Justice and Consumer Affairs

Minister responds to comments regarding lawsuit against the province (08/11/21)

NB 1719

Nov. 21, 2008

FREDERICTON (CNB) - The following statement was issued today by Justice and Consumer Affairs Minister and Attorney General T.J. Burke.

It is not the normal practice of the attorney general to comment on matters before the court, but in the circumstances in this case, I am issuing the following statement because I feel that the public is being misled.

The documents alleged to have been undisclosed in the civil action are limited in number, amounting only to a few of the documents dealt with in the reasons of the Court of Appeal following Erin Walsh's acquittal by the court in March, 2008.

There is significant evidence available in the civil matter which points to disclosure of these documents. These documents were not before the Court of Appeal in the criminal matter in March 2008. This evidence will become apparent at the trial of the civil matter.

The province denies any attempt to delay the trial of this matter for any reason. Significant delays have occurred in bringing the civil matter to trial. However, these delays result primarily from the failure of the plaintiffs' counsel to disclose further relevant documents to the defendants. The production of these documents was ordered by the court on May 30, 2008, following a long period of denial by the plaintiffs that these documents were relevant. To date, these documents have not been disclosed.