The Whistleblower Forum – by Diane Shay – How to Protect Yourself from Workplace Retaliation



1. If you have a professional organization which offers legal protection join now.

Without RNAO I would have been financially destroyed very early in the process.

2. Check your facts from all sources i.e., review the files, speak with police, the Ministry review policies and the legislation.

3. Document, document, document every discussion, email or phone call. I responded to all communications with follow up emails which are now part of the court documents which lead to the City’s guilty plea in 2011.

  1. Speak out to anyone and everyone. I stayed quiet for years which I regret. At the time it was like manoeuvring through a minefield. Now I do speak out at every opportunity and I will continue to do so until legislation changes.That said, there is only limited protection for Whistleblowers in Canada and those who follow this path do it for one reason and one reason alone, to protect the public from wrongdoing. I was the first City employee to invoke Whistleblower protection using both the Cities internal policy and the Ministry legislation. My case was the first and I believe only conviction under this legislation.

In 2005 a nurse, Lori Dumont was murdered in the Hospital she worked at by her ex-boyfriend Dr. Marc Daniel.

This sparked an outcry for legislation and in June 2010 Workplace Violence and Harassment (Bill 168) was introduced by the Ministry of Labour. Again, like the Ministry of Health & Long-Term Care legislation, it has limited protection and Ministry inspectors are not trained to deal with harassment in the workplace.

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The Ministry of Labour will give an order and the Ministry of Health & Long-Term Care as in my case can charge them with retaliation. After the City plead guilty based on the facts of the case they were given a $15,000.00 fine.

Justice Leroy who ruled on my personal lawsuit stated “that there are many reasons employers plead guilty in these cases”, guess he didn’t take the time to read the court documents we provided him. Then he cited time issues, in his decision which brings us back to the City’s delays throughout the court process.   

It is so sad that one of the greatest countries in the world has not progressed to the point that the punishment fits the crime.

Like everything else legislation will eventually move forward and then all these law firms making a fortune from municipalities/employers like Cornwall will have to look at exploiting some other part of society. In my case, four different law firms were involved not to mention Judith Allen who is also a lawyer but made it clear she was not investigating in a legal capacity.

After my experience with her and reviewing her report that was probably a smart move.

What do you think?

Next week we can discuss what sparked my actions in 2008, Elder Abuse, what to expect and how to deal with it.

Take Care,

Diane Shay


  1. This advice would have been useful to the staff of the township of Leeds and 1000 Islands where workers who reported inappropriate workplace behaviour were fired and suspended.

  2. Fuerz,
    You are so right, but like me it took awhile to figure out what is actually happening.


  3. This year’s theme for the event was “Violence and Harassment Cornwall City Councillor Elaine MacDonald stated in the Seaway News today. The Cornwall & District Labour Council, the Ontario Federation of Labour and the Canadian Labour Congress sponsored this year’s ceremony marking the National Day of Mourning. Elaine, were you not on council when many employees went through hell over this?

  4. Author

    We asked the LC for help for some Tim Workers this Winter that wanted to unionize and Elaine and Ms Lanctot played petty personal politics over their roles. Both should be turfed from the Labour Council.

  5. Yeap, Elaine MacDonald. She needs to read a dictionary about conflict of interest. If she understood the term she wouldn’t have very much to do on city council. But when you think about it not having her involved would be a good thing. C of I , taxes, fee hikes….all something MacDonald has no issue with. Arrggghhhh!!!!!

  6. Workplace Violence and Harassment legislation is mandatory in all workplaces. It must be reviewed annually both with employees at by Council. This has been in effect since 2010 when I wrote the program while being harassed. In 2014 according to their agenda where to receive the training. Theoretically all of Council should have reviewed the policy and had training annually.

  7. I would also like to add that the Mayor recently provided me the present Worplace Violence and Harassment policy which was dated 2016. Legislatively it must be reviewed annaully. That is how important this council/corporation feels about this issue.

    Take Care,


  8. Diane Shaye….does anything surprise you in the way this group of monkeys handle things?

  9. Huggar1
    Council stopped surprising me years ago. They indirectly used the taxpayers’ monies to defend City Managers they knew where guilty of Workplace Retaliation not to mention dening abuse had taken place at GSDL when Ministry inspectors clearly found abuse. This council is clearly part of the problem.

    Diane Shay

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