Whistleblower fired: the QLP request the public Protector to investigate

Lanceur d’alerte congédié: le PLQ demande au Protecteur du citoyen d’enquêter

The liberals are asking the public Protector to investigate the dismissal last week of a whistleblower in the ministry of Agriculture.

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The agronomist Louis Robert, an expert in the grain industry, had condemned the interference of the private in the public research on the use of pesticides.

On January 24, he was dismissed, by decision of the minister of Agriculture, André Lamontagne, to have transmitted a confidential document to a reporter, as well as for having contravened the obligations of discretion, according to the letter of dismissal that was made public Wednesday.

The liberal opposition says that it is “unacceptable” and “immoral” to dismiss a whistleblower.

Friday, on the sidelines of the caucus présessionnel of the liberal Party of Quebec, the mna Gaétan Barrette has invited the public Protector, an independent organization, to shed light on this matter.

It is, according to him, a matter of “principle” that puts into question “the integrity of the State”.

“There is a problem, this is not commonplace, has supported the mna for La pinière. The light must be made to the public and Mr. Lamontagne may not invoke immunity, it is within his ministry.”

If it turns out that Mr. Lamontagne has acted improperly and overstepped its authority, “certainly as we will request his resignation, after he paid his fine,’ he added.

Moreover, the liberals fear a “domino effect” that such a dismissal could result in the company. According to them, other employers could follow suit to the State and dismiss whistleblowers.

“After that, it’s going to be who? asked Mr. Barrette. That after will feel comfortable to denounce something callable?”

“The protection of whistleblowers is fundamental in a democratic society”, has reminded his side liberal critic for agriculture, Marie Montpetit.

The ombudsman’s office refused Friday to confirm or deny that an investigation is in progress. “Our investigations are carried out privately,” said the communications advisor Tania-Kim Milot.

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