Winnipeg "integrity commissioner" under fire; politicians turn a blind eye
You mean apart from the former mayor and his hand-picked chief civil servant being investigated for taking (alleged) kickbacks on -- wait for it -- the construction of a new police department headquarters?
Or the shiny new $300 million water treatment plant plagued by exploding generators and a leaky roof, a scenario straight out of The Simpsons?
Or the fancy replacement football stadium that was built to take the team out of debt by generating so much more revenue only to mire the team in inescapable debt for the next 50 years because of the cost?
Well, how about this...
Winnipeg's newly anointed "Integrity Commissioner" was hired last week despite being enveloped in a cloud of controversy involving a blatant breach of privacy and a shameless violation of confidentiality.
Their complaints were against the centre's executive director, Katherine Morrisseau-Sinclair. Who happens to be the wife of Judge Murray Sinclair, now a Trudeau appointed Canadian Senator.
The women discovered within a week that their names had been handed to the very person they were complaining about, leaving them open to retaliation. The women were eventually notified by the Department that only two people had access to the letters of complaint, and one of them had been cleared.
Cramer promised an investigation into how their names were leaked. The women are still waiting to hear back from her. It’ll be a long wait considering she was invited to leave the Legislature by the new Pallister government and departed.
Walsh became chairman of the NWTC in on June 1st, 2015. Two weeks later she was informed of the turmoil within the provincially-funded centre and advised by Joy Cramer that the issues "require immediate attention." It was mid-July when the confidentiality promised the women who were complaining was violated, while Walsh had done nothing to alleviate or investigate the situation.
According to documents uncovered by a freedom-of-information request, the province went back to Walsh two months later, in September, to say that even more complaints about the NWTC had been received. Walsh informed the province she didn't want to be “micromanaged” and HR concerns about Mrs. Sinclair should be sent along to … her.
By mid-December 2015, the women had had enough. Employees made a formal complaint to Workplace Health and Safety about the toxic workplace at the NWTC and filed it with the Board, chaired by Walsh.
The government documents tell a depressing story.
You might think this would raise questions about her qualifications for the job of "integrity commissioner".
And Mayor Brian Bowman, who purports to be a "privacy lawyer", also knew about the allegations against Walsh involving breach of privacy and violation of confidentiality before bringing her name to city council to rubberstamp. He heard all about it at the EPC meeting the week before.