Younger has abused his privileges as a Member of the Legislative Assembly

November 4, 2015

Stephen McNeil needs to explain why he’s allowed a member of his Cabinet to abuse his MLA privileges by refusing a subpoena to testify in court, says NDP Leader Maureen MacDonald. 

She says the decision sets a very dangerous precedent and sends a message that members of this Liberal government are above the law.

During today’s court proceedings, Liberal MLA Andrew Younger refused to testify citing his privileges as a member of the House of Assembly. During the proceedings Judge Gregory Lenehan was quoted as saying: “What I have is a minister of the Crown – a government that has a policy, a directive to police, to the Crown – to prosecute domestic violence. Here I have a minister of the Crown choosing to exercise his privilege not to allow that to take place.”

According to social media reports by Chronicle Herald reporter Clare Mellor, the judge was also quoted as saying if this was any other citizen a warrant would be issued for Minister Younger to appear in court.

“Members of the Legislative Assembly are not above the law and Stephen McNeil needs to explain why he’s allowed a member of his Caucus and Cabinet to circumvent a legal proceeding,” says MacDonald. “There can’t be a double-standard for elected officials. If any other member of the public would have been required to appear in court, then the same should hold true for Andrew Younger.”

“This is an extremely serious matter, and if the law makers of this province aren’t willing to meet their obligations in the judicial system, then what message does this send to the public.”