New Brunswick's chief medical health officer says she's been fired
FREDERICTON -- New Brunswick's chief medical officer of health says she has been terminated by the province.
Dr. Eilish Cleary says in an interview she received the termination notice Monday informing her that her skill set does not meet the needs of her employer.
"I'm kind of upset about it and I'm going to figure out what to do next," said Cleary, who was notified she had been fired through her lawyer.
Cleary said she was put on leave Nov. 2 and was never given a specific reason for it.
"The minister came out and said there was an HR reason but they never told me what that was, or what I had been alleged to have done, or any specifics," she said.
About 35 people demonstrated in front of the Health Department offices in Fredericton Monday, calling for Cleary to be reinstated from the leave she had been placed on.
In an emailed statement, Health Department spokesman Bruce Macfarlane said the province is obligated to protect the personal information of all parties involved.
"The human resources process that has been initiated is not politically motivated nor have questions been raised about the medical and scientific work being undertaken by the office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, said Macfarlane.
Last week, Health Minister Victor Boudreau said Cleary's case was a personnel matter that had nothing to do with the independence of her office.
Opposition Leader Bruce Fitch said by not providing information to the public, the government is leaving people to speculate.
Fitch said when the Progressive Conservatives were in power they disagreed with Cleary on the issue of hydraulic fracturing for shale gas, but otherwise the Tories had no issues with her.
Cleary released a report three years ago calling for strong measures to protect public health if the shale gas industry was allowed to develop in the province. She said New Brunswick's infrastructure and legislation weren't strong enough to ensure public health.
New Democrat Leader Dominic Cardy issued a statement calling for an independent investigation to determine why Cleary was fired.
Cleary had been New Brunswick's chief medical officer of health since 2008.
She travelled twice in the past year to Western Africa to assist in the fight against Ebola.