MONTREAL – The minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has admitted to having made a mistake by endorsing the dismissal of a whistleblower.
André Lamontagne has summoned the media on Monday morning in Montreal, to “make the point on the dismissal of an employee” of the MAPAQ. He has in fact described the decision as “administrative,” and has asked the public protector to initiate an investigation.
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André Lamontagne had taken personal responsibility for the dismissal of the agronomist and whistleblower, Louis Robert last week.
Expert in the grain industry, Louis Robert had denounced the interference of the private in the public research on the use of pesticides.
He was sacked on the 24th of January 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.
The Syndicat des professionnels du government du Quebec (SPGQ) has expressed its intention to “defend its member until the end”.
According to the SPGQ, it would be “never before seen” for a minister to endorse directly the dismissal of an employee who is five levels lower than him.
Under the current law on whistleblowers, a person may choose to disclose the information to his or her ministry, or even to communicate a body of police or the Commissioner of the fight against corruption.