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‘Harperman’ singer retires amid conflict of interest investigation

Tony Turner, a scientist at Environment Canada has been suspended with pay over an alleged infraction of the code of ethics policy

The Environment Canada scientist whose anti-Stephen Harper folk song "Harperman" got him suspended from his job is retiring rather than waiting out an investigation into his behaviour.

The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, the union that represents Tony Turner, says Turner's retirement took effect this week.

He was suspended with pay this summer for alleging breaching the government of Canada's values and ethics code for public servants by recording and posting on YouTube a song that takes the prime minister's policies to task and concludes that "Harperman, it's time for you to go."

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In a release, Turner says he was assured of a quick investigation, but as the weeks have dragged on he's now decided it is better to retire from the civil service.

Turner says he continues to believe he acted within his rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and says he did not act contrary to Environment Canada's values and ethics code.

A spokeswoman for the public service union says Turner's retirement does not affect the rights of other civil servants to free political speech, a right that was upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada in 1991.

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