Reaction to Bill 53

  • March 27, 2024

On March 27, 2024, Québec Ombudsman Marc-André Dowd commented on Bill 53 - Act to enact the Act respecting protection against reprisals related to the disclosure of wrongdoings and to amend other legislative provisions before the Committee on Public Finance.

He began by expressing his full support for the legislator's desire to improve and simplify the reprisal protection regime and strengthen the Québec Ombudsman’s role in this area.

Mr. Dowd also pointed out to the parliamentary committee that certain provisions relating to public interventions about enquiries needed to be simplified and clarified.

In addition, the Bill should include provisions on the private nature of its interventions, as provided for in the Public Protector Act.

The Québec Ombudsman also recommended periodically reviewing the Act to facilitate the disclosure of wrongdoings relating to public bodies and the Act respecting protection against reprisals related to the disclosure of wrongdoings. This would make it possible to closely monitor the development of the new legislative regime in matters of public integrity and to have the opportunity to evaluate it from time to time.

On March 28, 2024, the Québec Ombudsman sent a letter to the Chair of the Committee on Public Finance in which he made a 31st recommendation concerning Bill 53. The letter is enclosed at the end of the brief.

In all, the Québec Ombudsman made 31 recommendations to the Committee on Public Finance.

The Québec Ombudsman's brief and addendum on Bill 53 (PDF, 609 KiB, in French only)