PEI

P.E.I. government settles with PNP 'whistleblowers'

The government of P.E.I. says it has reached a settlement with three women who were suing the province in what became known as the "whistleblower" case.

3 women were suing province for breach of privacy

Susan Holmes at the podium, with Cora Plourd Nicholson and Svetlana Tenetko behind, at a news conference alleging bribery in a P.E.I. immigrant investor program in 2011.

The government of P.E.I. says it has reached a settlement with three women who were suing the province in what became known as the "whistleblower" case.

Susan Holmes, Cora Plourd Nicholson and Svetlana Tenetko, were seeking $1.8 million in damages for breach of privacy. Terms of settlement remain confidential, the government said in a news release Thursday night. 

The three women, who had all worked for the provincial government, made national headlines in September 2011 with allegations of bribery and fraud within P.E.I.'s provincial nominee program.

Later the same day, the Liberal Party of P.E.I. issued a media release, without the women's consent, that included personal information about them, including work histories, details about a human rights complaint and personal emails.

A report from P.E.I.'s privacy commissioner released in December 2017 concluded government was either directly or indirectly responsible for a privacy breach where personal information about the three women was leaked to the P.E.I. Liberal Party during the 2011 election campaign.

Whistleblower legislation

In the news release Thursday announcing the resolution, P.E.I. Premier Dennis King said the women are to be recognized as the "motivation and driving force behind the whistleblower legislation government will work to finalize and proclaim this fall session."

"These three women have demonstrated to government that the complaint reporting process in the workplace requires improvement and built-in protection so that a member of the public service can report concerns without fear of retaliation," he said.

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With files from Kerry Campbell