December 23, 2015 2:20 pm
Updated: December 23, 2015 5:55 pm

Public health officers from across Canada sign letter in support of Dr. Eilish Cleary

WATCH ABOVE: In an unprecedented move, several medical officers of health from across Canada are coming to the defence of Dr. Eilish Cleary, who was fired from the position in New Brunswick. Global’s Laura Brown reports.


FREDERICTON – 19 public and medical health officers from across Canada have signed a public letter in support of Dr. Eilish Cleary.

The letter, which includes the former Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, Dr. David Butler-Jones, states the officers’ perspective on Dr. Cleary’s skills.

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“She has always demonstrated a strong focus on evidence-based practice, been a very respectful and trustworthy colleague and shown a strong ethical foundation in her work,” the letter reads.

“She has also always had a clear commitment to the professional obligation of all physicians to base their actions on the best interests of their patients, which for public health physicians means the whole community.”

READ MORE: ‘I knew that this was where it was leading’ : Dr. Cleary fired from position as Chief Medical Officer

The province has continued to say Dr. Cleary’s termination was due to a human resources matter, one that involved several parties.

Dr. Robert Strang, Chief Public Health Officer for Nova Scotia, said the letter was a joint decision by current and former colleagues of Dr. Cleary’s.

“We don’t know all the facts to the case, so again, we’re being careful not to make a judgement,” he said.

“But we thought it was important that, as part of the discussion, that people were aware of how highly she’s regarded by fellow chief medical officers in the country.”

READ MORE: Reaction and speculation grows one day after Dr. Eilish Cleary fired

Dr. Strang said he’s worked very collaboratively with Dr. Cleary over the years she’s been in the role, and has spoken to her since her termination.

“We have a high regard for both her skills and expertise as a public health physician but also her strong moral and ethical background that she brings to her work,” he said.

Several of New Brunswick’s medical officers also signed the letter. They include Dr. Na-Koshie Lamptey, Dr. Yves Leger, Dr. Cristin Muecke, and former regional medical officer Dr. Scott Giffin.

Acting Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Jennifer Russell, has also signed the letter.


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