The Public Sector Integrity Commissioner, Mario Dion, yesterday asked the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Tribunal to intervene in the case of Dr. Gerard Lambert, who was fired for insubordination in 2004 by Health Canada, along with scientists Shiv Chopra and Margaret Haydon. This is only the third case referred to the Tribunal since its inception in 2007.
Commissioner Dion stated that there were reasonable grounds to believe that the department had terminated Lambert's interim appointment in retaliation -- because he had made a protected disclosure of wrongdoing. He said he will ask the Tribunal to order remedies for Lambert.
"I have determined that it is in the public interest to make an application to the Tribunal, having regard to all the circumstances relating to this complaint." said Commissioner Dion.
The three scientists made headlines in the 1990s following a series of conflicts with Health Canada regarding food safety. They stated publicly that they had been pressured by their bosses to approve drugs despite their fears for the health of citizens. They publicly opposed the use of the veterinary drug bovine growth hormone, used to increase milk production in cows. Their criticisms led to a Senate investigation and a ban of the hormone.
In August 2011, the Public Service Labour Relations Board rejected the grievances filed by Drs Chopra and Haydon, but had upheld that of Dr. Lambert, saying he had been unjustly dismissed.