FREDERICTON – New Brunswick’s top doctor has been fired by the Province of New Brunswick.
According to Dr. Eilish Cleary, she found out earlier Monday that she would be terminated as Chief Medical Officer of Health effective immediately, “without cause.”
She said it wasn’t necessarily a shock.
“It’s been a very long and hard month,” Cleary said in a phone interview with Global News.
“My leave was made on the 2nd of November and at that stage I knew that this was where it was leading.”
Cleary further stated that the Government of New Brunswick let her know they came to the conclusion “that my particular skill set does not meet the needs of my employer.”
“I have served the people of New Brunswick since 2007,” she said.
“In that time I have done my absolute best to live up to my responsibilities – to protect and promote the health of the public and prevent disease and injury.”
She said she has reached out to her lawyer on the next steps to take.
Global News reached out to the Department of Health, but hadn’t received a response at the time of publishing this article.
Meanwhile, NDP Leader Dominic Cardy says he’s demanding an immediate independent investigation into Cleary’s firing.
“The Gallant Liberals campaigned on ensuring the independence of the Chief Medical Officer of Health. I don’t think anyone thought that meant firing her,” Cardy said in a release.
“The Liberals are silencing New Brunswick’s most prominent government scientist. We cannot expect civil servants to do their job when even prominent public officials like Dr. Cleary are muzzled.”
Since her leave was made public, many people have called out the government for “muzzling” Cleary.
Earlier Monday, about 50 people gathered in front of HSBC Place in Fredericton, which houses the Department of Health and public health, protesting Cleary’s leave.
“I chose to come here because I believe in fact-based decision making, and Dr. Cleary provides us with the facts and enables us to make fact-based decisions,” said Joan MacDonald.
Cleary had been New Brunswick’s chief medical officer of health since 2008.