Nova Scotia

Facing impaired driving charge, Hugh MacKay resigns from Liberal caucus

Chester-St. Margaret's MLA Hugh MacKay announced Sunday that he's resigning from the Liberal caucus after he was charged with an alleged offence from 2018 earlier this month.

Chester-St. Margaret's MLA intends to continue as Independent

Hugh MacKay enters court in Halifax in November 2019. (Jean Laroche/CBC)

Chester-St. Margaret's MLA Hugh MacKay says he's decided to resign from the Liberal caucus after he was recently charged with impaired driving for a second time.

MacKay was charged with impaired driving earlier this month in relation to an alleged offence dating back to Nov. 22, 2018.

"Though I do not know the specifics of this charge, I am mindful of the fact that these claims are not to be taken lightly," MacKay said in a written statement on Sunday.

"I do not want this matter to cause any further disruption to the important work this government is doing. As such, I have made the difficult decision to resign from the Nova Scotia Liberal Caucus."

MacKay said he intends to continue to represent Chester-St. Margaret's as an Independent.

In a release Sunday, Premier Stephen McNeil said he learned of the charge last week.

"This is very serious and I agree with Mr. MacKay's decision to sit as an independent as he deals with this matter," he said.

"Mr. MacKay is currently in treatment to deal with his addiction and I wish him continued success for good health."

According to court documents, MacKay "was impaired by alcohol or drug … at or near Stillwater Lake," near Upper Tantallon. RCMP laid the charge and served him with papers earlier in February.

Late last year, MacKay pleaded guilty to operating a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol level over the legal limit in relation to an incident on Oct. 13, 2019. He was fined $2,000 and prohibited from driving for a year.

MacKay is due in provincial court in Halifax on March 16 to face the most recent charge.