Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Further Explanation Required

The latest on Dingwall's severance package:
"McCallum responded that lawyers have told the federal government it has no choice but to offer Dingwall a severance package because of relevant laws.

He says those laws are: the Royal Canadian Mint Act, the Financial Administration Act, and Crown corporation general regulations. He didn't explain how those pieces of legislation were relevant."
Well, I am not so ambitious as to actually attempt to mine those Acts for the answer tonight. I would love to see some blogosphere lawyers/clerks take a stab at it. The Liberal lawyers are either wrong, or the law needs to be changed pronto. It certainly shouldn't be common practice to make payouts on wholly groundless claims to avoid lawsuits! Nor should anyone on behalf of the government ever sign a contract in our name that guarantees a severance package upon the employee quitting! This goes beyond any issue of improper expenses.

So, the statutes: The Royal Canadian Mint Act, the Financial Administration Act, and the Crown Corporation General Regulations. I do note that in the three documents, the word "severance" appears exactly once, in the seemingly unrelated s.10(d.1) of the FAA.

I remain unconvinced by the Liberal response of our "lawyers say so... get your own opinion". What is their reasoning? The onus should be on the government to provide further explanation, especially if it plans on hiding behind privacy legislation in dumping a settlement on a former Cabinet colleague.

Simply put: What legal provisions alter the presumptive employment law principle that you do not receive severance pay when you quit? Why is that the case?


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