Sask. premier criticized for letting underage daughter drive
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall is under fire for letting his 14-year-old daughter drive on a gravel road even though the law requires teens to be at least 15 to obtain a learner's licence.
Wall mentioned the incident in a speech to delegates attending the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities conference in Regina this week.
"I took my 14-year-old daughter driving on a grid road south of Swift Current. Should I say that, actually, do you think?" he said, which got a good laugh from the audience.
Later in a scrum with reporters, he joked that he had confessed to enough illegal acts for one day.
The NDP Opposition wants the premier to apologize for breaking the law and then joking about it.
Former NDP justice minister Frank Quennell said although this is not a major crime, the public expects the people who make the laws to keep them or change them.
'We don't condone underage driving'
Although Wall was not available for comment because he is in New York, Justice Minister Don Morgan said the government does not support breaking the law.
"We don't condone underage driving in our province and, you know, if the RCMP were to happen along, they would have the opportunity to lay charges. They've got discretion whether they do or not," Morgan said.
But learning how to drive early is common practice, he said.
"Most people in this province learned to drive in rural Saskatchewan before they were of legal age," he said. "That seems to be the norm. It doesn't make it legal, it doesn't make it right."
The age restriction is in place to promote public safety, he added, and there are no plans to change the law in that regard.
A convention delegate who heard the speech said there is a big difference between driving around the farmyard and driving on a public road with other traffic.