The Federal Accountability Initiative for Reform (FAIR) announces that David Hutton - a management consultant and author - has taken the helm as Executive Director, formalizing the leadership role that he has assumed over the past eighteen months. Founded by Joanna Gualtieri in 1998, FAIR is Canada's only public interest organization dedicated to protecting employees who blow the whistle on government misconduct.
"FAIR was born of my dream that all employees should have the right to speak out about betrayals to the public trust without being crucified by bosses whose goals are secrecy and the status quo" says Ms. Gualtieri, who was a pioneer in the whistleblowing movement in Canada following her experience with Foreign Affairs where she spoke out about waste in diplomatic accommodations.
She says her dream would never have come to fruition without the tireless support of many, especially her diplomatic colleague, Brian McAdam. "However, for FAIR to act as a force to counter government corruption and wrongdoing, it needed to be revitalized" says Ms. Gualtieri whose life has been devastated by the retaliation she experienced and by her subsequent ten year legal ordeal. "David Hutton joined us two years ago, and as Executive Director he brings invaluable knowledge and dedication to our goal of genuine government accountability".
"I'm honoured that Ms. Gualtieri is willing to entrust to me the care of this important organization that she has created" says Hutton. "We owe a great deal to her: without Joanna's efforts and FAIR there would have been no debate on the Hill about how to protect whistleblowers, and no legislation today."
"Successive governments are being dragged kicking and screaming towards a goal that horrifies many in the establishment - strong laws that make it difficult to cover-up incompetence, deceit and criminality, and which protect honest public servants who are willing to speak out."
"I am excited by the possibilities" says Hutton. "Canadian democracy is increasingly threatened by government deception and corruption. However, Canadians know this, they are very concerned about it, and they are looking for ways to take back their democracy. Organizations like FAIR can help citizens find a voice to combat government abuses of power."
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