The Act to facilitate the disclosure of wrongdoings relating to public bodies (the Act), assented to on December 9, 2016, was designed to facilitate the disclosure, in the public interest, of wrongdoings committed or about to be committed in relation to public bodies and establish a protection regime against reprisals. It responds to Recommendation No. 8 of the Commission d’enquête sur l’octroi et la gestion des contrats publics dans l’industrie de la construction (Charbonneau Commission) on the support and protection of whistle-blowers.
The Act to amend various legislative provisions concerning municipal affairs and the Société d’habitation du Québec (Bill No. 155) makes the Act applicable to municipalities and other municipal bodies as of October 19, 2018. The Ministère des Affaires municipales et de l’Occupation du territoire, in collaboration with the Protecteur du citoyen, is responsible for applying the Act to the municipal sector.
Thus, the Ministère now has broader surveillance and control intervention powers over municipalities to ensure the proper administration of the municipal system in the interests of municipalities and their citizens, bearing in mind that they are legitimate local governments that enjoy great autonomy.
The Commissaire à l’intégrité municipale et aux enquêtes [commissioner of municipal integrity and investigations] (CIME) is created to oversee the application of the Act. The CIME receives the disclosures of any person who has information that could show that a wrongdoing has been committed or is about to be committed in relation to a municipality and conducts the appropriate audits. The CIME conducts an investigation when circumstances warrant it.
The following documents provide information on disclosures and how they are processed by the CIME, as well as the remedies available when a person faces reprisals in connection with disclosure or threats of reprisals.