N.B. government remains tight-lipped on Dr. Eilish Cleary's firing
New Brunswick Health Minister Victor Boudreau remained tight-lipped in the provincial legislature Tuesday on why Dr. Eilish Cleary was let go from her role as chief medical officer.
“Would I like to be able to give more of an explanation? Obviously I would,” said Boudreau. “But I'm bound by the laws that exist and I am trying to respect those laws.”
Boudreau is calling the situation an HR issue and cannot provide comment.
“If the person involved gives consent maybe we could consider giving out certain information but until that happens I have to respect the laws in place,” said Boudreau.
In a statement to CTV News, Dr. Cleary said she hasn't been given the reason for her dismissal.
Boudreau would not confirm nor deny if Dr. Cleary was given a reason. The government is insisting the reason was not political.
New Brunswick Opposition Leader Bruce Fitch used question period to demand that Boudreau explain the decision.
“For the minister to say it’s not political, really, I'm not buying that for a minute,” said Fitch.
The NDP is asking for an independent review.
“We want to keep Dr. Cleary in New Brunswick so there's got to be a quick process in place to do everything we can to make sure that happens,” said New Brunswick NDP Leader Dominic Cardy.
An open letter from the group representing New Brunswick doctors warns of an uproar if it turns out Dr. Cleary was fired for a scientific or medical opinion.
Reaction from Fredericton residents showed support for the doctor.
“A person shouldn't be get fired when there's no reason at all,” said resident Paulette Thibault.
“Who gets fired in this day and age with jobs as tight as they are for everyone and doesn't explain why,” said resident Alyre Michaud.
Boudreau did not provide comment on the type of authorization government is looking for from Dr. Cleary, but he says it would require more than just an e-mail or a phone call.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Nick Moore