Dr. Eilish Cleary, province reach settlement
No details about agreement with fired chief medical officer of health being released
The New Brunswick government has reached a settlement with Dr. Eilish Cleary, who was fired as the province's chief medical officer of health last month.
Deputy Minister of Health Tom Maston and Cleary issued a joint statement early Friday evening, announcing the confidential agreement and saying it's time to return the focus to public health.
Dr. Cleary and the Department of Health have concluded a satisfactory agreement consistent with common law termination without cause principles.- Joint statement
"Dr. Cleary and the Department of Health have concluded a satisfactory agreement consistent with common law termination without cause principles," it states.
"As with all such settlements the details are subject to confidentiality. Therefore neither party will have any further comment on this matter."
The reason for Cleary's dismissal has never been stated, with provincial officials saying only that it was a personnel matter and they couldn't say more without clearance from Cleary.
Cleary previously told CBC News she was fired "without cause" and was considering "next steps."
She said she had not been informed of any personnel issue involving her conduct at any point during her employment.
Cleary thanked for 'valuable contributions'
"The deputy minister acknowledges the work done by Dr. Cleary in her role as Chief Medical Officer of Health, and he thanks Dr. Cleary for all her valuable contributions to the province," the statement reads.
"Dr. Cleary is confident that the government has always and will continue to support the ongoing work being done by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, as well as the independence of the office."
The settlement comes after a groundswell of support for Cleary, including 20 current and former public health officers from across Canada stepping forward to vouch for her skills.
NDP Leader Dominic Cardy had called for an immediate independent investigation into her dismissal.
A member of the Council of Canadians, Anne Pohl, had said she was worried about "corporate and political pressure" on Cleary, who had been studying the potential public health impact of the herbicide glyphosate.
Maston had said in a statement in December that Cleary's departure was "not politically motivated" and there were no questions about "the medical and scientific work being undertaken by the office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health," which he said was continuing.
Maston and Cleary are "aware that events of the past few weeks concerning the departure of Dr. Cleary from the Department of Health have been difficult for all concerned," Friday's statement says.
"The deputy minister and Dr. Cleary agree that it is important to now move forward and return the focus to the important work of improving, protecting and promoting the health of the people of New Brunswick."
Cleary was initially put on leave on Nov. 2, but was informed of her termination on Dec. 7.
Cleary was hired for the job in 2008.