Whistleblower Protection in New Brunswick

New Brunswick has the country’s broadest whistleblower protection. Section 28 of the Employment Standards Act states that an employer “shall not dismiss, suspend, lay off, penalize, discipline or discriminate against an employee” for giving “information or evidence against the employer with respect to the alleged violation of any provincial or federal Act or regulation by the employer while carrying on the employer’s business….”

Under the law’s enforcement provisions, the offending employer can be forced to comply with the Act and the regulations, pay damages to anyone suffering economic loss from the non-compliance, pay wages and benefits owing to the employee, or reinstate the employee to the former position or an equivalent one.

“There has been at least one case before the Employment Standards Board [under s. 28], but nothing came of it,” says John Barry of Barry Spalding in Saint John. “It’s very strong legislation, broader even than Saskatchewan’s, but not much use has been made of it. I don’t think there’s enough public awareness of it.”

An excerpt of an email I was copied into between high level government officials in 2011 concerning my situation. I’m told that you have had significant push back from the department with regards to Lori. I don’t know her history there but I do know that there was resentment about her insistence to speak out after the death of Juli-Anna at 27 months. Several of her colleagues had been warned not to speak to me so I used subpoenas to ease their concerns (they felt better to be able to say they had no choice). I have emails that I would share if necessary but they paint a bleak picture of officials resisting any oversight on this file. As we later found out (after taking the department to court to gain access to the files), the file was completely mishandled for a variety of reasons. ……so I suspect she ( name withheld  in this text due to privacy) is exacting some revenge now. That is a shame if it is true.

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