Wednesday, September 20, 2006


"Ornery scientist gets rehired by federal gov't"

From CTV in Canada.

A B.C. scientist fired for lampooning an order to call Stephen Harper's Tory government "Canada's new government'' is back on the job.

Geologist Andrew Okulitch said Tuesday he was reinstated as a scientist emeritus with the Geological Survey of Canada after a call from the deputy minister of natural resources.

The 64-year-old Saltspring Island resident, who has worked for the federal government for 35 years, said he was fired Sept. 5 after he e-mailed an undiplomatic response to a government directive.

The government memo ordered him to use the phrase "new government of Canada'' on official correspondence from the Geological Survey of Canada.

Okulitch immediately fired off an e-mail saying civil servants are not paid to mouth political slogans.

He said the policy was "ridiculous and embarrassing'' and said he will use Geological Survey of Canada in any official correspondence "as opposed to idiotic buzzwords coined by political hacks.''

All turned out well in the end. Both Okulitch and the deputy minister both apologized and Okulitch got back to work.

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