HALIFAX — A Nova Scotia member of the legislature is making his first public statement since the governing Liberals came under fire last week for their handling of drunk driving allegations against him.
In a statement sent to the media late Monday, Hugh MacKay maintains he is innocent of a charge of impaired driving stemming from an alleged incident in November 2018.
It follows a week in which he resigned from the Liberal caucus and it was revealed that Premier Stephen McNeil's chief of staff had been made aware last year of an allegation from within the party that MacKay drove drunk, but concluded it was unfounded.
Last week, MacKay said he intended to make a statement about the allegations at the legislature on Tuesday.
But in his statement Monday, MacKay, who now sits as an Independent, says the allegations have disrupted the work of the legislature and been exploited for partisan purposes by opposition members.
He notes that he has struggled with alcohol addiction for some time and continues to seek treatment.
"The legal system is the proper place for this matter to be settled, not on the floor of the legislature, nor in the court of public opinion," he says.
MacKay is scheduled to appear in a Halifax court on March 16 in connection with the 2018 incident.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March. 2, 2020.
The Canadian Press