Excerpt from the Official Report of
DEBATES OF THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY

(Hansard)


February 26, 2015

Bill M207 — Whistleblower Protection Act

S. Simpson presented a bill intituled Whistleblower Protection Act, 2015.

S. Simpson: I move a bill intituled the Whistleblower Protection Act for first reading.

Motion approved

S. Simpson: I'm pleased to introduce, for a second time, the Whistleblower Protection Act. This bill has two purposes. The first is to facilitate the investigation and inquiry into matters which are potentially damaging to the public. These could include but not be limited to matters relating to the mismanagement of public funds or assets, gross environmental damage and unlawful acts by civil servants. The second is to protect those individuals from persecution who make such disclosures.

As it stands, there is insufficient legislation in British Columbia today that deals with reporting and protecting disclosures. This bill would create a process for reporting disclosures annually and also empowers the Ombudsperson to oversee the proper administration of this legislation. All reports will be made public and increase the transparency afforded to different ministries and public spheres.

The people of British Columbia have a right to know that the government and public officials are not acting in an unacceptable manner. In order to do this, we need to protect those with information and ensure that they are defended when they choose to disclose that information.

Whistle-blowers often have to decide between taking the higher moral ground and the potential effects from disclosing. A person trying to decide between doing what is right and keeping their job will often turn a blind eye to the action. We need to pass this bill to ensure that people are protected from retribution when they do disclose.

I move that this bill be placed on the orders of the day for second reading at the next sitting after today.

Bill M207, Whistleblower Protection Act, 2015, introduced, read a first time and ordered to be placed on orders of the day for second reading at the next sitting of the House after today.

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