Armed Forces. The Canadian Forces doctor was considered one of the initial whistle blowers in Somalia Inquiry. There was a campaign within the military to smear him until he retired.

Dr. Michelle Brill-Edwards, of the Health Protection Branch, resigned in 1996, claiming wholesale abuses inside the Branch.

Bruce Brine who had 22 years of policing and a 1994 governor-general's award for exemplary service, was fired from his job as chief of the Halifax ports police in 1995 after he made allegations that senior officials with the Canada ports police were getting kickbacks from the Hells Angels. The ports police were disbanded in 1998 and the ongoing investigations were abandoned -- just as they were in Vancouver in 1997. Much of the material from the files of those investigations was listed as missing when Mounties began to pursue his obstruction complaint. Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission awarded him a cash settlement, an apology and a letter of reference from the port authority.

Gary Lovett got fired for telling the media that Canada's base in Afghanistan didn't have adequate fire-fighting gear. Though his pay came from the Canadian government, it flowed through a contractor, SNC-Lavalin.

Linda Merk discovered that the president and business manager of Ironworkers Union Local 771were double dipping on their travel expenses. Raise the matter "in house” and then went to the police. She was fired. In a precedent-setting decision, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled in her favour.

Ron Robertson's dismissal is the latest in a series of events which began in 1998, when he came forward with concerns the force had been infiltrated by organized crime.

Michael Sanders, financial analyst, Office of the Superintendent for Financial Institutions, blew the whistle on the absence of sufficient safeguards to protect taxpayers against the collapse of major financial institutions. He was fired from his job.

Bernard Dussault, chief actuary, Canada pension plan, reported that he was asked to modify numbers to paint a more positive state of the CPP. He was fired.
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Postby admin » Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:12 pm

here is another way to silence whistleblowers when they are telling the truth.............say if the truth happens to be a bit close to causing you or your corporation to be offside with the law............use a "private search warrant" to enter the persons home, seize all offending evidence against yourself, and throw them off their course of doing the right thing..............welcome to the legal tool called anton piller. A fantastic method to use to beat your opponent senseless.

Anton Piller Order: July 27, 2006, Supreme Court of Canada Conflicts of Interests decision

Anton Piller order: A powerful tool, but be wary of pitfalls
SOURCE: Blaney McMurtry LLP
AUTHOR: John Polyzogopoulos

This is the second of three articles on unusually forceful, difficult-to-obtain court orders that can enable companies that fear they are the victims of such illegal activities as fraud, intellectual-property theft, and trade secret theft to capture evidence before it might be destroyed or to freeze assets that could be used to pay claims they might win.

The first article in this series focused on Norwich orders, which allow a person to obtain information from a third party, in particular a proposed defendant’s bank, before moving forward with the claim against the defendant himself (see the January 2008 issue of Commercial Litigation Update).

This article focuses on obtaining information from the target defendant immediately upon making the decision to bring the claim, without having to wait for the normal voluntary discovery process, which may not take place until months after the lawsuit has already been started. Such orders are called Anton Piller orders, named after the famous English decision in which one was first made.

In its most recent pronouncement on Anton Piller orders, in its decision on Celanese Canada v. Murray Demolition Corp.,

The Supreme Court of Canada has actually described an Anton Piller order as being a “private search warrant.” In his opening paragraph in the Celanese decision, Justice Binney states:

“An Anton Piller order bears an uncomfortable resemblance to a private search warrant. No notice is given to the party against whom it is issued. Indeed, defendants usually first learn of them when they are served and executed, without having had an opportunity to challenge them or the evidence on which they were granted. The defendant may have no idea a claim is even pending. The order is not placed in the hands of a public authority for execution, but authorizes a private party to insist on entrance to the premises of its opponent to conduct a surprise search, the purpose of which is to seize and preserve evidence to further its claim in a private dispute.

The only justification for such an extraordinary remedy is that the plaintiff has a strong prima facie (Latin, meaning on its face) case and can demonstrate that on the facts, absent such an order, there is a real possibility relevant evidence will be destroyed or otherwise made to disappear.”

As can be seen, therefore, the Anton Piller order can be a very powerful tool to help in the investigation process and to preserve evidence. It is difficult to obtain, however, and there are many pitfalls that can befall a litigant and counsel if not done properly.

As set out by Justice Binney in the Celanese decision, there are four central conditions that must be met before the making of an Anton Piller order:

the plaintiff must demonstrate a strong case;
the damage to the plaintiff as a result of the defendant’s alleged misconduct, potential or actual, must be very serious;
there must be convincing evidence that the defendant has in its possession incriminating documents or things; and
it must be shown that there is a real possibility that the defendant may destroy such material before the discovery process can do its work.
In cases where there is fraud, it is usually easier to satisfy these requirements. The more difficult cases are the pure commercial cases involving unfair competition, where the plaintiff alleges that the defendant is misusing confidential, proprietary or intellectual property claimed to be owned by the plaintiff. These cases are not on the same level as fraud and therefore the mere fact that a defendant may be using information that is claimed as proprietary by the plaintiff does not amount to the level of fraud such that a court can infer that evidence or documents will be destroyed if an Anton Piller order is not granted.

Where an Anton Piller order is granted, the plaintiff, through its counsel, is essentially given the right to show up at the defendant’s door unannounced and demand that documents and other physical evidence be immediately turned over.

Anton Piller orders are so draconian and involve such a gross and serious violation of a defendant’s privacy rights that the Supreme Court saw fit to delineate in Celanese a set of guidelines for the preparation and execution of an Anton Piller order. The guidelines are as follows:

the order should appoint a supervising solicitor who is independent of the plaintiff or its solicitors and is to be present at the search to ensure its integrity;
the plaintiff is required to provide an undertaking and/or security to pay damages in the event that the order turns out to be unwarranted or wrongfully executed;
the scope of the order should be no wider than necessary and no materials shall be removed from the site unless clearly covered by the terms of the order;
the terms setting out the procedure for dealing with solicitor/client privilege or other confidential materials should be included in the order with a view to enabling defendants to advance claims of confidentiality over documents before they come into the possession of the plaintiff or its counsel or to deal with disputes that arise;
the order should specify that items seized may only be used for the purposes of the pending litigation;
the order should state explicitly that the defendant is entitled to return to court on short notice to discharge or vary the order or vary the amount of security;
the order should provide that the materials seized be returned to the defendants or their counsel as soon as practicable;
the order should provide that the search be commenced during normal business hours, when counsel for the party about to be searched is more likely to be available for consultation;
the premises should not be searched or items removed except in the presence of the defendant;
the persons who may conduct the search and seize evidence should be specified in the order or be specifically limited in number;
the order should require that it be served together with the statement of claim and the supporting affidavits used to obtain the order and the plaintiff’s counsel or the supervising solicitor should explain to the defendant in plain language the nature and effect of the order;
the defendant should be given a reasonable time to consult with counsel prior to permitting entry to the premises;
a detailed list of all evidence seized should be made and the supervising solicitor should provide this list to the defendant for inspection and verification at the end of the search and before materials are removed from the site;
where this is not practicable, documents seized should be placed in the custody of the independent supervising solicitor and defendant’s counsel should be given reasonable opportunity to review them to advance solicitor/client privilege claims prior to the release of the documents to the plaintiff;
where ownership of material is disputed, it should be provided for safe keeping to the supervising solicitor or to the defendant’s solicitors;
the order should specify that the responsibilities of the supervising solicitor continue beyond the search itself to deal with matters arising out of the search;
the supervising solicitor should be required to file a report with the court regarding the search and seizure; and, lastly,
the order may require the plaintiff to bring a further motion to the court for a review of the execution of the search.
In Celanese, the defendant sought to have the plaintiff’s solicitors removed as solicitors of record because they had reviewed documents that were protected by solicitor/client privilege that had been seized during the execution of the Anton Piller order.

There had not been proper procedures put in place to deal with privileged documents before they would be reviewed by the plaintiff’s solicitors. The plaintiff’s solicitors were removed as counsel, undoubtedly resulting in much expense and inconvenience to the plaintiff.

In their initial discussions with counsel, clients should be aware of the possibility of seeking an Anton Piller order where there is good reason to believe that the proposed defendant was not acting in good faith and may destroy documents or evidence if put on notice of a claim. Experienced counsel should be engaged when considering whether to seek an Anton Piller order, as they are difficult to obtain and even more difficult to properly execute.

The third and final article in this series will focus on Mareva injunctions, which involve the freezing of the defendant’s assets at the beginning of the case to ensure that there are assets available to satisfy a judgment for the plaintiff, which may (or may not ever) be granted at the end of the case.

John Polyzogopoulos is a partner of Blaney McMurtry LLP and a member of the firm’s Commercial Litigation Group. Copyright 2008 John Polyzogopoulos and Blaney McMurtry LLP. Reproduced with permission.

Source: http://csc.lexum.umontreal.ca/en/2006/2 ... scc36.html
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Postby admin » Mon Feb 18, 2008 11:04 pm

Former policeman arrested for refusal to testify at pedophile inquiry

Canwest News Service

Sunday, February 17, 2008

CREDIT: Debra Brash / Victoria Times Colonist
Perry Dunlop hugs his wife Helen before being taken into custody by Duncan RCMP.

DUNCAN, B.C. - Amid a bizarre, almost circus-like atmosphere, Duncan RCMP arrested former Cornwall, Ont., police officer Perry Dunlop Sunday as about 75 supporters looked on.

"You're our hero!" and "We love you Perry!" came shouts from the crowd as Dunlop walked arm-in-arm with his wife, Helen, to the squad car at the end of their driveway.

The RCMP were executing a Canada-wide warrant issued last month for Dunlop, 43, who has refused to testify into a Cornwall, Ont. sex-abuse inquiry.

After an hour-long rally, in which Perry and Helen Dunlop as well as their three daughters painted themselves as victims being persecuted for attempting to protect children from pedophiles, they called the RCMP, telling them Perry Dunlop was at home and inviting them to come and arrest him.

When police showed up to do exactly that, Perry Dunlop initially refused to go because the officers could not produce the arrest warrant, which they said they had left back at the detachment. The refusal was odd, given that photocopies of the warrant were passed out to Dunlop supporters as they showed up for the rally.

When two different officers showed up a second time with the paperwork, he agreed to go.

"I want everybody to witness what is going on. The whistleblower is being arrested on a Canada-wide warrant for protecting children," Helen Dunlop said through a microphone as RCMP served her husband with the warrant.

One of the officers explained to Perry Dunlop, as he had done earlier in the day when supporters and media were not present, that there was no need for him to be arrested. The officer said he would leave Dunlop alone if he voluntarily agreed to fly back to Ontario.

Dunlop refused. "I'm not voluntarily going back," he said.

An Ontario judge issued the warrant for Dunlop's arrest after he disobeyed a court order to appear before a public inquiry into sexual-abuse allegations that he helped to investigate as a police officer in the 1990s.

Because it was his investigation in 1993 that first uncovered allegations of child abuse by highly placed members of Cornwall society - including a priest, a lawyer and a Crown prosecutor - Dunlop's testimony is seen as key to the inquiry.

Dunlop maintains that when he first shed light on the allegations of abuse, there was a reluctance by anyone to act. He ultimately provided details of the case to the media and to the Children's Aid Society. That led to his being ostracized and forced out of the city force, he says. The stress led to an emotional breakdown.

He and his family moved to Duncan in 2000.

Years later, an Ontario Provincial Police investigation led to 15 people being charged with sex offences against children. One was jailed.

Dunlop says he's lost faith in the system.

"It's toxic. It's a toxic environment. They'll twist my words," he said Sunday.

"I've said that I will read my statement to the best of my ability - and they just want to tear me to pieces. I want the victims to tell their story."

Dunlop said at the inquiry he'll face an phalanx of lawyers.

"There's too may people being silent and they'll put these high-priced lawyers that are professional spin doctors, and they just pound and pound and pound. Most people can't stand one or two lawyers going at them. There (are) 70 lawyers in the inquiry."

© Victoria Times Colonist 2008
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Postby admin » Sun Feb 10, 2008 2:32 pm

Merck Whistleblower Wins $68M Award

Merck Whistleblower's Long, Lonely Path Wins Him $68 Million Award

By Maryclaire Dale, Associated Press Writer
Thursday February 7, 6:00 pm ET

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- A sales manager who "just couldn't abide" by the way Merck wanted him to market the drugs Vioxx and Zocor to doctors took the lonely step of filing a whistleblower suit against his employer.
Seven years later, Merck & Co. will pay $671 million to settle complaints it overcharged government health programs and gave doctors improper inducements to prescribe its drugs.

And whistleblower H. Dean Steinke, the Michigan sales manager whose lawsuit led to about $400 million of the recovery, gets a $68 million reward.

"He did it because he really, truly thought that Merck was doing the wrong thing and he just couldn't abide by it, even though he was putting his career on hold," said Steinke's lawyer, Steven Cohen of Chicago. His small firm, which specializes in such cases, will receive an undisclosed share of the award.

Steinke, who through his lawyer declined an interview, had climbed the sales ladder at Merck for about 12 years and was a district sales manager when he filed the lawsuit. He made the move only after his internal complaints were ignored, Cohen said.

Steinke believed that Merck, as it introduced the much-anticipated painkiller Vioxx and tried to ward off competition for Zocor, an anti-cholesterol drug, had crossed the line when it came to inducements to physicians.

The government investigated his sealed lawsuit, which also alleged that Merck overcharged government health plans, under the Federal False Claims Act.

Prosecutors ultimately alleged that Merck paid physicians, hospitals and others excess fees to run supposed educational programs, from lunches to speaking engagements to visiting professorships, in hopes they would favor their products.

Prosecutors also accused Merck of giving doctors and hospitals steep volume-based discounts on Vioxx, Zocor and Pepcid, in the hope that patients would come to rely on them. The company failed to offer Medicare and other government agencies the same price, as required by law, they said.

"It's heroin-dealer economics. Your first shot of dope is free and then it's more expensive," said Pat Burns, a spokesman for the whistleblower group Taxpayers Against Fraud.

As part of the agreement, Merck denied any wrongdoing.

Steinke left Merck a month after he filed his lawsuit in December 2000 and went to work for a small pharmaceutical company that shared his values, Cohen said. He made repeated trips to Philadelphia to help government investigators.

"The whistleblower is stuck in a very lonely and isolated circumstance while the government's investigation is proceeding," Cohen said.

His award includes $44.7 million from federal agencies -- roughly 20 percent of the government's recovery -- and about $23.5 million from various states, Cohen said.

The remainder of the settlement announced Wednesday stems from a lawsuit filed by a New Orleans doctor, William St. John LaCorte. His award had not yet been determined.

Cohen described Steinke, who is married with no children, as a reserved man from "good midwestern stock."

He recently left his drug-company job.
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Postby admin » Fri Jan 18, 2008 9:55 pm

whistleblowers are found to be out of a job and or a career in 80% of cases studied.

They can be bullied out of their livelihoods in any manner of ways. None of them obvious or punishable when looked at one at a time. But like a death from thousand cuts, the results are still a death.

Another way to look at it comes in the form of this story of the glass of water:


A lecturer when explaining stress management to an audience,
Raised a glass of water and asked
'How heavy is this glass of water?'

Answers called out ranged from 20g to 500g.

The lecturer replied, 'The absolute weight doesn't matter.
It depends on how long you try to hold it.

If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem.

If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm.

If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance.

In each case, it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.'

He continued,

'And that's the way it is with stress management.

If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later,

As the burden becomes increasingly heavy,

We won't be able to carry on.
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Postby admin » Fri Sep 14, 2007 2:21 pm

Friday 17 April 1998

'His intent was to destroy the reporter's career'
Petti Fong
Citizen Special

VANCOUVER -- A reporter for the Vancouver Sun was awarded the second-largest libel suit judgment in Canadian history on Wednesday.

David Baines, a business writer, was awarded $875,000 plus $75,000 in special costs after Supreme Court Justice John Rowan found a Florida journalist had carried on a "campaign of vilification with the intention that Baines be left with no credibility. His intent was to destroy Baines's career."

There were three defendants: David J. Robinson, the Florida publisher of the Bull & Bear; Market News Publishing Inc., a Vancouver electronic publisher of business news; and Florida journalist George Chelekis. Judge Rowan found Mr. Chelekis liable for most of the damages.

Mr. Baines, who is on vacation, was unavailable for comment.

The suit against Mr. Chelekis and the publishers was filed by lawyers for Southam Inc., which owns the Sun, after a series of articles written by Mr. Chelekis was reprinted in the two newsletters and over the Internet.

Mr. Chelekis accused Mr. Baines of threatening his life and that of his secretary, and of working with former Vancouver Stock Exchange trader and private investigator Adrian du Plessis to manufacture negative news about selected companies to drive down their share prices.

"In the course of his campaign, Chelekis manufactured three separate and deliberate lies, the first, that David Baines threatened his life; the second, that Baines was trading against his column; and third, that Mr. Baines was involved in a homosexual relationship with Adrian du Plessis," Judge Rowan wrote in his judgment.

Judge Rowan termed Mr. Chelekis's conduct as arrogant, vindictive and continuous during the two-year campaign against Mr. Baines.

Sun editor in chief John Cruickshank said the suit against Mr. Chelekis and the two publishers was not the newspaper's preferred course.

"We did it after it was clear Chelekis was attempting to destroy the credibility and career of David Baines and damage the credibility of the Sun's business section and doing it with a calculated smear campaign fabricated entirely of lies, many of them despicable."

Mr. Baines' work has always been in the public interest, Mr. Cruickshank said. "His powerful investigative stories about the VSE have always been important for investors and important for the health and welfare of the exchange itself."

The largest libel award in Canadian history was against the Church of Scientology, which was held liable for $1.6 million over statements made about an Ontario lawyer.

Mr. du Plessis, who has also launched a suit against Mr. Chelekis and the two publishers, said the judgment is gratifying.

"I can only hope when my lawsuit goes through the system, there will be similar results," he said.
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Postby admin » Thu Jul 12, 2007 2:31 pm


Summary - What the Whistleblower Can Expect
The whistleblower needs to be especially careful during the entire process of the
case being before both the OSC and the MSPB for being “set up” at work for what
might be able to be used against him/her. Everything the whistleblower does and
does not do from the time the complaint is filed will be watched closely, and the
whistleblower may not be aware of it. I have even heard from whistleblowers that
say they were threatened and watched outside of the work environment. Many have
also said that fellow employees were told that the whistleblower was trying to “get”
somebody and were asked for their help in discrediting the whistleblower, even by
making false accusations against him in some cases. Then, although the
accusations are unfounded and no formal charges were brought; the fact that the
whistleblower was accused is still brought out by the agency attorneys for the effect it
has in damaging his creditability.
From the moment one becomes known as a whistleblower, everything becomes “fair
game” and a very public battle in some cases. Attacks on his personal integrity and
character may be spread around the office and in many cases be publicized through
other channels, which often lead to his family hearing of the accusations and
becoming involved indirectly. All of this takes a huge toll on the whistleblower and his
family emotionally. He/she is often shunned at work by people who don’t understand
the what and/or why he has “blown the whistle”. Others may be afraid to be
associated with him anymore, or because they think the boss may like them better,
will be against him too, or won’t associate with him any longer. The whistleblower
needs to be ready for this; it can hit like a 2x4 in the face and kick in the stomach. It
is also a shock, to most people to find that their very highest levels of management
may support the person reported for wrongdoing, rather than the whistleblower. This
may be done just to teach him that he isn’t playing the game the way they do, and
want him to. Whether the allegation of wrongdoing reported is true or not, becomes
irrelevant. The whistleblower may have been considered a very good employee
before but now he may be a “problem” employee with poor performance, that doesn’t
get along with anybody, etc. These are routine tactics used to bring down the

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Postby admin » Thu Jul 12, 2007 2:03 pm

Welcome to Worldwide Whistleblowers.com

New Brunswick is the only Canadian Jurisdiction Providing Specific Protection for Whistleblowers
Thursday, March 10 2005 @ 06:59 PM PST
Views:: 1,390
In New Brunswick, Section 28 of the Employment Standards Act, Chap. E-7.2 provides, in part, as follows:

28. Notwithstanding anything in this Act an employer shall not dismiss, suspend, lay off, penalize, discipline or discriminate against an employee if the reason therefor is related in any way to

(b) the making of a complaint or the giving of information or evidence by the employee against the employer with respect to any matter covered by this act; or

(c) the giving of information or evidence by the employee against the employer with respect to the alleged violation of any Provincial or federal Act or regulation by the employer while carrying on the employer's business; or if the dismissal, suspension, layoff, penalty, discipline or discrimination constitutes in any way an attempt by the employer to evade any responsibility imposed upon him under this Act or any other Provincial or federal Act or regulation or to prevent or inhibit an employee from taking advantage of any right or benefit granted to him under this Act.
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80% of whistleblowers end out of work due to telling truth

Postby admin » Sat Jun 16, 2007 10:15 pm

When the axe falls: Adjusting to life after job loss

Globe and Mail Update

June 15, 2007 at 11:59 PM EDT

Eleanor Clitheroe recalls feeling numb, disoriented and barely able to comprehend “what was coming down” five years ago, when she was fired from her post as chief executive officer of Hydro One in a controversy over expenses.

“It was an awful feeling … a hollow feeling … realizing what I had thrown so much effort into was now finished and over.”

Ms. Clitheroe's distress was amplified by the public nature of her firing. However, she adds, anyone who is suddenly fired or laid off is likely to be swept up by the same tsunami of emotions.

“There's a sense of loss of control and embarrassment, and a question of self-worth,” says Ms. Clitheroe, who tells her story in a podcast recently posted on the website of Ottawa-based coaching firm, CareerJoy (www.careerjoy.com).

Eleanor Clitheroe recalls feeling numb, disoriented and barely able to comprehend “what was coming down” five years ago, when she was fired from her post as chief executive officer of Hydro One in a controversy over expenses. (The Globe and Mail)

Internet Links
CareerJoy podcast: Eleanor Clitheroe on dealing with job loss

Ms. Clitheroe, who is now an Anglican priest, said in an interview this week that her aim in doing the podcast was to help others adjust to life after a job loss.

“Whether it is public or otherwise, people will be very severely and strongly impacted by it,” says Ms. Clitheroe, who sold her $2-million home after she lost the top job at Hydro One and moved with her family into married students' quarters at the University of Toronto, where she studied theology.

Alan Kearns, founder and head coach of CareerJoy, says a layoff is one of the most traumatic events an employee can experience – and it makes no difference whether the person is a front-line worker or a top executive. (Although, from a number of negative e-mails he has received about the half-hour-long Clitheroe interview on his website, it is apparent there is far less sympathy for fired CEOs than for average working Canadians who have lost their jobs, Mr. Kearns concedes.) Still, he says, Ms. Clitheroe's story is instructive in terms of how to deal with the emotional trauma of a layoff, how to figure out what to do next, and how to “move on.”

To recap: Ms. Clitheroe, who initially trained as a lawyer, worked in senior roles at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and as a deputy finance minister with the Ontario government before moving to Hydro One, where she was appointed CEO in 1999, with a mandate to take the power transmission company private – a mandate that was later reversed as a result of changing political priorities. In June, 2002, the entire board of directors resigned in a power struggle with the provincial government over executive compensation. Shortly thereafter, Ms. Clitheroe was fired – with no severance – from her $2.2-million-a-year post and publicly castigated for her expenses, which allegedly included $330,000 in limousine services over three years.

Arguing that her controversial perks and expenses had been approved by the former chairman of Hydro One – in part to help her juggle her dual roles as CEO and the mother of two young children – Ms. Clitheroe launched a wrongful dismissal suit against the company. The case is still before the courts.

It was a hard fall from the top, says Ms. Clitheroe, who set about reassessing priorities and putting her life back together.

The job, she realized, had consumed most of her waking hours, to the detriment of her family life. And even if she had wanted to lead another company, “it was very clear that I wouldn't have the opportunity to do another significant job like that, at that time, in Corporate Canada … because of the controversy that was raised at that time,” says Ms. Clitheroe, whose wrongful dismissal case is still before the court.

When the initial shock wore off, she started consulting friends and family – and went on two religious retreats – to figure out her next move. In the end, it was four of her closest friends who influenced Ms. Clitheroe, at the age of 47, to abandon corporate life, return to school and train to become a parish priest – a calling she had considered in her younger years.

But starting over was not easy. Ms. Clitheroe found her study skills were rusty; she had forgotten how to do footnotes; she sometimes found herself weeping over textbooks at 3 a.m., pulling “all-nighters like a 20-year-old … “I thought: ‘How did this happen to me? This isn't my life.' But it was my life, and it's become a very joyful life,” says Ms. Clitheroe, who serves as executive director of Prison Fellowship Canada, which assists offenders and their families, as well as serving as a parish priest in Oakville, Ont.

Her advice to others who have suddenly lost their jobs is to be open to change, even if the change might initially appear to be a step backwards.

Mr. Kearns adds that the loss of a job is particularly traumatic – and the options are less apparent – when the person involved has no life outside of work.

As with a death, the grieving process generally goes through stages: denial (“this is not real – I'm having a bad dream”); anger (how dare you lay me off, I have given so much”); bargaining (“is it possible to finish this major project?”); depression (“I don't have anything to offer, what will be the financial implications?”); and acceptance (“now I can move forward”).

It is important to analyze what might have gone wrong that led to the layoff, Mr. Kearns says. Often jobs are lost because of mergers, acquisitions and other events that have nothing to do with the displaced employee's performance, he says.

But whatever the reason, too much obsessing about the past is neither healthy nor productive, he says. “If you don't move on, it's not the company's fault … it's tough, but that's also part of life.”

Obviously, money helps make the transition to new employment easier, he adds. “When you don't have as many resources, you have to use the resources that are out there … there are tons of online resources where you can get great advice and listen to great information, and you don't have to pay a dime for it.”

Mr. Kearns says Ms. Clitheroe's experience stands as “an excellent example of people just rethinking where they want to go.”

Ms. Clitheroe said in an interview this week that she loves her work as a priest. “The people who knew me well helped give me the courage to believe that following this path was possible.”

She now counsels others that, while people often have little or no control over the circumstances that lead to the loss of their jobs, they can and should take control over what happens next.

“If you do jump at that first job, don't stop trying to figure out who you are and what drives you – you can always change again, if you realize that you have just repeated a pattern that doesn't work for you and your family.”
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Postby admin » Mon Jun 04, 2007 1:24 pm


Bullying Studies

The Effects on the Bullied, the Target Person

The Many Faces of Work Trauma We've organized the range of injuries that Targets endure into four groups. Damage to:
- Emotional/psychological health
- Physical health
- Social relations
- Economic-Financial health

Work Shouldn't Hurt! 1. Emotional-Psychological Health Damage

- Poor concentration, forgetfulness
- Loss of sleep, fatigue
- Stress, irritability
- Mood swings, bursts of anger
- Spontaneous crying, lost sense of humor
- Indecisiveness
- Panic attacks, anxiety
- Clinical depression
- Feelings of insecurity, being out of control
- Nightmares about the bully
- Obsessive thinking about the bully
- Always anticipating the next attack (hyper-vigilance)
- Shattered faith in self-competence, feelings of worthlessness
- Shame, embarrassment, and guilt
- Self-destructive habits: Substance abuse, workaholism
- Altered personality, unrecognizable to family & friends
- PDSD/PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders)
- Suicidal thoughts
- Violence: suicide or violence against others

Bullying Can Be Hazardous To Your Health
It Causes Psychological INJURY
Targets Are Not Mentally Ill!
Psychological pain should not be minimized or denied by Targets themselves or by others. Stoic bravery or toughness are no match for suicidal thoughts or feelings of terror when you turn into the company parking lot in the morning. Seek help. You owe it to yourself and the people who love you. They recognize and want the very real pain you endure from bullying to stop.

The greater the severity of psychological pain, the more dangerous and the longer the effects seem to last. It is a fact that those exposed to domestic violence are hurt more by the verbal abuse rather than physical wounds which heal easily.

2. Physical Health Damage

- Reduced immunity to infection: more colds, flu
- Menstrual difficulties
- Itching, skin disorders
- Stress headaches
- Increased allergies, asthma
- Indigestion, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome
- Rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia
- Hair loss
- Weight swings
- Hyperthyroidism: overactive thyroid gland
- Migraine headaches
- Hypertension: high blood pressure
- Diabetes mellitus
- Peptic ulcers
- Heart palpitations
- Micro-shredding: weakened heart
- Heart attack
Read recent medical research linking increased heart disease risk with psychosocial factors.

3. Damage to Social Relations

- Co-worker isolation from personal fear
- Parents encourage compromise with bully
- Co-worker resentment, attempts to silence you
- Spouse questions your role in dispute with bully
- Children and friends outside work show strain
- Wavering support from family
- Abandonment/Betrayal by co-workers
- Separation/Divorce by immediate family
- Abandonment by friends outside work
4. Economic-Financial Damage

- Sympathetic medical provider's off-work for job stress
- Paid Time Off accounts begin to be used
- Sick leave exhausted, switch to short-term disability
- Employer encourages unpaid leave under FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act)
- Employer orders you to choose termination vs. Workers' Compensation (WC)
- PTO accounts exhausted, no days left
- Placed on long-term disability, income cut
- Personal savings tapped
- Creditors renegotiate payment structure
- File for WC, potentially lose right to sue
- Formally terminated in a way so employer can deny unemployment compensation
- Disability payments run out
- House and property sold
- Personal savings depleted
In a matter of a few months, it is possible that a vibrant, healthy, competent employee can be driven to ruin--economic, personal health and the loss of a support network. And this is all due to the unilateral decisions made by an incompetent, insecure, vicious individual backed by the power of an employer who did not want to get involved in a "personality conflict" between two people.

Stages of Stress

The Bully is the source of stress, the Stressor. It's the body and mind's response to stressors that determines the extent of damage inflicted. The sequence of biological stress is well known. There are three stages (Hans Selye):

1. Alarm--the turning on of the body's defense systems, that is designed to be brief for it is truly widespread in its effects throughout the body--it enables the "flight or fight" response in the face of danger--physical or psychological. The body reacts the same to fright from the impending pounce of a tiger as it does to an insult from the bully. Alarm triggers the sympathetic nervous system that releases adrenaline, in addition to many other functions.

2. Resistance--the maintenance of an alert stage that the body expected, and needs, to be turned off. Resistance to the bully and all that that requires depletes the body's defenses. If you stay in the resistance stage too long, the body will rebound then it's finally turned off, the body rebounds and the actual damage occurs when the stressor is gone. The parasympathetic nervous system restores normalcy; it turns off the sympathetic.

3. Exhaustion-- which can lead to death if the stressor never disappears and the body and mind must fight indefinitely. Exhaustion is a full system breakdown, mentally and physically. It demands that the stressor be removed or it will claim your life. To get to exhaustion, you have to ignore all the warning signs that your body gives you (see above psychological and physical effects).

A cautionary word about stress "management." It is usually the wrongdoer's prescribed solution for the Target. No amount of cognitive distortion or discounting will stop life-jeopardizing stress caused by a bully and her accomplices. The only long-term solution to stress is to REMOVE THE STRESSOR. Separation from the bully is an imperative first step. To argue otherwise prolongs the Target's misery.

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Workplace Bullying Institute
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Postby admin » Mon Jun 04, 2007 1:09 pm

WBI Comments:

The relevance of this study to bullying is twofold.

First, this study demonstrates the equivalence of the impact of nonphysical stressors (which are also considered torture by U.N. conventions, but not current U.S. standards under the Bush administration) on PTSD, depression and the perception of control over one's life. Psychological mistreatment mimics physical torture as it impacts abused individuals.

The authors make the related point in the original article that stress is reduced when the abused person has the ability to aggress against the torturers. In the workplace, with so much bullying perpetrated by higher ranking people, the target is prevented from responding aggressively. Thus, suffering is magnified by a sense of helplessness and uncontrollability.

Second, witnesses to mistreatment of others also suffer. This is vicarious trauma. Clearly physically torturing individuals in front of families is much more extreme than typical workplace bullying. But the human psyche, however resilient when under extreme duress, is prone to injury and harm from psychological manipulations of a person's reality. Robbing people of control over their own circumstances is a fundamental, cruel deprivation that causes serious psychological harm. But bullied targets always knew this.
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New York Times

Postby admin » Mon Aug 21, 2006 3:45 pm

August 19, 2006
Save the Endangered Whistle-Blower
If ever government whistle-blowers needed protection from official retaliation it is now, in the secrecy-obsessed Bush administration. Federal employees daring to disclose fraud and abuse in their bureaucracies have been under virtual siege, isolated as pariahs and shipped off under gag orders to lesser jobs in far-off places.

Appeals to court review under the 17-year-old Whistle-Blower Protection Act have proved fruitless, with the Supreme Court ruling in May that workers have no right to First Amendment protection when they warn lawmakers and taxpayers of government waste and folly. The ruling has thrown the issue back into the lap of Congress. Fortunately, there is enough anger emerging on both sides of the aisle to raise hopes for remedial legislation.

The Senate has unanimously approved an amendment to close loopholes and spell out whistle-blowers’ rights in more forceful detail for the courts. It is attached to a pending military bill, with proponents working for comparably tough legislation to be accepted by the House.

The outcome is not certain. The Justice Department has been opposed to strengthening the law, and a countermove is afoot to give the administration even more power to prosecute whistle-blowers as leakers of official secrets. The coming showdown is a chance for electioneering incumbents to take a stand against the administration’s mania for foiling the public’s right to government transparency.

The best display of Congressional intent would be for lawmakers to not just reaffirm the 1989 law but to extend it to all the national security bureaucracy and to private contractors. The nation’s need for timely whistle-blowers has been painfully driven home by gaffes in pre-9/11 homeland security, the premises for the Iraq invasion, and the administration’s illicit intelligence gathering at home.
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