How am i protected?
When you make a disclosure, rest assured that we take all necessary means to ensure its confidentiality. However, if despite these precautions, you experience reprisal, you are legally protected.
Protection against reprisal
The Act to facilitate the disclosure of wrongdoings relating to public bodies prohibits anyone from taking a reprisal against a whistleblower or a person who cooperated in an audit or investigation further to a disclosure.
Threatening someone to prevent him or her from making a disclosure or participating in an investigation is also prohibited. Anyone who violates the Act is liable to a fine.
Do you feel that you have suffered reprisal? Or that you are being bullied to keep you from making a disclosure or cooperating in an investigation? You can file a complaint with the Québec Ombudsman.
Reprisal is an offence. Anyone found guilty is liable to a fine ranging from $2,000 to $20,000. The fine can reach $10,000 to $250,000 for government corporations.
Anyone who hinders or tries to hinder the Québec Ombudsman or a designated officer in the performance of its or his or her duties commits an offence. The same holds true for people who refuse to provide information or a document useful for an investigation. The prescribed fines are $4,000 to $20,000 and are doubled for subsequent offences.
Public disclosure. Am I protected?
If you speak out about a wrongdoing publicly or through the media, the Act will not protect you against reprisal.
The only exception: if you have reasonable cause to believe that a wrongdoing that poses a serious risk to a person’s health or safety or to the environment has been or is about to be committed, and in an urgent situation, you are protected by the Act if:
- you contacted a police force or the Anti-Corruption Commissioner before going public or to the media;
- disclosure does not have the effect of hindering measures to avoid serious risk to a person’s health or safety or to the environment.