Yukon Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner
Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner comments on changes needed to Yukon’s whistleblower legislation
Wed, Sep 20, 2023
WHITEHORSE – The Yukon Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner (PIDC), Jason Pedlar, has submitted comments to the Public Service Commission of the Yukon government as part of the government’s review of the Public Interest Disclosure of Wrongdoing Act (PIDWA).
“As the Yukon’s Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner, I have a mandate to oversee compliance with PIDWA, which includes independently investigating disclosures and complaints of reprisals,” said Pedlar. “Based on this unique perspective and my office’s experience of the past seven years, I’ve provided feedback in several forms, including responses to the government’s questionnaire, a comprehensive provision-by-provision review of the Act, and five recommendations that in my view would significantly strengthen the Act.”
Pedlar’s recommendations include revising the powers of the PIDC, including the addition of new powers; making it mandatory for public entities subject to PIDWA to establish disclosure procedures; and increasing the responsibilities of public entity chief executives to raise awareness of PIDWA and provide training on it.
In Pedlar’s responses to the government’s questionnaire, he also makes the argument that the Act should become more expansive by, for example, allowing volunteers at public entities (not just employees) to make disclosures and by expanding the jurisdiction of PIDWA to potentially include organizations such as municipalities.
Provisions within PIDWA require the Yukon government to review the Act within five years of it coming into force, which occurred in June 2015. This review has been underway for some time and has taken place in phases. This set of comments from the PIDC were provided to the Yukon government in April 2023 as part of Phase 2 of the review. They have been posted on the PIDC website here to ensure members of the public have the opportunity to read and review them.
The Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner (PIDC) is an independent officer of the Yukon Legislative Assembly and is responsible to investigate disclosures of wrongdoing by public entities, as well as complaints of reprisals. The PIDC also serves as the Ombudsman and Information and Privacy Commissioner for the territory.
To download a PDF of this news release, click here.
Office of the Yukon Ombudsman, Information and Privacy Commissioner, and Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner