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Alberta's Whistleblower Protection Reach Expands To Investment World

In Alberta, public sector employees and political staff are afforded certain protections when it comes to disclosing unlawful matters or issues that may be harmful to the public interest. In the interest of promoting a culture where openness, honesty, and accountability are prioritized, the legislation helps ensure confidentiality, a transparent process, and a strict set of penalties if reprisals are committed.

In November of 2018, the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) announced the creation of a program to help extend protection to whistleblowers who are reporting securities-related matters including potential insider trading, fraud, and market manipulation.

According to the commission's CEO, the purpose of the program is to help protect employees, directors, and stakeholders across the investment landscape from reprisals should they report misconduct. By streamlining the process, the hope is to encourage securities law compliance and minimize harm to investors.

To qualify as a whistleblower under the ASC's definition, a person must meet certain criteria and ultimately, the final determination is contingent on the Office of the Whisteblower's approval. Tip submissions can be made by phone, through email, or by mail and have the option of being made anonymously.

Navigating whistleblower issues can be complex, especially in the context of increasingly connected workplaces. Ensuring protection, fostering a safe work environment, and mitigating long-term damage is difficult, especially without the right support. Speaking to an experienced legal team can help employers proactively minimize unnecessary complications or come up with strategic solutions at a time of need.

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