Probe of LaPierre’s Confederation Bridge work finds limited involvement

Teresa Wright
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Confederation Bridge

A recent probe by Transport Canada has found the New Brunswick science professor who lied about his credentials did not perform any major work on the Confederation Bridge.

Louis LaPierre was a member of the scientific team that performed environmental impact assessments for the bridge that links Prince Edward Island to New Brunswick.

In September, LaPierre - a former professor emeritus at the University of Moncton - admitted he lied about his PhD, prompting reviews of work he completed on a number of projects, including the Confederation Bridge.

“After careful review of our files, Transport Canada was able to determine that Louis Lapierre was not involved in any of the environmental assessment studies looking at the potential environmental impacts on marine species and fish in the Northumberland Strait,” Gisele Martin, senior communications officer for Transport Canada, wrote in a recent email to The Guardian.

She added LaPierre was also not involved in assessments of the bridge’s impact on the Northumberland Strait’s fishery.

LaPierre resigned from a number of positions including as head of the New Brunswick Energy Institute after admitting he falsified his educational résumé. He claimed he had a PhD in ecology from the University of Maine while his doctoral degree was actually in education from Walden University in Minnesota.

Using these credentials, he provided scientific expertise on a number of high-profile development projects in the region.

He was a member of the environmental panel that reviewed the Sydney tar ponds remediation in Cape Breton and the advisory panel on the proposed New Brunswick-Quebec electricity transaction.

For his work on the Confederation Bridge, LaPierre was even given an award from Jacques Whitford Environmental Limited, according to his biography as published on the Institute for Environmental Monitoring and Research website.

After reviewing all work he participated in on the Confederation Bridge, Transport Canada says it is confident there are no concerns with his limited involvement in the project.

“His overall involvement was relatively minor and limited, along with some 40 peers, to provide advice on terrestrial biology studies involving birds and saltmarsh aster,” Martin stated.

 

twright@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/GuardianTeresa

Organizations: Transport Canada, University of Moncton, New Brunswick Energy Institute University of Maine Walden University Institute for Environmental Monitoring

Geographic location: New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Minnesota.Using Sydney Cape Breton

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