Email shows Liberals knew MLA was allegedly driving while impaired: N.S. Tories
HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia’s Progressive Conservative party has released an email that appears to lay out, in detail, what happened during an alleged drunk-driving incident involving former Liberal MLA Hugh MacKay in 2018.
The sender’s name is redacted in a copy obtained by CTV News, but the Tories say the email came from a former Liberal riding board member.
Opposition leader Tim Houston tabled the email in the legislature late Tuesday afternoon.
“Will the premier agree that allegations of this nature should have been taken seriously, and should have been escalated to the premier’s attention, if they weren’t?” asked Houston during Tuesday’s session.
“The reality of it is, Mr. Speaker, this is before the court system and it will be dealt with,” Premier Stephen McNeil responded. “Like all of us, we have to take responsibility for the actions that we have, or the allegations that are thrust upon us, Mr. Speaker.”
Houston says the message appears to have been sent last May as part of a resignation sent to the head of MacKay’s riding association. The letter states that those who knew about the incident decided to keep it to themselves.
“When somebody in a political organization receives an email like that, they respond to it, they push it to somebody, and I would be very interested to know how far this went through Liberal ranks,” said Houston. “I would guess very high.”
MacKay, who represents Chester-St. Margaret’s, announced on Sunday in a news release that he was resigning from the governing Liberal caucus in light of a charge related to an alleged impaired-driving incident in November 2018. MacKay claims he only learned of the charge last week.
MacKay will continue to sit in the legislature as an independent member.
His resignation will leave the governing Liberals with a slim majority, holding 26 of 51 seats in the legislature.
Last fall, MacKay addressed another charge related to impaired driving. He confirmed in October that he had been charged over the Thanksgiving weekend.
He discussed his struggles with alcohol addiction and said he had been undergoing treatment since 2004.
MacKay expressed remorse at the time for the impact his relapse had on family, colleagues and community members and asked for privacy as he sought further treatment.
With files from The Canadian Press