An arbitrator has awarded David Dingwall $417,760 in salary and benefits and an annual payment of $42,010 in lieu of pension as compensation for wrongful termination as head of the Royal Canadian Mint.
Dingwall left the Mint in September of 2005 amidst allegations by the media and opposition parties that he made improper expenditure claims. In a subsequent arbitration between Dingwall and the federal government, he testified he felt compelled to resign despite his assurances to the government that his expenses were in order. Dingwall said the government pressured him to announce his “resignation” before any financial settlement had been approved and then failed to pay him a promised settlement package.
Two subsequent independent reviews confirmed the propriety of Dingwall’s expenses. The arbitrator also noted that prior to Dingwall’s tenure, the Mint was losing money and had serious labour relations and taxation issues. Dingwall grew the business by over $105 million, while providing leadership, motivation and a positive change in the Mint’s culture.
The arbitrator rejected the government’s argument that Dingwall resigned, despite his resignation letter and public statement. Confirming that the test for resignation is an objective one, the arbitrator found that there was no objective basis for government to conclude that Mr. Dingwall wanted to leave his position. The circumstances of the departure were found to be “highly coercive”. While the criticism against Dingwall was groundless, the government was not prepared to listen to him or inquire fairly into the allegations.
The arbitrator’s award was made in January 2006, but not released publicly until April 2006.