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Allan S. Cutler is a former Canadian public servant notable for his role as the whistleblower who reported anomalies in a Canadian sponsorship program designed to raise awareness in Quebec of the Government of Canada's contributions to Quebec industries and culture. This program was undertaken to counter Quebec separatism. The ensuing scandal implicated high-ranking bureaucrats and politicians in the Liberal Party of Canada and contributed to the setback of the Liberal Party in the 2004 Federal election and its defeat in the 2006 Federal election.
Cutler, who reported to Charles Guité at the Ministry of Public Works and Government Services, was responsible for negotiating the terms and prices of government advertising contracts. He objected to procurement practices that failed to follow proper procedures or ensure value for money. After expressing his concerns to Chuck Guite, he was effectively demoted. A subsequent labour dispute was resolved by his being reassigned to a different section.
He testified at the Gomery Commission, providing evidence that commissions were paid for no apparent service and improper advances were made to agencies with connections to the Liberal Party. Gomery concluded that Cutler was penalized for his whistle-blowing efforts and that Mario Parent, and probably others, adopted a complacent behaviour to the mismanagement of the sponsorship program due in part to apprehensions about suffering similar repercussions as Cutler.
As the case has developed, federal legislation was passed in late 2007 to protect future whisteblowers in the Canadian federal civil service. Several convictions have resulted from investigations by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and other law enforcement authorities, and proceedings are still in process.
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