Ottawa, October 2, 2015 – Tony Turner, the federal scientist whose popular political folk song “Harperman” became a YouTube sensation when it was reported he was under investigation for alleged violation of the Harper government’s 2012 values and ethics code, has chosen to retire rather than wait days or even weeks longer to learn his fate from his employer, Environment Canada, says the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC).
“I have always believed I acted within my rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and that I was not in a conflict of interest with the department’s values and ethics code,” said Turner, whose notice to retire took effect yesterday. “I have always maintained impartiality and objectivity in the conduct of my duties.” “That said,” added Turner, “when Environment Canada suspended me earlier this summer, I was assured a quick investigation and decision. That has not happened, and I have decided it better to retire and continue to express my views as all Canadian citizens are entitled to do.”
“Tony has been through a lot as a result of this investigation and its delays,” added PIPSC President Debi Daviau. “His decision to retire in no way injures his own rights or those of other federal public servants under the Charter. Those rights were affirmed decades ago by the Supreme Court of Canada. But his decision to retire today does free him to speak and perform without fear that it will impact his employment. Sadly, it is a fear too many public servants must currently live with. That’s why promoting and defending the Charter rights of all our members will continue to be one of our fundamental priorities.”