Truly robust whistleblower legislation in Canada is essential to preserving the integrity of our capital markets. As is too often the case, the United States has again out shone Canada in implementing legislation which protects employees of private and public corporations.
Since the adoption of the first whistleblower protection laws in the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, Congress has expanded such protections for federal and certain private-sector employees through numerous federal statutes including the False Claims Act, Whistleblower Protection Act, Sarbanes-Oxley Act, FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act). Most U.S. states have now have parallel legislation designed to protect public employees and several states have extended such protection to private employees. In turn, U.S. courts have further developed a public policy exception to extend protection to whistleblowers from the private sector. The SEC in the U.S. has had whistleblower programs in place since 2010 and paid out in excess of US $50 million. Further, the SEC offers leniency to whistleblowers who are involved in the improper activities they uncovered.