Public Engagement Minister Steve Kent finally took the wraps off whistleblower legislation.
Public Engagement Minister Steve Kent speaks to reporters about new whistleblower legislation.— Photo by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram
Kent called it a "new and very significant" law, which will protect public servants who see wrongdoing on the job.
Any public employee can make a report if they see something criminal, unsafe, or something that's a "gross mismanagement" of public resources.
Public servants go to the Office of the Citizen's Representative to make the complaint, and then the province's ombudsman will investigate the situation. The act also puts in place a mechanism for employees to get satisfaction through the Labour Relations Board if they feel like there's been reprisal because they made a whistleblower report.
The legislation unveiled today was announced in March in the government's Throne Speech, but the saga of whistleblower legislation goes back much, much further.
Then-premier Danny Williams promised whistleblower legislation in 2007, but Kent said that after they made that promise, the Tory government decided to hold back and look at a few other provinces to see any potential problems.
Kent said in the past seven years of watching and waiting, the government was able to learn from other provinces and they won't make the same mistakes.