P2 – Public Interest Disclosure Protection
Originator: Vice President – Finance and Administration
Approver: President and CEO
Effective: April 16, 2021
Replaces: May 11, 2010
The Public Interest Disclosure (Whistleblower Protection) Act (“PIDA”) facilitates disclosure and investigation where a public servant, such as a College employee, is or has engaged in of certain types of wrongdoings including committing an offence under the law, placing the lives or physical safety of others in substantial or specific danger or grossly mismanaging pubic funds or assets. PIDA protects employees who make disclosures of wrongdoing from reprisal, including discipline, demotion, termination or any other measure that adversely affects their employment.
Red River College is public body under PIDA and is responsible for establishing and maintaining procedures in accordance with sections 5(1) and 5(2) of PIDA. This Policy and related Procedures serve to meet that requirement. Matters that do not relate to wrongdoings defined by PIDA will continue to be managed in accordance with other appropriate College policies and procedures.
PIDA – The Public Interest Disclosure (Whistleblower Protection) Act (“PIDA”).
Designated Officer – the Act requires every chief executive to designate a senior official to be the Designated Officer for the purpose of this Act, to receive and deal with disclosures by employees. The Designated Officer at Red River College is the Vice President – Finance and Administration.
Person – An employee or a student who makes a disclosure.
Reprisal – Reprisal is any of the following measures taken against a Person, or any third party, because of having, in good faith, sought advice about making a disclosure, made a disclosure, or co-operated in an investigation:
- a disciplinary measure;
- an effect on academic evaluation;
- a demotion;
- termination of employment or contract;
- any measure that adversely affects his or her employment, learning or working conditions; or
- a threat to take any of the measures referred to in clauses (a) to (e).
Wrongdoing – The Act defines Wrongdoing in or relating to the public service as:
- an act or omission constituting an offence under an Act of the Legislature or the Parliament of Canada, or a regulation made under an Act;
- an act or omission that creates a substantial and specific danger to the life, health or safety of persons, or the environment, other than a danger that is inherent in the performance of the duties or functions of an employee;
- gross mismanagement, including of public funds or a public asset; or
- knowingly directing or counseling a person to commit a wrongdoing described in clauses (a) to (c).
This Policy is not intended to apply to other types of disclosures, and is not intended as a dispute resolution mechanism to replace grievances, appeal hearings, and other administrative processes.
For greater certainty, “Wrongdoing” does not include a disagreement about legitimate policy decisions, business decisions, or administrative actions, over which reasonable people may disagree. The policy is not intended to be used to object to or challenge such decisions or actions. This policy also not apply to matters relating to employee performance or discipline related to performance, which are covered by collective agreements or performance management practices. This Policy is not intended to address concerns about bullying, harassment or discrimination which are investigated by College under collective agreements or the Respectful Workplace and Learning Environment Policy.
The purpose of this Policy is to meet the College’s obligations under PIDA, in particular to facilitate the disclosure and investigation of significant and serious matters relating to perceived Wrongdoing within the College and to protect Persons who make those disclosures.
Red River College will treat disclosures made under this Policy seriously and will review and/or investigate the disclosure in accordance with College procedures to determine if the matter disclosed represents a Wrongdoing as defined in the Act and to determine the appropriate action to be taken.
Disclosures which are determined by a Designated Officer to be outside the scope of this Policy and related procedures will be resolved by reference to other College policies or procedures.
Where an investigation is appropriate, it will be conducted promptly and in a confidential manner, with due regard for the protection of the identity of all individuals involved.
There will be no reprisal against a Person who has made such a disclosure in good faith. All persons to whom this policy applies must cooperate during an investigation of a Wrongdoing, and provide any information required in the course of an investigation.
While this Policy deals with disclosures of Wrongdoing made by employees and students, the same principles and procedures apply to a disclosure by a third party observer who may make a disclosure to the office of the Manitoba Ombudsman.
4.0 Authority to Approve Procedures
As the chief executive under PIDA, The College President and Chief Executive Officer has the authority to approve procedures under this policy.
The College will report annually the number of disclosures of Wrongdoing that were made to a Supervisor or the Designated Officer in accordance with the Procedures.
The College’s President and CEO has the responsibility to appoint a Designated Officer for the College.
The Designated Officer has the responsibility to oversee all aspects of the disclosure, investigation and reporting process of the Public Interest Disclosure Act. The Designated Officer may refer a disclosure to the Ombudsman if it would be inappropriate for the Designated Officer to deal with it, either because of the nature of the wrongdoing or because of the persons involved in the disclosure.
A Person who becomes aware of Wrongdoing as defined in PIDA has the responsibility to make disclosure of this information in writing according to the procedures of the Policy.
The Supervisor of an employee who makes a disclosure has the responsibility to accept that disclosure and follow the procedures of this Policy to transfer ownership of the information to the Designated Officer.
All members of the College Community have the responsibility to cooperate in an investigation initiated under this Policy.
7.0 Related Policy and Legislation
2.0 Global Executive Limitation – Executive Limitation Board of Governors Policy Manual
The Public Interest Disclosure (Whistleblower Protection) Act S.M. 2006. c. 35