New Brunswick Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Cleary speaks out on shale gas report after government says it will be kept confidential

Health officer speaks out on shale gas report, Chief medical officer of health speaks out on shale gas report after first suggesting it would be kept confidential by CBC News, October 6, 2012
New Brunswick’s chief medical officer of health says she’ll continue to play a role in the debate about shale gas. Dr. Eilish Cleary spoke to reporters Friday about the province’s decision to release her report on the issue, after the Alward government first suggested it would be kept confidential. Cleary also pushed back against Environment Minister Bruce Fitch and his description of her report. Cleary was asked whether her work was out of date — a suggestion made yesterday in a comment by Fitch. “Some of the technology has improved based on some of the information that was researched in her work,” Fitch said.

“The situation will change,” said Cleary. “The recommendations may need to be updated but it is as current as we can provide at this time. I believe it’s important for public health to be involved at every step of the shale gas development.” Cleary says there was a lot of confusion this week and now that confusion has been resolved. She says she’s satisfied that the Alward government will release her report on the health impacts of hydrofracking. Cleary said she believes her role is to communicate directly with the public on all health issues, including shale gas. “Should something arise that affects the health of the population, I will speak about it,” said Cleary. Cleary wouldn’t describe her conversations with Health Minister Madeleine Dube. She says she’ll speak about the contents of the report when it’s released on Oct. 15.

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