Coalition of groups calls integrity commissioner’s severance excessive

Groups say payment worth more than $500,000 inconsistent with standard practices


A coalition of 31 groups is calling on the federal government to cancel $500,000-plus severance package handed to disgraced former integrity commissioner Christiane Ouimet. Ouimet, who was responsible for protecting government whistleblowers from retribution, abruptly resigned last fall ahead of a damning report by the auditor general that found her office was acting on virtually none of the complaints it received. The Government Ethics Coalition says her severance, which includes 18 months of regular salary plus foregone benefits, is excessive for someone who voluntarily left a position she’d held since 2007.

The Globe and Mail

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Coalition of groups calls integrity commissioner’s severance excessive

  1. Bah, no right thinking Canadian thinks what a coalition has to say is valid anyways…

    • Funny!

  2. The severance package is one thing. The nondisclosure agreement is something else. Ouimet will use it to claim she cannot legally comment, Baird will use it in QP to claim the government cannot legally comment. Conservative supporters with any conscience will lose another bit of their soul accepting spin on this one.

    • Your tax dollars at work!

    • I wouldn't worry too much about that, Stewart. After all, the number of conservative supporters with a conscience remaining is already a number approaching zero. Add the requirement that such a person also have a soul and I think you're dealing with a null-set.

  3. No wonder people are pissed off at government officials and their hired lackeys. Not one single person in this entire country deserves this kind of payout and no one can justify it whatsoever.

    • Especially since – having voluntarily resigned – there was no severance. How many ordinary Canadians are given a fat payout when they quit?

      I think brooster2 (next comment down) has it right – "hush money".

  4. In the circumstances, it's pretty easy to conclude the huge amount involved isn't severance…it's "hush money".

    • with the "gag order" it came with I don't think there really is any other way to look at it but "hush money"

  5. So how do Canadians benefit from this? We can't afford another year of "Harper's Government".

  6. This does stink, mind you there are some rather odd groups in this coalition. Canadian Friends of Burma???

    Alternatives North, Association de protection des épargnants et investisseurs du Québec, B.C. Civil Liberties Association, B.C. Freedom of Information and Privacy Association, Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, Canadian Friends of Burma, Canadian Labour Congress, Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation, Citizens for Public Justice, Democracy Watch, Earth Action, End Legislated Poverty, Greenpeace Canada, The Green Campus Society, Institute for Federal Accountability, Integrity and Resolution, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Low Income Families Together, MiningWatch Canada, National Action Committee on the Status of Women, Ontario Public Interest Research Group-Carleton, Ontario Public Interest Research Group-Guelph, Ontario Public Interest Research Group-Ottawa, Saskatchewan Action Committee on the Status of Women, People Against Nuclear Energy, Saskatchewan Environmental Society, Sierra Club of Canada, Simon Fraser Public Interest Research Group, Social Change Associates, Sussex Society of Public Interest, Sustainability Project, World Federalists of Canada.

    • On a different subject, it would be really interesting to know how this got around to all these different people (as many of these groups are for real). Presumably someone has an email list of contacts…but this would be a particularly wide ranging and plugged in rolodex (ie. most people ignore unimportant, unsolicited, emails, but all these people responded on the record within the week).

  7. And if you add the 23,490,141 (approximately) of Canadians who think this is excessive, you get . . . nothing much more.

    • Jenn's polls are accurate to within 4 people 19 times out of 20.

  8. She must know an awful lot of dirt to warrant $534.000 from the taxpayers, especially when she resigned her job. One of the conditions of the agreement was that Christine wouldn't criticize the government and the government wouldn't bad mouth her. As they can't go after he, I wonder how the "accountable and transparent" Harper gang will explain this one or will we get the usual non-answer?

  9. This one stinks big time and will represent a real headache for the Harper Republicans (they are far from conservative now). Harper has become everything he once despised, and then some. She won't talk, they won't make her, and any sort of prolongued silence is damaging to them. Taxpayers are getting hosed…full stop. If it turns out that there's a big pile of dirt amongst those cases not looked into, then the whole thing smelss of a cover-up. Best of all, not even hardcore Harper loyalists can defend it because no matter how you slice it, it's still over $500k down the drain.

  10. Harper's Integrity Commissioner: Entitled to her Enmuzzlements

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