Public servant put on leave after releasing anti-Harper folk song

WATCH ABOVE: An Ottawa folk singer and Environment Canada scientists has landed in hot water for leading an anti-Stephen Harper sing-a-long. Mike Le Couteur reports.

A federal public servant has been sent home on leave and is the subject of a government investigation after he wrote and performed a politically-motivated folk song about Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The song, Harperman, was put on YouTube and Vimeo in June and features Tony Turner, a scientist with Environment Canada, leading a dozen other people in a rendition of the folk song, which calls for an end to Harper’s tenure as prime minister.

The song is clearly anti-Harper and each verse and chorus ends with “Harperman, it’s time for you to go.”

The YouTube video has been viewed nearly 50,000 times since it was uploaded and over 1,000 times on Vimeo.

Story continues below advertisement

In-Depth: Federal Election 2015

But since the video was uploaded, the website has become a resource for anti-Harper articles, and those behind the website say they are working on making t-shirts.  The group has also set up an indiegogo campaign to fund a cross-Canada sing-along.

Though Turner is a public servant he has also been a stalwart of Ottawa’s folk scene for over a decade, according to his website.

Turner declined comment Friday, citing the ongoing investigation.

Story continues below advertisement

Environment Canada refused to comment on the case, citing privacy and confidentiality concerns but did say in a statement that “compliance with the requirements of the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector is a condition of employment for every public servant in the federal public sector, regardless of their level or position.”

The statement of values, available on the Environment Canada website, and which all employees are obligated to agree to says employees must “recognize” that a “non-partisan public sector is essential to our democratic system.”

However, public servants are allowed to be politically active, thanks to a 1991 Supreme Court ruling.

Sponsored content