POLITICS
06/13/2014 03:09 EDT | Updated 08/13/2014 05:59 EDT

Order of Canada appointment stripped from disgraced New Brunswick academic

OTTAWA - The Governor General has approved a request from a disgraced New Brunswick academic to revoke his appointment to the Order of Canada.

The secretary to Gov.-Gen. David Johnston issued a statement Friday saying Louis LaPierre's appointment was terminated May 16 at his request.

Last September, LaPierre quit as chairman of New Brunswick's Energy Institute after admitting he had misrepresented his academic credentials.

LaPierre had claimed to have a PhD in ecology from the University of Maine even though the university has no record of him earning that degree.

The revelation has been awkward for the New Brunswick government, which hired LaPierre to provide advice on regulating the province's emerging shale gas industry and its use of hydraulic fracturing.

In addition to his resignation from the institute, LaPierre has also stepped down from academic positions at the University of Moncton.

LaPierre has said he is sorry for the embarrassment he has caused for his colleagues.

"I take full responsibility for my actions and offer a full apology for the embarrassment this situation has caused to so many that placed their trust in me," he said in a letter released Sept. 19 by the provincial government.

At the time, the province's energy minister, Craig Leonard, said he didn't think LaPierre's resignations undermined his work for the government.

Based on LaPierre's recommendations, the government has introduced a list of industry regulations it says would allow the shale gas industry to grow in the province while protecting the environment. But the Conservation Council of New Brunswick has called for an independent review of his work for the government.

Six other Canadians — Conrad Black, Alan Eagleson, David Ahenakew, T. Sher Singh, Stephen Fonyo Jr. and Garth Drabinsky — have been stripped of the Order of Canada. The decisions in those cases were based on various reasons, including being convicted of a criminal offence, a recipient committing actions not befitting of the honour, or a recipient being fined or reprimanded by a professional organization or association.