Executive Summary

There is a difference between inconsequential embellishments and outright fraud

Contrary to popular belief, a casual lie or embellishment on your resume may come back to haunt you years down the road. Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond found this out the hard way. The once-esteemed law professor and Order of Canada recipient has recently found herself embroiled in controversy for allegedly falsely claiming Aboriginal status. Turpel-Lafond’s claim to Indian Cree heritage has been called into question following a CBC investigation which purportedly revealed that Saskatchewan’s first “aboriginal judge” was instead born in Niagara Falls to parents of European descent. Aside from the obvious issues, one major problem of this revelation is that Turpel-Lafond has long included her claimed Aboriginal status on her resume, and therefore presumably benefitted from opportunities intended for members of Canada’s various underrepresented Indigenous communities. Should Turpel-Lafond face severe consequences for her purported dishonesty? In this article, Howard Levitt explains the potential consequences that Turpel-Lafond and others like her could face for not being entirely truthful on their resumes.

To read the full article, please click: Howard Levitt: A falsified resumé can come back to haunt you years later