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3/3/2004



Rail News: Passenger Rail

VIA Rail ousts chairman, investigates workplace irregularities



With an investigation under way regarding business irregularities at VIA Rail Canada Inc., the Government of Canada March 1 terminated VIA Chairman Jean Pelletier based on comments he made about a former employee who came forward with information on some wrongdoings.

During a recent press conference, Pelletier made derogatory comments about Myriam Bédard, a former VIA Rail employee who alleged VIA Rail had an unusual relationship with advertising agencies, according to a statement released by Paul Coté, VIA Rail’s interim president and chief executive officer.

"I asked people who had knowledge about possible wrongdoings to come forward. And when they do, I expect them to be treated fairly," said Transport Minister Tony Valeri. "This was clearly not the case."

VIA Rail currently is reviewing Bédard’s allegations. She was hired in January 2001 to work in the agency’s marketing department and voluntarily resigned to pursue a career as an independent consultant in January 2002, according to a VIA statement.


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