Dalhousie Law Journal


whistleblowing, scandal, danger, malpractice, corruption, conscience, religion, Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, stigma, Canada


"Whistleblowing" is the act or process of alerting others to scandal, danger, malpractice, corruption or other wrongdoing. In this article, the authors assert that a strongly developed freedom of conscience, distinct from freedom of religion. could contribute to the development of socially-valuable whistleblowing. While conscience is often treated as inseparable from religion, the authors suggest that the deliberate inclusion of "conscience" in s. 2(a) of the Charter implies that "conscience" ought to be recognized as an independent and robust freedom. This then provides the framework for accepting and recognizing the importance of whistleblowing and lessening its socialstigma. The article presents this argument in three parts: providing an overview of whistleblowing and its development within a modern legal and business environment, then exploring the nature of freedom of conscience and finally, modeling how this freedom could prove useful for interpreting whistleblowing in Canada.