One of the Canada’s most outspoken advocates on the ties between the tar sands and antagonistic well being results has been dismissed from his job with out discover.
Earlier this month Dr. John O’Connor obtained a short electronic mail informing him of his termination from the Fort Chipewyan (Fort Chip) Health Center the place he was working remotely as a guide. O’Connor began his place at Fort Chip in 2000 and early on, he began noticing irregular quantities of uncommon cancers of the bile ducts amongst his sufferers. This included cholangiocarcinoma, the identical kind of most cancers that killed O’Connor’s father a decade prior.
Fort Chip is positioned 300 km north of the center of Alberta’s tar sands, Fort McMurray, and O’Connor raised issues that these uncommon cancers could possibly be linked to business and pushed for additional analysis.
“There’s definitely a relationship between development and industry and the abnormalities that are being detected. And when you look at the population that’s been most impacted in Fort Chip, you would definitely figure it’s related to consumption of traditional foods that have been impacted by industry,” O’Connor instructed VICE in an interview final yr. “But there are other people that got sick that wouldn’t have been around long enough to have had all that level of exposure.”
“There’s nothing clear-cut about this at all. It emphasizes an underlying need for a comprehensive health study.”
Dr. O’Connor’s whistleblowing raised what can solely be described as a shit storm amongst pro-oil advocates and the physician skilled one hell of a backlash. He was labeled as an alarmist and charlatan and Health Canada reacted to these claims, and others, by charging O’Connor with 4 accounts of misconduct. These together with blocking entry to recordsdata, billing irregularities, and inflicting “undue alarm.” If discovered responsible, O’Connor would have been stripped of his license to observe. Eventually although, the costs have been dropped.