Nova Scotia

Longtime staff member fired from Ecology Action Centre

Susanna Fuller, a 23-year employee of the centre, claims she was wrongfully terminated and was not given severance, according to sources close to the situation.

Former senior marine conservation co-ordinator Susanna Fuller gone from Halifax-based group

Susanna Fuller was fired in April from her position as marine conservation co-ordinator at the Ecology Action Centre in Halifax. (Mark Crosby/CBC)

A high-profile member of Halifax's Ecology Action Centre is planning to take legal action after she was fired in April.

Susanna Fuller, who was the centre's marine action co-ordinator for 12 years and had worked there for a total of 23 years, claims she was wrongfully terminated and was not given severance, according to sources close to the situation.

While Fuller declined an interview with CBC, sources have told CBC Radio's Information Morning she was fired over a multimillion-dollar charitable grant she secured.

The grant would have nearly doubled the Ecology Action Centre's yearly program budget and expanded the marine conservation division significantly.

The centre turned down the grant and, shortly after, Fuller was fired. Since then, CBC has learned a board member and a staff member resigned in protest.

Disappointment over grant

Marla MacLeod, managing director of the centre, said the grant was too much money in too short of a time frame.

"It was a very large grant. We've grown substantially as an organization in recent years and this was going to be about a 40, 45 per cent increase in our budget in a short amount of time," MacLeod said.

When asked how the grant played a role in Fuller's employment termination, MacLeod said there was "disappointment that we didn't feel that we could take on that grant."

MacLeod said she couldn't speak to specifically why Fuller was fired or get into the severance issue.

"In general as an organization, we take staff concerns seriously and we're always striving to do better as an organization. But in this case there were some specifics that, for privacy reasons, I really just can't speak to," MacLeod said.

'I am extremely upset'

Marike Finlay, a member of the Ecology Action Centre, said she has reached out to a number of people at the centre for answers about Fuller's termination but has not received a satisfactory explanation.

While Finlay supports the Ecology Action Centre's work, she says what happened to Fuller is upsetting.

"I live on the Eastern Shore and I'm very involved in coastal issues here and I am extremely upset and saddened and also I would say anxious for our future without the presence of Susanna Fuller," said Finlay.

Clarifications

  • A previous version of the story said Fuller is taking legal action. The story has been updated to clarify she is planning to take legal action.
    May 03, 2018 10:08 AM AT

With files from Jerry West

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