LaPierre projects require review, says former volunteer

The Louis LaPierre scandal has some people questioning whether some of the big environmental decisions he was part of should now be reviewed in light of his falsified credentials.

Environmental decisions, such as reduced watercourse buffers, should be 'verified'

The Louis LaPierre scandal has some people questioning whether some of the big environmental decisions he was part of should now be reviewed in light of his falsified credentials.

"I feel that every review that he made should be verified, like if it had legs to stand on, or if it was just out of loyalty to whoever put him there," said Paul Bourgoin, a former president of the New Brunswick Wildlife Federation and member of the Premier's Roundtable on the Environment.

Bourgoin says the provincial government could start with controversial changes years ago that reduced buffer zones near watercourses and increased the amount of forest that could be harvested.

He believes the forest and wildlife have suffered because of the reduced buffers but they could bounce back if policies are changed.

On Sept. 18, LaPierre resigned as the head of the Energy Institute formed to study shale gas development in New Brunswick, as well as from other positions he held. The resignations came after LaPierre admitted he had misled people about his academic credentials.

LaPierre had purported to hold a PhD in ecology from the University of Maine. However, a report on Radio-Canada earlier in September questioned that, with the University of Maine indicating it had awarded LaPierre a master's degree, but not a doctorate.  LaPierre then stated his doctorate was awarded by Walden University in Minnesota, in association with the University of Maine. Officials at Walden confirmed LaPierre received a PhD, but it was in the field of education, not in a scientific field.

"I volunteered about 30 years of my life, with no cost to nobody, and here is a man that is being paid and his credibility is at stake here," said Bourgoin. "I find that what's brought forward is very, very disgraceful."

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