Visibility and conflict of interest are factors to consider

A case involving PSAC member Edith Gendron shows how factors interact when considering whether or not to be politically active.

Gendron’s employment was terminated because of her involvement as president of a sovereignist organization. When hearing PSAC’s grievance against her termination, the Public Service Labour Relations Board considered whether this position interfered with her ability to carry out her duties as a Program Officer in the Department of Canadian Heritage.

The Board ordered her reinstated with conditions but it also concluded that a reasonable person would perceive a conflict of interest between her activities as president of a sovereignist organization, given the visibility and symbolism of that office, and her duties as a representative of a federal department with an express mandate to promote Canadian unity.

July 15, 2015