Skip to main content

Manitoba Hydro watchdogs sleep as the Whistleblower Act degenerates into farce

Manitoba Hydro has launched a campaign of intimidation to undermine the official investigation of a whistleblower's complaint of gross mismanagement.

Employees have been told that they will be fired for the slightest contact with the whistleblower no matter how personal and non-work related it may be. One Christmas card and there goes your pension. Phone and computer records have been searched to send a message---the all-seeing eye of Big Brother is watching everything you do.

And CEO Bob Brennan has sent letters to news media referring to the whistleblower as "a disgruntled consultant" in a further assault on her character and her credibility.

So much for the innocent public face of Hydro with which Brennan proclaimed that he welcomed the investigation and would cooperate fully.

The threats come as the Auditor General was informed that she will have to speak with current Hydro employees to confirm details of Hydro's operations now that Hydro has managed to stifle any examination of the complaints for more than a year.

Not that it matters to Auditor Carol Bellringer.

Three weeks after being ordered to do a speeded-up special audit into the Hydro complaint, she has done exactly doodly-squat. Zippo. She hasn't looked at a single page of information. Her performance can be summed up in three words---told ya so.

http://blackrod.blogspot.com/2009/10/bellringer-olearygate-and-crocus-ndps.html


This, the first test of the government's vaunted The Public Interest Disclosure (Whistleblower Protection) Act, is degenerating into farce.

* The Hydro whistleblower's complaint officially reached Bellringer's desk 7 l/2 months ago. Before that it sat on the Ombudsman's desk for three months. And Brennan has been aware of the details for 14 months.

Bellringer told the CBC, as an excuse for her blatant inaction, that the act governing her office doesn't set time limits for investigations.

She can take as long as she wants.

And apparently she's doing her level best to stall the investigation to benefit her former colleague on the board of Manitoba Hydro, Bob Brennan.

* Brennan, a graduate of the Mussolini School of Management, bragged to the CBC Tuesday that he hasn't received a single written complaint from anyone alleging intimidation. So, let's see... the intimidation campaign is so successful nobody dares to complain of being intimidated, and that 'proves' there was no intimidation in the first place. Of course, Il Duce.

* This isn't just a test of the Whistleblower Protection Act. It's a test of unelected Premier Greg Selinger. How will he take to respond to this open and direct challenge to the authority of the Legislature?

Brennan has done everything he can to breach the Act. He did his best to identify the whistleblower without actually naming her, despite the assurance of confidentiality in the Act.

He revealed the complainant was a woman; he revealed her job with Hydro, how long she worked there and the time she was fired.

And in a breach of the Privacy Act, he discussed how much she was paid.

He's begun to attack her character in private letters to reporters, and Hydro is threatening to fire anyone who calls her a friend. Even the Constitutional right to freedom of association must bow to Brennan's megalomania.

* The provincial Ombudsman must immediately launch an investigation into Hydro's heavy-handed threats. She can't wait for the intimidation to succeed. She is entrusted with enforcing the Whistleblower Protection Act, and a failure to take a stand now makes a laughing stock of the Protection from Reprisal provisions in the law.

* Roseann Wowchuk, the Minister in charge of Manitoba Hydro and Crown Corporations accountability, must remove Bob Brennan from any role in responding to the whistleblower's complaint. He has demonstrated he is less interested in cooperating with the government watchdogs than in counter-attacking his accuser. This, in itself, is a blatant breach of the spirit, if not the law, of the Act.

* And Selinger must publicly defend the Whistleblower Act. He must denounce Hydro's campaign to intimidate potential witnesses. He must offer the protection of the Premier's office to anyone with vital information about Hydro's operations and possible mismanagement.

And, above all, he must replace Bellringer, who not only reeks of conflict of interest but has proven herself incompetent in handling the public's interest under the Act.

* And will someone poke the official Opposition with a stick to see if you can detect any signs of life?

Opposition "leader" Hugh McFadyen contorted himself into obscene positions to pat himself on the back after the recent policy convention. He couldn't stop blathering what a fierce campaigner he had become.

Yet here's an issue involving Manitoba's largest company possibly losing a billion dollars amid threats of power brownouts and the response from the Conservatives has been a few squeaks at a committee meeting followed by a relapse into dumb silence.

Next: When Manitoba Hydro explained how it could go broke (with pictures).

Popular posts from this blog

The unreported bombshell conspiracy evidence in the Trudeau/SNC-Lavelin scandal

Wow. No, double-wow. A game-changing bombshell lies buried in the supplementary evidence provided to the House of Commons Judiciary Committee by former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould. It has gone virtually unreported since she submitted the material almost a week ago. As far as we can find, only one journalist-- Andrew Coyne, columnist for the National Post--- has even mentioned it and even then he badly missed what it meant, burying it in paragraph 10 of a 14 paragraph story. The gist of the greatest political scandal in modern Canadian history is well-known by now. It's bigger than Adscam, the revelation 15 years ago that prominent members of the Liberal Party of Canada and the party itself funneled tens of millions of dollars in kickbacks into their own pockets from federal spending in Quebec sponsoring ads promoting Canadian unity. That was just venal politicians and a crooked political party helping themselves to public money. The Trudeau-Snc-Lavalin scandal is

Manitoba Hydro is on its deathbed. There, we said it.

Manitoba Hydro is on its deathbed. Oh, you won't find anyone official to say it. Yet . Like relatives trying to appear cheery and optimistic around a loved one that's been diagnosed with terminal cancer, the people in power are in the first stage of grief -- denial. The prognosis for Hydro was delivered three weeks ago at hearings before the Public Utilities Board where the utility was seeking punishingly higher rates for customers in Manitoba. It took us this long to read through the hundred-plus pages of transcript, to decipher the coded language of the witnesses, to interpret what they were getting at, and, finally, to understand the terrible conclusion.  We couldn't believe it, just as, we're sure, you can't--- so we did it all again, to get a second opinion, so to speak.  Hydro conceded to the PUB that it undertook a massive expansion program--- involving three (it was once four) new dams and two new major powerlines (one in the United States)---whi

Crips and Bloodz true cultural anchors of Winnipeg's aboriginal gangs

(Bebo tribute page to Aaron Nabess on the right, his handgun-toting friend on the left) At least six murder victims in Winnipeg in the past year are linked to a network of thuglife, gangster rap-styled, mainly aboriginal street gangs calling themselves Crips and Bloods after the major black gangs of L.A. The Black Rod has been monitoring these gangs for several months ever since discovering memorial tributes to victim Josh Prince on numerous pages on Bebo.com, a social networking website like Myspace and Facebook. Josh Prince , a student of Kildonan East Collegiate, was stabbed to death the night of May 26 allegedly while breaking up a fight. His family said at the time he had once been associated with an unidentified gang, but had since broken away. But the devotion to Prince on sites like Watt Street Bloodz and Kingk Notorious Bloodz (King-K-BLOODZ4Life) shows that at the time of his death he was still accepted as one of their own. Our searches of Bebo have turned up another f

Nahanni Fontaine, the NDP's Christian-bashing, cop-smearing, other star candidate

As the vultures of the press circle over the wounded Liberal Party of Manitoba, one NDP star candidate must be laughing up her sleeve at how her extremist past has escaped the scrutiny of reporters and pundits. Parachuted into a safe NDP seat in Winnipeg's North End, she nonetheless feared a bruising campaign against a well-heeled Liberal opponent.  Ha ha.  Instead, the sleepy newspeeps have turned a blind eye to her years of vitriolic attacks on Christianity, white people, and police. * She's spent years  bashing Christianity  as the root cause of all the problems of native people in Canada. * She's called for  a boycott of white businesses . * And with her  Marxist research partner, she's  smeared city police as intransigent racists . Step up Nahanni Fontaine, running for election in St. John's riding as successor to the retiring Gord Macintosh. While her male counterpart in the NDP's galaxy of stars, Wab Kinew, has responded to the controversy over

Exposing the CBC/WFP double-team smear of a hero cop

Published since 2006 on territory ceded, released, surrendered and yielded up in 1871 to Her Majesty the Queen and successors forever. Exposing the CBC/FP double-team smear of a hero cop Some of the shoddiest journalism in recent times appeared this long August weekend when the CBC and Winnipeg Free Press doubled teamed on a blatant smear of a veteran city police officer. In the latest example of narrative journalism these media outlets spun stories with total disregard for facts that contradicted the central message of the reports which, simplified, is: police are bad and the system is covering up. Let's start with the story on the taxpayer funded CBC by Sarah Petz that can be summed up in the lead. "A February incident where an off-duty Winnipeg officer allegedly knocked a suspect unconscious wasn't reported to the province's police watchdog, and one criminologist says it shows how flawed oversight of law enforcement can be." There you have it. A policeman, not

Winnipeg needs a new police chief - ASAP

When did the magic die? A week ago the Winnipeg police department delivered the bad news---crime in the city is out of control. The picture painted by the numbers (for 2018) was appalling. Robberies up ten percent in  a single year.  (And that was the good news.) Property crimes were up almost 20 percent.  Total crime was 33 percent higher than the five year average. The measure of violent crime in Winnipeg had soared to a rating of 161.  Only four years earlier it stood at 116. That's a 38 percent deterioration in safety. How did it happen? How, when in 2015 the police and Winnipeg's police board announced they had discovered the magic solution to crime? "Smart Policing" they called it.    A team of crime analysts would pore through data to spot crime hot-spots and as soon as they identified a trend (car thefts, muggings, liquor store robberies) they could call in police resources to descend on the problem and nip it. The police