Blame it on a whistleblower denounced

News 5 September, 2017
  • Matthew Payen

    Monday, September 4, 2017 21:27

    Monday, September 4, 2017 21:27

    Look at this article

    The story of an engineer blamed for having informed a media breakdown on the Champlain bridge bringing back to the forefront the importance of having a law to protect whistleblowers, believes the Fédération professionnelle des journalists du Québec.

    The Journal revealed last week that Jean-Claude Gilbert pleaded guilty on August 16, in front of the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec (OIQ), of having disclosed information on the Champlain bridge to a journalist of Radio-Canada.

    “We are disappointed to see that this story has earned him a reprimand, and cost him his career,” says Stéphane Giroux, the president of the Fédération professionnelle des journalists du Québec (FPJQ).

    Mr. Gilbert has, indeed, told to the Newspaper to have difficulty obtaining contracts since the company Bridges Jacques Cartier and Champlain inc. has filed its complaint against him.

    Her story has aroused a wave of sympathy on social networks. More than fifty people have commented on the article published last week, congratulating Mr. Gilbert for his gesture.

    Complex case

    However, the case is complex, told Me Donald Riendeau, director general of the Institute for trust in organizations.

    “On the one hand, the Order of the engineers sees a breach of professional secrecy and must avoid it from happening again,” he said. On the other, the engineer thought might be saving lives with his actions. “

    Me Riendeau analysis that a person who is in this kind of situation has three choices : leave the company, protest or be quiet. “Mr. Gilbert has decided to protest, it is courageous, but risky “, says the lawyer.

    This is why the FPJQ demand a law protecting whistleblowers who speak to the media. Mr. Giroux believes that the bill 87 to facilitate the disclosure of wrongdoing in organizations is insufficient in this regard.

    “Society needs whistleblowers, but they are afraid of losing everything, they will not speak,” he says.

    The OIQ has not wanted to comment on this case.

    What says the Code of ethics

    The complaint in the Office of the syndic of the OIQ is based on two articles of the code :

    2.03. The engineer shall, when he considers that the work is dangerous to public safety, inform the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec or the persons responsible for such work.

    3.06.03. The engineer must not make use of information of a confidential nature to the prejudice of a client, or with a view to obtaining directly or indirectly an advantage for himself or for others.