On December 11, the 2007 Whistleblower Award was presented in a ceremony at Simon Fraser University’s Harbour Centre campus.
A crystal trophy was presented to Gord McAdams, an Ecologist formerly with the BC government, by the Campaign for Open Government and the BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association (FIPA).
The ceremony featured remarks by Maureen Bader of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, Gwen Barlee of the Western Canada Wilderness Committee, Darrell Evans of FIPA, and MLA Shane Simpson, who recently introduced a private member’s bill called the “Whistleblowers Protection Act” in the BC Legislature.
Gord McAdams is a city councillor in Nelson, BC and a former employee of BC’s Ministry of Water, Air and Land Protection. Against the wishes of his employer and at great risk to himself, he brought key documentary evidence to the BC Supreme Court showing that the BC Government intended to violate the Park Act by relocating an entrance to Grohman Narrows Provincial Park.
A developer had requested the realignment of an access road and the Minister of Water, Air and Land Protection had approved it in spite of the fact that it would threaten the habitat of the park’s endangered turtle population. The Supreme Court ruled that the government could not ignore the Park Act to accommodate a developer.
For his courageous act, Gord was fired just hours before he was due to retire. As a result, he lost $25,000 in retirement benefits. The benefits were restored later when his union, the BCGEU, went to bat for him.
News coverage for the Vancouver Sun, the Province, and the Globe and Mail
Past winners, whistleblower and freedom of information awards
For more information on the Whistleblower Awards or the Campaign for Open Government, contact: