POLITICS

Nova Scotia's justice minister rejects Opposition calls for her to resign

11/20/2014 03:46 EST | Updated 01/20/2015 05:59 EST
HALIFAX - Nova Scotia's justice minister has rejected a call from the Opposition that she resign because of her department's confusion over a new law dealing with the statute of limitations on civil cases dealing with sexual abuse.

Lena Metlege Diab said Thursday she stands behind the new law and described the demand for her resignation as absurd.

But she also conceded that her department failed to properly inform her about similar laws in other provinces.

"I have been honest," she said outside the legislature. "I have been up front, I have told everybody what happened. There is nothing to hide. ... We will get to the bottom of this."

The minister said she has called for a review of what happened.

Tory justice critic Allan MacMaster said Diab has mishandled an important file.

"This minister has proven herself incompetent," he said outside the legislature. "According to the victims (of sexual abuse) I've spoken with, this minister of justice has grossly mishandled this file."

The Limitation of Actions Act removes the statue of limitations for any future victims of sex abuse, but MacMaster says it should mirror legislation in several other provinces by extending the same rights to historical victims.

Diab had argued that making the law retroactive would be a first in Canada, but her department confirmed Monday that wasn't the case.

Premier Stephen McNeil also rejected MacMaster's demand Thursday, saying the minister has handled herself well. Still, he said a review was a good idea.

"It's a concern enough that we're trying to find out where the information came from," he said. "Part of this is finding out why the department responded in the way that they did."