Julie Johnston RN Glen Stor Dun Lodge Steps Forward as Latest Cornwall Ontario Whistle Blower – Oct 17, 2014

CORNWALL Ontario – A new whistle blower has gone public.  RN Julie Johnston of Cornwall Ontario who works at Glen Stor Dun Lodge has submitted a letter which we have published unedited below.

Ms Johnston is the nurse that  submitted 11 letters to council that never made their way directly; not once, but twice.   CFN has confirmed via two sources that Mayor Kilger in a closed session apologized to council who later were “emailed” what may or may not have been the original letter in its entirety.

None of the council at that time took this issue to the police or held Mayor Kilger or CAO Paul Fitzpatrick accountable publicly although Mr. Fitzpatrick, clerk Denise Labelle Gelinas, and HR Manager Rob Menagh were all “retired” or terminated without cause.

Reading this letter and seeing the repeated pattern of brutality towards an employee my question to all of the current council; especially lawyer Bernadette Clement, would be why this was covered up?    Once Maurice Dupelle brought this into council why didn’t any of the council demand the original letters and only accept an email?    And of course why wasn’t the CCPS brought in immediately as the CAO should have done?

Bob n Fitzy May 14 2012Open letter to the public.

After four years, I’ve decided to come forward hesitantly, in hopes to give a perspective that whistleblowers are indeed penalized for bringing forth concerns and that many failures exist within the hierarchy of governance.

What I’ve learned is that process is not respected nor followed by those who enforce it. Although I did follow process and kept my concerns contained within council, my charge was that I did not follow process. Despite rethinking my actions, I am confident today that the process in bringing concerns forward was the right thing to do.

As a registered nurse, not only did I have a moral obligation, I had a legal obligation which could not be ignored. To try and silence or intimidate whistleblowers indicates that despite the system in place, those who hold power are exempt from it. More importantly, the term whistleblower directly attests that a problem exists within the confines of those who we depend on to correct the problems. As a city employee, it is concerning and unacceptable.

The process in which my anonymous letter was eventually brought to council was the first step into many cumulative and failed processes that directly conflicts with the standards which were designed to protect and support the whistleblower.

On December 6, 2010, my brother delivered 11 envelopes to city hall describing concerns related to resident care, signs of strained management and staff at the Glen-Stor-Dun Lodge. Each envelope was addressed to each council member and one to the mayor. The councillors did not receive that copy. I sent another 11 copies on December 13, 2010, but this time was sent by a local delivery service. The councillors did not receive that copy either, however, the manager in question was given a copy days before council received theirs.

I was eventually suspended for two and half months, five weeks without pay, interrogated without union representation, lack of support, no protection and of course the threat of being fired, all for writing an anonymous letter addressing concerns regarding patient care and strained management/staff. I was told to “go home, lie low, go underground and let it go” after my interrogation without union representation which violated everything that bill 168 stands for, violated the union contract and violated the city policy.

Eventually, the union and city accepted that I lose five days of pay. It is upsetting to know that after 10 years of employment and dedication, I was now considered a “shady” employee and “disloyal” to the company. In fact, it was said that my anonymous letter was “damaging.” I’d like to know to whom, because as far as I am concerned, the damage was not having basic supplies for resident care chronically, signs of strained management and a toxic work environment within the home which directly impacted resident care. Disloyal and shady indicates that I am not trustworthy, however, in my 10 years as an employee, I was never disciplined in any way. Why was I penalized with failing to follow procedure when in fact, they did not respect the legislation or their own existing policies? Whistleblowers come forward knowing that their careers are in jeopardy so to say or think that we are being disloyal, shady etc., is exactly the problem and constrains any growth to the company.

During these last four years, I’ve observed a strained city council too, which indicates problems are beyond the managers who were involved. I commend Mr. O’Shaughnessy and Mr. Rivette in their efforts to uphold transparency and fairness at the forefront of their elected roles. I respect Mr. O’Shaughnessy for stepping down in his attempt to protest against the allegations of:

  • illegal meetings,
  • misleading information,
  • inaccurate information and
  • most importantly withheld information.

As an elected official, one would expect nothing less than the oath they took when they assumed this responsibility. Can you imagine if whistleblowers never came forward and how that neglect would impact others including those who are most vulnerable and dependent on us? The unfortunate thing for everyone who has come forward so far was that an opportunity was missed. The opportunity to discuss, plan, implement and move forward. It was abolished as a result of the threatening manner in which they decided to proceed. What does that say about the current state of affairs?

I have hope with the elections around the corner that new people will be elected. I am hopeful that an effective process to protect whistleblowers will be established. I hope that with respect, our city will thrive and that the scandals will be laid to rest. It is never too late to correct a wrong. Never!!!

I also want to take this opportunity to reassure that our present managers at the Glen-Stor-Dun Lodge have corrected the concerns addressed in my letter and they continue to thrive so that the Glen-Stor-Dun Lodge is the best facility in the surrounding area.



Julie Johnston RN

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  1. Author

    More to come…

  2. Why am I not surprised. It is well known, the system is broken or should I say, was not administered properly. Now we will probably end up with another martyr (unwilling of course) I asked our local MPP’s office for clarifications but received no answer. I guess people are right when thy say something still smells in Cornwall.

  3. This lady has given nothing but exceptional care to my mom who is a resident there. Good for you for standing your ground Julie, so sorry that it had to come to this to get someone to take some action!!!

  4. If council and the mayor can set oblique, not straightforward, three dimensional perspectives of the the rules governing flows of information, management of whistle-blower provincial laws, among others, then the citizens should be able to skirt some rules, like the failsafe rule of going to jail, personal fines, criminal charges, and personal legal fees…not charged back to the city, you know, something with real teeth in it to shake dem booties into thinking long term instead of always being in a ‘cover up’ mode of opperendi.

  5. I have known Julie Johnston long enough to know she is an honest, professional lady who truly cares for her charges. The way she has been treated by the council regarding this matter is an insult to her and all the other professional care-givers at the facility. It is my opinion that it is time for a cleansing in the city council and removal of some of the old guard, who have become way too complacent in their positions and have cultivated smug attitudes. It is almost like they think they are in some type of private club who’s members and have lost sight of the real objectives and try to sweep the sh!t under the carpet. The problem now is that someone has found the crap under the carpet and the rats are running in circles chasing their own tails. In my opinion, the treatment shown to Ms. Johnston is unacceptable. Any and all who were part of this outrageous witch hunt should voluntarily remove themselves from the council and be made to make public apologies to Ms Johnston.

  6. I No of another incident at another lodge here in Cornwall,were a worker reported abuse to a resident by another worker.The worker who did the abuse was sent home.The mangement investagated and after everything was said and done the worker of over 22 years was fired for the abuse.Now folks thats how its done.You got that Mr. kilger and councilors.You don,t disapline the whistle blower you thank them.(this happened a few years ago)

  7. Author

    marc to my knowledge the worker at GSDL that did the Elder Abuse is still working there after all these years.

  8. No jamie i stand 100% right The worker never got her job back.

  9. This incedent didn,t happen at GSDL i,m refering to.But the abuser at GSDL Should of received the same outcome as the person i,m talking about.

  10. Author

    marc last I heard the person at GSDL has never been terminated.

  11. This abuse from the people in power that could of did something about it.But chooses to punish the victims and whistle blowers instead of the abusers.From principles to police to judges to elected officals has been going on in this city for 40+ years or more.This sh– will never end in Cornwall.Because the citzens of cornwall wont end it for them.

  12. Alan F. Leger….I think it’s clear who is in charge of making sure council doesn’t receive hand delivered letters from whistle blowers….it’s the mayor. If council had known about these acts of abuse at GSDL I’m sure things would be different. But when the councilors never receive the letters it’s easy to see who is stopping the flow of information. A thorough clean-out of the mayor and most of the current councilors is needed in this election.

  13. Author

    Hugger but council did get the letter; or at least part of it. What happened after that? There is guilt on all parties hands even if only for their silence.

  14. There were two attempts to get this info to councilors. Both failed. Only after the attempts were brought forward did the mayor “apologize.” It’s hard to action items if the councilors did not know they existed. One person to blame….Bob Kilger.

  15. Jamie, mail is often opened by his secretary or goes through her hands first, she is quite the ignorant bully herself with staff members and many city employees, let’s keep that in mind.

  16. The first time that I had delivered these letters to council members, they never received them. The reason for that is because they were not addressed as personal and confidential. That gives the city the upper hand to open mail that is sent to council members. To ensure that this did not occur again, on the second set of letters, it was written personal and confidential on each envelope. This is probably why council members received an email as opposed to the actual envelopes. Another law was broken right there…

  17. This city is in need of new people and honest people in council. The city of Cornwall has been HUSHED long enough. The Definition of “HUSH”: to make silent or quiet. To keep from public knowledge; suppress mention of. Often used with up: tried to hush up the damaging details. To be or become silent or still.
    There have been too many “Hushed” Concerns surrounding Cornwall. This one example “whistleblower” is one of many!
    My sister, addressing concerns in her work environment was to better the care of the residence. After repeatedly bringing up concerns to management for the better wealthfare of the residents, her pleas were not heard. My sister, Julie has never been disciplined in any way shape or form in the many years working at Glen Stor Dun Lodge. She’s a dedicated worker and goes above and beyond the heavy workload.
    The many attempts to get through to management and to the higher ups of Cornwall FAILED. Her frustrations grew higher and her plea for help grew desperate! Seeing my sister go through this, was very upsetting! My sister has a wonderful big heart. She’s knowledgeable in every aspect of being a good nurse. But when the proper tools and sometimes the simplest changes aren’t in place because of the stupidity, laziness of management not doing their job, it makes it very challenging to keep up with the work…that isn’t working! The whole workplace was under stress in every sense of the word. I am very proud of my sister and other whistleblowers! I am hopeful too that an effective process to protect whistleblowers will be established.
    I will NOT be a supporter of Bob Kilger, and several others that have closed their eyes and shut their mouths on the many corruptions that has taken place in our city!
    Let’s move forward for positive change! Let’s elect wisely and not be afraid to new change. We deserve an honest and responsible group of people to help build a safer and healthy prosperous community for the citizens of Cornwall.
    SPEAK LOUD CORNWALL! Let’s all be heard and stop the HUSH!
    Carole Johnston

  18. what shocks all you people about this I have known since I was 14 years old cornwall is the most corrupt city in Canada. I have seen laywers sell out clients and become judges police lie to build cases and city council support these activities I compare cornwall to a small sixties texas town. look at Ottawa carlton detention center its for a zone of about 1.2 million people but 20 percent of the people are from cornwall. They also give longer sentences than any where else its a business in cornwall to put cases on people. what modern day city prints about a twelve year old boy getting charged in the paper. Cornwall disgusts me im sad to say not the citizens but the 90 percent of the local government and the crap they get away with.

  19. We get it Joseph Redda. You take the good with the bad when you choose to live somewhere. (MODERATED)

  20. Joseph Redda! I share your frustrations! That is why we are sharing this story..one of many! We are hoping to change Cornwall, but we need people to vote and make change. We hope that speaking out and getting through to the people of Cornwall, that they will make the wise choices when voting. “Out with the old in with the new!” We need to start somewhere! I’m just so frustrated with the HUSH in this city! We need honest, responsible, knowledgeable and compassionate people to help run this city! People who give a damn!

  21. Change needs to happen. But will it? Are there enough concerned voters who have been paying attention to Sideshow Bob and his gang of clowns?

  22. I do not think Kilger will be gone. One of the reasons is that there is so much hatred or dislike of Jamie and this website where all the real problems are exposed. I am saddened by this even my own children do not support Jamie nor this site. They have blinders on as many and many people do not even read the news.. I have had my own issues with this city and I truly am appalled how it is run.. For starters 8 councillors are more than enough.
    We need more open council meetings with input from the population. I pray for change but do not see it happening. The very story here not even one councillor or candidate commenting or addressing this…

  23. Jane Doe… there is more than Jamie running against Kilger in the election. Hopefully Leslie O’Shaughnessy can get the job done. I’m concerned about vote splitting between Jamie and Leslie O’Shaughnessy and Kilger being returned as mayor. Arghh!!!

  24. Author

    I’m more concerned about the horrible slate of candidates for council in spite of the 40% increase in honorarium.

  25. It takes commitment to run for council. Perhaps the people that should be running for council don`t have the time. Do people really want to give up a good portion of their free time to be a councilor? Even with the 40% raise is it worth it? Is it worth your sanity? And always being second guessed by the taxpayers even though you try to do what is best?

  26. Hugger…. I realize that Leslie is running and like you I am afraid of the vote splitting also. I think being a councillor can be rewarding and if all work together for the people of Cornwall with a decent resptable mayor who does not play the games the present one does. If the leader is open and honest I think the rest would follow.

  27. Just this morning while getting dressed to go out I thought about the vote splitting and I said that Cornwall is doomed because Bare Ass will get in again. Leslie is the only solution otherwise Cornwall can kiss itself goodbye. I agree that many hate Jamie and believe me it is coming from the upper echelons of Ottawa and Toronto where they don’t want Jamie in as mayor. What people said about Jamie blocking them I agree. I have so much to say and he will not let the information through. Cornwall is finished and that I guarantee. Everyone throughout the country knows all about Cornwall including in the US where Willie and his gang did terrible damage.

  28. So, you’re saying that Ottawa and Toronto are going to determine who wins the Cornwall election? Yeap, okay. Election fixing is illegal.

  29. Here is an interesting piece I happened upon in which you will see that the Whistleblower law has done little to protect people who raise red flags. This issue must be addressed and made an election issue.

    The Canadian Press
    Published: November 18, 2013, 5:37 am
    Updated: 11 months ago
    By Fannie Olivier

    OTTAWA — Canada’s whistleblower law, enacted by Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government in 2007, has done nothing to help people who raise red flags, critics say.

    And the law, which is supposed to be re-examined every five years, is well past the due date for a review, the federal integrity commissioner has confirmed.

    “Not only is there no report, there is not even a review on at the moment,” Integrity Commissioner Mario Dion told The Canadian Press.

    Allan Cutler, a former whistleblower during the federal sponsorship scandal, said the law has done nothing to help.

    Whistleblowers are just as bad off as they were before there was a bill

    “Whistleblowers are just as bad off as they were before there was a bill,” said Cutler, who is president of Canadians For Accountability, a non-profit organization for Canadian whistleblowers.

    “We don’t believe there is any improvement.”
    {MODERATED} You can’t post whole stories that are copywritten without permission. Just an excerpt with attribution falls under “fair use”


  30. The federal whistle blower legislation has nothing to do with provincial or municipal whistle blower legislation. To protect municipal employees either the city or province would have to enact legislation.

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