My take is that the response of HSC is very typical of any large firm who has been caught in a very public and almost untenable situation. And that they chose to discuss a personnel issue at all makes me see them in a very bad light. HR should know about the confidentiality rules in Canada.
The response of former employees also is typical of the response of full-time, politically-tenured employees to contractors in all organizations. I have seen this in almost all work cultures — "How dare he smear our company’s name; and he was just a contractor anyway".
Glad Jeremy has moved on; I will now drop the topic.