NDP calls for immediate independent investigation into firing of Dr. Cleary

FREDERICTON – NDP Leader Dominic Cardy is demanding an immediate independent investigation into the firing of Dr. Eilish Cleary as Chief Medical Officer of Health.

“The Gallant Liberals campaigned on ensuring the independence of the Chief Medical Officer of Health. I don’t think anyone thought that meant firing her. The Liberals are silencing New Brunswick’s most prominent government scientist. We cannot expect civil servants to do their job when even prominent public officials like Dr. Cleary are muzzled.”

“I have been told by a senior source that Dr. Cleary is being fired to make sure she is not around to criticize the government’s anticipated embrace of the shale gas industry, in the spring of 2016. The Liberals used Dr. Cleary’s work on shale gas to justify their first flip flop on fracking, now they need her out of the way before they flip flop right back again.”

Cardy called for an independent investigation to answer the following questions:

• The Department of Health said Dr. Cleary’s November 4th suspension was an HR matter. Why is the government now saying she was fired because her “skill set does not meet the needs of her employer”?
• Was the November 4th suspension of Dr. Cleary an effort to build a case for a decision that had already been made?
• Did Minister Boudreau or Premier Gallant authorise Dr. Cleary’s suspension?
• Did Minister Boudreau or Premier Gallant authorise Dr. Cleary’s firing?

“Silencing scientists played a major role in the recent federal election. It is shameful that New Brunswick Liberals are behaving like Harper Conservatives. Politicization of the public service has already done deep damage to our province. Today the people of New Brunswick should settle for nothing less than the reinstatement of Dr. Cleary as Chief Medical Officer of Health,” said Cardy.