Search-and-rescue YouTube complaint upsets DFO
An employee of the search-and-rescue centre in Halifax has been relieved of his duties for speaking out about job cuts in the region.
Jason Hamilton posted a video on YouTube after the federal government said it was closing search-and-rescue centres in Newfoundland and Quebec as a cost-cutting measure.
Hamilton is one of the six search support workers at the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Halifax who have been told their jobs will be eliminated in the restructuring.
In his five-minute video, Hamilton talks about losing his job. He also says closing the other two centres would leave half as many search co-ordinators covering a much larger search area.
The video was posted on July 9. Later, Hamilton was placed on administrative leave with pay and escorted out of the building.
CBC News obtained speaking notes from a July 21 meeting between Hamilton and senior officials.
"Based on your recent YouTube video posting, we have concerns with respect to your ability to perform your duties," the document states.
"Additionally, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is instructing you not to post messaging on public or social media disruptive to your workplace."
Hamilton declined an interview with CBC.
The coast guard in the region also refused to comment, citing privacy reasons.
Hamilton's union is lobbying to have him reinstated. Christine Collins, national president of the Union of Canadian Transportation Employees, met with senior officials in Ottawa on Monday,
"I believe they over-reacted," she said.
Collins said the cuts have already been widely criticized and Hamilton only posted information that was public knowledge.
Collins said she was promised a decision by the end of the week.