Government of Yukon



FOR RELEASE
June 15, 2015

Public Interest Disclosure and Wrongdoing Act now in force

WHITEHORSE—The Public Interest Disclosure of Wrongdoing Act went into effect today. It provides a process that employees can follow if they believe there has been a wrongdoing in their organization or if they believe they have been unfairly treated as a result of raising concerns about a wrongdoing.

The legislation covers Yukon public service organizations listed in the act and is intended to deal with significant and serious matters that an employee believes to be unlawful, dangerous to the public or injurious to the public interest.

“The Public Interest Disclosure of Wrongdoing Act provides a clear framework for employees to make disclosures of wrongdoing in good faith, and for protecting them from acts of reprisal,” Minister for the Public Service Commission Currie Dixon said. “This legislation furthers our common interest in upholding and promoting the transparency, accountability and integrity of Yukon public service organizations.”

The new act provides employees with several ways to disclose a wrongdoing. It also provides an avenue for making a complaint if they believe they have been subject to reprisal as a result of making a disclosure, seeking advice about making a disclosure, declining to participate in a wrongdoing or co-operating in an investigation under the act.

The legislation also establishes the office of the Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner (PIDC). Unless another person is appointed according to the process laid out in the act, the Yukon’s Ombudsman is the PIDC.

For more information and supporting material:

Public Interest Disclosure of Wrongdoing (Yukon government website)

Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner’s website

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See backgrounder below for a list of public entities covered by the act, and definitions of wrongdoing and reprisal.

Contact:

Elaine Schiman
Cabinet Communications
867-633-7961
elaine.schiman@gov.yk.ca

Nigel Allan
Communications, Public Service Commission
867-667-8902
nigel.allan@gov.yk.ca

 

Backgrounder

Public entities included in the Public Interest Disclosure of Wrongdoing Act:

  • A department, directorate, secretariat or other similar executive agency of the Government of Yukon
  • The Legislative Assembly Office
  • The Office of the Chief Electoral Officer
  • The Office of the Child and Youth Advocate
  • Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board
  • Yukon College
  • Yukon Development Corporation
  • Yukon Energy Corporation
  • Yukon Hospital Corporation
  • Yukon Housing Corporation
  • Yukon Liquor Corporation

Under the act a wrongdoing is:

  • breaking a Yukon or federal law;
  • doing something that creates a substantial and specific danger to people or to the environment – or creating that kind of danger by not doing something;
  • gross mismanagement of public funds or assets; or
  • knowingly directing or counselling someone to do any of these things.

Under the act a reprisal is:

  • a disciplinary measure;
  • a demotion;
  • termination of employment (i.e. fired);
  • any measure that adversely affects the employee’s employment or working conditions; or
  • a threat to take any of these measures.

News Release #15-206