NFU-NB Calls on government to uphold independence of Office of the Chief Medical Officer

Fredericton (December 15, 2015) - The National Farmers Union in New Brunswick is calling on the Liberal government for transparency and accountability with regards to the forced leave and termination of the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Eilish Cleary.

“The provincial government’s consideration of policy options, especially those that may impact human or environmental health, must be based upon sound, transparent science,” says NFU-NB president Ted Wiggans. “The termination of Dr. Cleary raises questions about the independence of the office of the Chief Medical Officer.  It is incumbent upon the government to directly address Dr. Cleary’s termination to insure that the citizens of New Brunswick continue to have confidence in the recommendations of the Chief Medical Officer.”

In a province trying to reduce expenses and where over 40% of the provincial budget currently goes to healthcare, the importance of reducing and mitigating environmental factors that have negative health impacts is paramount.  The mission of the Office of the Chief Medical Officer for Health is to “improve, promote, and protect the health of the people of New Brunswick.”

Given that her position was terminated “without cause” and that her “particular skill set does not meet the needs of her employer,” it is unclear how this is a personnel issue.  The National Farmers Union in New Brunswick calls for an independent investigation into this matter, ensuring that the government is upholding every civil servants’ right to carry out independent science without threat of losing their job.

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Contact: 
Ted Wiggans, NFU-NB president, (506) 366-3410
Amanda Wildeman, NFU-NB executive director, (506) 260-0087