Industry Canada is looking into whether an employee used government time or resources to create an Internet web site that provides a link to another site that compares Quebec Premier Lucien Bouchard to Adolf Hitler.
Steve Borutzki, 39, who works in the computer support division at Industry Canada, was "advised" yesterday to remove the link from his web site, which carries negative news clippings about Quebec and its sovereigntist leaders.
"My page really didn't have anything on it that you can't find anywhere else", Mr. Borutzki said last night from his home in Chelsea, Quebec.
Mr. Borutzki said Industry Canada officials yesterday told him that when you work for the government you give up certain rights.
"If I worked anywhere else, I'd take this as an infringement on my freedom of speech", he said. "But we all have to work somewhere. They didn't tell what the alternative would be if I didn't take the link off".
His web site was brought to the attention of Industry Canada officials by a reporter at CBOFT -- the CBC's French-language station serving the national capital region.
The reporter stumbled onto a site that compared former Quebec Premier Jacques Parizeau and Mr. Bouchard to Nazis, called Mr. Bouchard the "one-legged wonder boy", and compared the Parti Québécois' rule in Quebec to Nazi Germany.
This site had a link to Mr. Borutzki's site, and when the reporter got to that site there was a link back to the offending site. Mr. Borutzki's e-mail address identified him as a government worker.
"I think they thought I was the administrator of that site", Mr. Borutzki said. "But all it said on my site was, 'Here's a site that the Quebec government wants banned' -- which is true."
As for the investigation to see if he used government time or resources, Mr. Borutzki was emphatic. "They should go right ahead. I didn't do any of it at work. It's all on my own time. Nobody should be doing personal stuff at work."