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POGG Canada
1
May 14

Canada-Israel Relations

Col. Michel Drapeau, OMM, CD, LL.L., LL.B. (Ottawa), Bar of Ontario, ”Activist Ottawa lawyer targeted by military over positive review of his book,” by David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen, April 23, 2014. Once again, Col. Michel Drapeau makes headline news. His book, “Military Justice in Action,” co-authored by retired federal judge Gilles Letourneau, had the Department of National Defence scrambling to their own ‘defence’.

After serving 34 years in the Canadian military, Michel Drapeau retired in the rank of Colonel as the Director, National Defence Headquarters Secretariat and Secretary, Armed Forces Council. In 1999, the University of Ottawa named him Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Law. He is currently in private practice in military law, access to information and privacy law, human rights law, employment law as well as civil litigation. He is a member of the International Society for Military Law and the Law of War and serves on the Board of Directors, Saint-Paul University. As a long-time supporter of POGG, he has been key note speaker at the Golden Whistle Award (GWA), Chair, GWA Selection Committee and has twice sponsored the GWA at the Army Officers Mess.

18
Mar 14

2013 Golden Whistle Award

Our sixth annual national Golden Whistle Award presentation and dinner was on Monday March 18, 2013. [credit to Canadians for Accountability for the following paragraphs] [credit to Helen Weldon for the photos]

For a .pdf copy of the program click here . Please take to scroll through the program to the list of sponsors and list of acknowledgements.

This year’s Honouree is Evan Vokes, BSc., P.Eng., of Calgary, Alberta. Mr. Vokes was a professional materials engineer and whistleblower at TransCanada Pipelines (TCPL).

Allan Cutler and Harry Weldon presenting the Golden Whistle Award to Evan Vokes.

During Mr. Vokes’ employment with TCPL he made positive technical and business changes while repeatedly questioning the business practices and competency of some managers and pipeline inspectors.

He informed TCPL through several levels of management that the failure to follow code and regulation was key in a then-recent catastrophic failure of a new pipeline. In response to an invitation from TCPL CEO, Mr. Vokes expressed concerns about what he viewed as TCPL’s negligence regarding enforcement of compliance with the National Energy Board (NEB) Onshore Pipeline Regulations. Several events of current non-compliance were tabled and it was noted that, though Mr. Vokes was accountable, he was not in control of those events. He remains concerned that welds could fail in the future and lead to pipeline failures with negative environmental impacts and personal safety consequences.

Workplace friction eventually led to stress leave in November 2011. In March 2012 Mr. Vokes met with the National Energy Board (NEB) and the Alberta Professional Association of Engineers and Geoscientists (APEGA) to discuss the response to a failed internal audit that was the cause of his stress leave. Although TCPL could find no fault in Mr. Vokes’ input to the internal audit, he was dismissed by TCPL on May 8, 2012.

In a public document addressed to TCPL in October 2012, the NEB validated Mr. Vokes’ strong concerns on pipeline joints and the required independence of inspection of pipeline to ensure compliance to code and regulation. The NEB did not reveal any other areas of the complaint by Mr. Vokes nor the response by TCPL. To date, the USA regulator PHSMA has made no statements concerning the submissions by Mr. Vokes and TCPL remains under investigation. Since May 2012 Mr. Vokes has found only limited employment.

Program and Keynote Speaker

Master of Ceremonies was Mr. Fred Litwin, President, Free Thinking Film Society. Keynote Speaker was Col. Michel Drapeau (ret’d), O.M.M., C.D.. The 2013 Golden Whistle Award was presented by Harry Weldon, Chair Emeritus, POGG Canada, 2013 Chair, Selection Committee, and Allan Cutler, President, Canadians for Accountability, 2013 Chair, Nomination Committee. Mr. Evan Vokes followed with an acceptance speech.

For information on previous recipients, click here.

1
Feb 14

Canada-Israel Relations

David Kilgour, is a former Member of Parliament for the southeastern area of Edmonton. While in office he was the Deputy Speaker and Chair of the Committees of the Whole House as well as Secretary of State for Latin America and Africa and the Asia-Pacific. Since he left office, David remains passionate about and active on issues of human dignity. He is a much sought after speaker at international conferences and his articles appear frequently in many publications.

His books include “Bloody Harvest” and “Uneasy Neighbo(u)rs.”