Canada's former environment commissioner, Johanne Gélinas, says she is talking to a lawyer after her abrupt departure from her position sparked a firestorm in Ottawa.

Gélinas was relieved of her duties Tuesday by her boss, Auditor General Sheila Fraser, amid reports of a feud between the two over Gélinas taking too much of an advocacy role on climate change.

In an interview with CBC's Don NewmanWednesday, Gélinas said she was never told directly that she was out of a job.

"I heard through the media that I was no longer commissioner," she said.

"I knew she [Fraser] wanted me to leave at some point … what came to me as a surprise was that we hadn't come to an agreement as of yesterday."

In a statement Tuesday, Fraser said Gélinas was "leaving the position to pursue other opportunities." She also announced a review of environmental and sustainable development audit practices to be completed in the fall.

Gélinasdenied reports of a frosty relationship with Fraser, who gained a high public profile in the wake of her audit of the federal sponsorship program.

"We have always had a good relationship; that's not the issue," she said. "It's more in terms of ideology of what should be the role of the commissioner in the future."

Targeted Liberals, Tories

In September 2006, Gélinas's highly critical report attacked the previous Liberal government's efforts to address climate change in the past 10 years, while outlining policies for the Conservative government to implement.

She also openly criticized the Tories' recent clean air plan, saying it did little to address the problem of climate change and greenhouse gases in the short term.

Fraser faced extensive questioning over Gélinas's departure while appearing Wednesday in front of the House of Commons committee on the environment and sustainable development.

"Canadians are confused," Liberal environment critic David McGuinty said."They'd like a better understanding of what transpired here."

Fraserwouldn't comment further onthe departure, but cited Gélinas's "excellent work" and stood behind all of her reports.

"I take full responsibility for the decision to name a new commissioner," Fraser told the committee. "There was absolutely no pressure or interference from government on this decision."

Fraser added the environment and sustainable development audits over the past 12years"had a much lower rate of implementation than our other work."