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The ombudsman will investigate the dismissal of the agronomist and whistleblower, Louis Robert.
“The public protector is currently conducting an intervention with regard to the ministry of Agriculture […] This intervention focuses on the treatment of disclosures within the department as well as allegations of wrongdoing to possibly be committed in respect of this ministry,” writes the protecting Marie Rinfret in a letter addressed to the president of the national Assembly on Tuesday.
- LISTEN to mp Marie Montpetit to be up There on the hill:
- LISTEN to the mp Sylvain Roy up There on the hill:
Generally, the ombudsman shall not publicly comment on its investigations. Ms. Rinfret, however, has chosen to make this revelation “in the light of the exchanges and debates that have occurred in the last few days on the occasion of the resumption of the parliamentary session”.
The minister of Agriculture André Lamontagne is in hot water since his ministry has put at the door the agronomist experience Louis Robert, accused of having leaked a compromising document to a journalist.
He set foot in the flat after being challenged on the nature of the dismissal of Mr. Robert. Mp Johnson has subsequently offered his apologies and asked the protector to investigate. The agronomist Robert is in the appeal process, but it is no longer receiving salary. He denounced the interference of the private sector in the public research on the use of pesticides.
Busy day for Mr. Lamontagne, who is also presented as the defender of the organic farming after having compared the Environmental officials to “ayatollahs” at the congress of the Union paysanne at the end of the week.
After being pounded by the opposition parties, Mr. Lamontagne went on the attack Tuesday.
He accuses now the liberal Party have turned a deaf ear to the “small farmers” for the past 15 years. “They are completely disconnected from the reality of all these [people] who want to practice an ecological agriculture, intensive agriculture to organic, all the farmers on the territory of Quebec that want to practice sustainable agriculture and promote the purchase of proximity”, he lamented.
Mr. Lamontagne has also received a boost from the co-founder of the Union paysanne, Romeo Bouchard, who said on the air of QUB on Monday that the reactions “of environmentalists and politicians […] are totally on the side of the track,” and that Mr. Lamontagne had reason to criticize rules that apply in the same way for the giants of the agri-food than for small organic producers.
For his part, the minister of the Environment Benoît Charette says that its officials were quite “understood” the use of the word ayatollah. “No disrespect has been expressed by my colleague. […] They know very well that it was set up to defend precisely a form of agriculture more environmentally friendly,” he said.