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Whistleblower Procedure

If you see something wrong, then as a Lakeland College employee you are protected if you tell.

The college has a detailed Whistleblower procedure (8.85-1). It explains what a wrongdoing is, how to tell and the rest of the process.

Download. print and read the Whistleblower procedure summary (pdf), or read the entire summary below.

Your Rights When Reporting Wrongs

A summary of Lakeland College’s Whistleblower Procedure

Under the Public Interest Disclosure (Whistleblower Protection) Act, Lakeland College employees can report in good faith when they believe a “wrongdoing” has occurred. This Act protects employees from any reprisal as a result of a good faith disclosure. Lakeland has a detailed procedure (Whistleblower Procedure 8.85-1) that explains the whistleblower process that is followed. This document summarizes that procedure.

What is a wrongdoing

“Wrongdoing” is defined in the Act as:
  •  A contravention of a statute of Alberta, a regulation made according to a statute of Alberta, an Act of the Parliament of Canada, or a regulation made according to an Act of the Parliament of Canada;
  • An act or omission that creates a 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 the employee;
  • An act or omission that creates a substantial and specific danger to the environment;
  • Gross mismanagement of public funds or a public asset;
  • Commission of an act of retaliation or reprisal in relation to a disclosure made according to the Whistleblower Procedure;
  • Knowingly directing or counseling an individual to commit a wrongdoing identified above.

Making a disclosure

Employees are encouraged to first raise their concerns to their immediate supervisor. If, for whatever reason, this is not possible, then:
  • A disclosure of alleged wrongdoing can be made to the Vice President, Corporate Services.
  • If the disclosure is about the Vice President, Corporate Services the disclosure may be made to the President.
  • If the disclosure is about the President, the disclosure may be made to the Chair of the Lakeland College Board of Governors or to the Office of the Public Interest Commissioner for Alberta.
  • If the disclosure is about the Chair or any member of the Board of Governors, the disclosure may be made to the Office of the Public Interest Commissioner for Alberta.
All disclosures must be made in writing and should include the following information:
  • A description of the alleged wrongdoing, including the date or dates of the alleged wrongdoing, if known, providing as much specific information as possible;
  • Identification of everyone involved in the suspected wrongdoing;
  • Information about any potential financial interests or rewards, if known;
  • The known facts, circumstances and/or actions observed by the discloser, including any information that may be of assistance in the investigation.
  • Investigation of disclosures
All disclosures made will be reviewed and acknowledged promptly:
  • Within five business days from the date on which a disclosure is received, receipt of the disclosure will be confirmed in writing.
  • The Vice President, Corporate Services will then undertake an initial assessment of the alleged wrongdoing.
  • Within 15 business days of receipt of the disclosure, the Vice President, Corporate Services will notify the individual who made the disclosure as to the actions that will take place to investigate the allegations on the basis of the evidence gathered in the initial assessment. Not all disclosures proceed to a formal investigation.
  • Where a formal investigation is necessary it will be completed within 110 business days from the date on which the disclosure was received.


Confidentiality

The identity of the discloser will be kept confidential for as long as possible, provided that this does not interfere with the ability to carry out a proper investigation. The investigator will discuss with the discloser and any witnesses under what circumstances their confidentiality may be compromised.


Protection from reprisal

Employees who report in good faith an alleged or actual wrongdoing have the right to be protected from reprisals such as:
  • Disciplinary action, suspension, dismissal or threat of dismissal or layoff;
  • Transfer or change of job location, demotion or withholding of due promotion;
  • Intimidation, coercion, harassment, discrimination or threats;
  • Reduction of salary or wages, or change to hours of work;
  • Anything that adversely affects the employment or working conditions of the employee.
An employee who believes that they have been subjected to reprisal as a result of making a disclosure or participating in an investigation of disclosure of wrongdoing should report this to the President.

The outcome of the investigation

The Vice President, Corporate Services will report the outcome of the investigation to the President and will advise the discloser that the investigation is complete, and provide as much information as possible to the discloser without compromising the privacy of any individual involved in the investigation.

The President will ensure that the recommendations are implemented and will include information in the annual report.


Need advice on whistleblowing?

Talk to Lakeland’s President or Vice President, Corporate Services or contact the Office of the Public Interest Commissioner at 780.641.8659 or visit pic.alberta.ca

The Employee Family Assistance Program is also available to assist any employee who is involved in a disclosure investigation.
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