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The next shoe drops over Chalk River.

Well, we were all wondering what Linda Keen, the ex-head of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Board would do after being let go by the Conservative government – basically for doing her job in enforcing safety standards We get a partial answer to that today:

Canada’s former nuclear watchdog is seeking a judicial review into her firing by the Conservative government resulting from the shutdown of a nuclear research reactor.. The motion, submitted to the Federal Court late yesterday, is the latest development in the bitter dispute between Keen and the Conservatives. She was fired as president of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) when she wouldn’t okay the start-up of the aging Chalk River reactor. “By this application for judicial review, Ms. Keen is asking the Federal Court to declare that she was unlawfully removed as president and that the November 2005 Order in Council, which reappointed her as president, remains in full force and effect,” said Ottawa lawyer Allan O’Brien.

In otherwards, instead of asking for damages for wrongful dismissal, she’s asking that she be reinstated as the CNSC’s president. That makes sense, since she wasn’t removed off of the CSNC Board of Directors, and I also don’t doubt she knows it would be a much bigger embarrassment to the Conservatives if the Federal Court declares her firing illegal and re-instates her. Wouldn’t that be just a tad bit fun for her to call up Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources, and say, “Hi Gary, I’m back”

From all the facts we’ve seen, and all the lame excuses used by Tony Clement (Health Minister) and Gary Lunn in letting her go (as well as Harper’s partisan low-blow claiming she was more or less just a Liberal patronage appointment), I think the chances are very good for Ms. Keen she will win her case.

On being too clever by half.

Ok, maybe it’s just my biased self thinking this, but it appears those of a more objective nature are thinking the same thing, if not outright saying it: I think the strategy to bring Health Minister Tony Clement in after Linda Keen testified about the circumstances of her firing from the Nuclear Safety Board totally backfired.

Keen was as sharp as a tack and very knowledgeable with her replies, while Clement just droned on the same tired-out and overused line the Conservatives have used about “needing to save lives” and looked clueless when cross-examined by the Opposition. I think this is a case of some PMO Conservative strategists concocting up […]

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