Councillors Jeannie Kanakos (left) and Sylvia Bishop (right) during the council discussion of Kanakos’ whistle-blower policy. (Delta council live-stream screenshot)

Councillors Jeannie Kanakos (left) and Sylvia Bishop (right) during the council discussion of Kanakos’ whistle-blower policy. (Delta council live-stream screenshot)

Delta to craft whistle-blower policy

The policy is meant to increase public trust and create support for staff in questionable situations

Delta could be getting a whistle-blower policy by the end of the year, after a notice of motion put forward by Counc. Jeannie Kanakos was approved Monday night (Sept. 17).

“The purpose is to maintain and enhance the public’s trust and confidence in an organization’s integrity,” Kanakos said at council. “I just think that really sets stage for our staff to be able to have a conversation in any situation.”

The motion was brought forward by Kanakos at the Aug. 27 council meeting in response to issues surrounding Ladner’s Enviro-Smart Organics composting facility.

“There are a lot of pieces that don’t add up to me,” Kanakos said in early September about Enviro-Smart. “It doesn’t add up how a mom and pop … composting [and] recycling facility, starting off at just a few thousand tons, ended up as a 150,000 ton operation.

“Then I thought to myself, if this isn’t adding up, how many other situations are there like that?”

RELATED: Kanakos proposes whistle-blower policy for Delta staff

Mayor Lois Jackson, who has been at the city’s helm since 1999 and is running for council in the upcoming election, said that she never heard of staff needing to have confidentiality to bring forward issues.

“When I was elected … I don’t think there were whistle-blower policies then, but a lot of things have happened in 20 years,” Jackson said at council. “As far as I’m concerned, the policy isn’t coming forward because of anything I know or see happening at all in the corporation, or the fire department, or the police department.”

The policy will outline procedures for how confidentiality is provided, as well as protection and support for those who bring forward information. It will also look at the procedure and process for reporting on things brought forward in confidence.

Currently, Delta does not have a whistle-blower policy, and neither do half of the municipalities in the Lower Mainland. Surrey does have a similar policy, and Counc. Robert Campbell suggested that Delta staff look to that policy and another one in Calgary for inspiration.

The provincial government has put forward legislation on a whistle-blowing policy called the Public Interest Disclosure Act, although it is not in force yet. Until it is enacted by regulation, Delta has no way of knowing if this act would apply to its municipal employees. (If it does, it would supersede any policy put forward by the city.)

Human resources manager Samantha Pillay told council Monday there are other policies that need to be put forward by staff first, but she expects a whistle-blower policy could be developed before the end of the year.



grace.kennedy@northdeltareporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

File photo
Surrey Board of Trade vows ‘a lot of noise’ will be made about tax increases

Huberman calls for comprehensive tax review at all levels of government

William Henry Rawlison was last seen on Sunday, June 20, 2021. (Contributed photo)
Police looking for missing White Rock senior

William Rawlison, last seen on June 20, may be driving to Kamloops

TEASER PHOTO ONLY - Hillcrest Drive-In's sign at the end its run in Surrey, in a photo uploaded to cinematreasures.org by hermangotlieb.
SURREY NOW & THEN: The city’s last drive-in, Hillcrest showed movies for 50 years on site turned shopping mall

‘It was a good memory, being the last drive-in in the Lower Mainland, at the time,’ says former operator Jay Daulat

United Truckers Association members outside Labour Minister/Surrey-Newton MLA Harry Bains’ office on Monday, June 21. (submitted photo: UTA)
Protesting truckers park outside Labour Minister’s Surrey office; daily rallies promised

The truckers take issue with unlicensed trucks taking work away from legitimate owner operators, and more

Natalie Brown and Colten Wilke star in the feature film Thunderbird, co-produced by South Surrey-raised Michael Morrison and released this month in Canada, the U.S and the U.K. (Contributed photo)
South Surrey-raised producer helps bring ‘Thunderbird’ to the screen

Michael Morrison guides B.C.-shot thriller with First Nations connection

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Fraser Valley toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

Most Read