20: Whistle-Blower Protection
The Board is committed to acting with integrity and to ethical behaviour in all matters. To that end, the Board will help to foster and maintain an environment where employees can act appropriately, without any fear of reprisal. Further, the Board strongly encourages employees to seek counsel from supervisors whenever they are in doubt about the best and ethical course of action in a particular situation.
1. The Superintendent is the “chief officer” of the District as stipulated in the Public Interest Disclosure (Whistleblower Protection) Regulation.
2. The Superintendent maintains an Administrative Procedure to operationalize the Public Interest Disclosure (Whistleblower Protection) Act and Public Interest Disclosure (Whistleblower Protection) Regulation throughout the District.
3. The Administrative Procedure shall reinforce the duty of every staff member to report genuine concerns of any wrongdoings as defined in the Act that involve:
3.1. A contravention of an Act of Alberta or Canada or the Regulations related to those acts, or
3.2. An act or omission that creates:
3.2.1. Substantial and specific danger to the life, health or safety of individuals other than a danger that is inherent in the performance of the duties or functions of an employee, or
3.2.2. Substantial and specific danger to the environment, or
3.2.3. Gross mismanagement, including an act or omission that is deliberate and that shows a reckless or wilful disregard for the proper management of
a. Public funds or a public asset,
b. The delivery of a public service, including the management or performance of
(i) A contract or arrangement identified ofr described in the regulation, including the duties resulting from the contract or arrangement or any funds administered or provided under the contract or arrangement, and
(ii) The duties and powers resulting from an enactment identified or described in the regulations or any funds administered or provided as a result of the enactment
c. Employees, by a pattern of behaviour or conduct of a systemic nature that indicates a problem in the culture of the organization relating to bullying, harassment or intimidation
3.2.4. Knowingly directing or counseling an individual to commit one of the wrongdoings listed above.
3.3. Day-to-day workplace issues that fall short of “wrongdoings” are to be dealt with using existing Division policies and/or procedures.
3.4. The Administrative Procedure shall provide assurance that any concerns expressed will be investigated thoroughly and that staff members raising concerns reasonably and responsibly shall not be penalized in any way.
3.5. Further, the Administrative Procedure shall make provision for the reporting of concerns to the Board Chair in the event circumstances prevent a disclosure to the Superintendent, or to Vice-Chair in the event circumstances prevent a disclosure to the Board Chair.