Andrew Younger resigns from Nova Scotia cabinet
'My family needs me to step back. I need to be there for my son and my wife,' says Dartmouth MLA
Andrew Younger officially left the Nova Scotia cabinet Wednesday to spend more time with his family while police investigate threats made against his life.
The Dartmouth East MLA — who stepped aside as minister of energy in December but stayed in cabinet — resigned from Executive Council on Tuesday.
Younger said he'll stay on as MLA and plans to run again in the next election.
"I just really need time to be with my family," he said, fighting back tears. "I need to step back for the moment. My family needs me to step back. I need to be there for my son and my wife."
The threats are contained in a two-page letter, typed entirely in capital letters. It was received by the Department of Energy in early November and obtained in January by CBC News.
"I’ve continued to receive letters that are of concern. I returned from vacation Friday and was told they had received been more," he said.
Younger said when the threats first surfaced, police accompanied him and his family. "My family and I had police with us 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We’d be going grocery shopping with them, and that was very difficult."
Younger said his decision to resign from cabinet did not connect to former Liberal staffer Tara Gault being charged with assaulting him. He said he's heard many rumours about his role in the case, but said they aren't true.
He said his constituency, his party, and other MLAs had expressed support for him. "It’s actually surprised me, when you read the rumours," he said.
Michel Samson sworn in as energy minister
Premier Stephen McNeil's office also announced the resignation Wednesday morning.
McNeil's office disclosed that acting Energy Minister Michel Samson was sworn in to the portfolio on Tuesday.
Younger will remain as an MLA but moves down the pecking order to the backbench.
Speculation about Younger's future has been a topic of discussion in political circles since last fall when it was revealed Gault had been charged with assaulting the married, two-term MLA.
The alleged incident occurred the day the Liberals were sworn into power in 2013.
Gault has pleaded not guilty.