New developments in the case of Louis Robert, this agronomist from the ministry of Agriculture fired in January for having denounced the interference of the pesticide industry in the research : the québec ombudsman is currently conducting an intervention to the ministry, while Mr. Robert will soon be a grievance to challenge his termination.
In a letter submitted to the national Assembly on Tuesday, the ombudsperson, Mary Rinfret, has indicated that it is conducting a process of investigation in the ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food under the law on whistleblowers.
However, Mr. Robert has been regarded as a “whistleblower” and it was dismissed on January 24, to have transmitted a confidential document to a reporter, as well as to have violated his obligations of confidentiality, according to the letter of dismissal made public.
In an interview Tuesday afternoon, the spokesperson for the public Protector, Carole-Anne Huot, has refused to confirm that the investigation focused specifically on Louis Robert, since it is a surgery carried out privately.
However, the letter indicates that the organization conducts its intervention “in the light of the exchanges and debate have occurred in the last few days on the occasion of the resumption of parliament”.
Note, however, that the liberal Party has asked precisely an investigation of the public Protector, while the minister of Agriculture himself, André Lamontagne, and it was hoped that an investigation be conducted.
Ms. Huot has refused to specify on what grounds would the intervention of the québec ombudsman nor the scope of its investigation, to see if she could include, for example, the influence of the pesticide industry, the pressures faced by officials, etc
For its part, the Syndicat des professionnels du government du Quebec (SPGQ), which defends its member, believes that the intervention of the public Protector is insufficient.
In an interview Tuesday, the president of the SPGQ, Richard Perron, said that the intervention of the protector of the citizen “is strictly limited to technical issues to clear the minister and it’s not going to the bottom of things”.