POLITICS

New Brunswick government orders third-party review of fishing lodge concerns

02/25/2015 01:54 EST | Updated 04/27/2015 05:59 EDT
FREDERICTON - The New Brunswick government announced Wednesday that it will launch an independent, third-party review concerning the handling of guest lists at a provincially-owned fishing lodge.

Attorney General Serge Rousselle said no decision has been made on who will do the review or when it will be done.

Edith Doucet, the clerk of New Brunswick's executive council, recommended the third-party probe after conducting her own review of the guest lists for Larry's Gulch in 2013.

"Due to the serious concerns that have been raised in regards to other questions not addressed in the internal report, we will be engaging an independent body to undertake a more comprehensive inquiry into this issue," Rousselle said.

Doucet's review was launched after the ombudswoman for the newspaper chain that includes the Moncton Times and Transcript alleged in a column that one editor visited the lodge in July 2013 and, along with another editor, tried to have a deputy minister of communications in former premier David Alward's government remove his name from the guest list.

Ombudswoman Patricia Graham said Murray Guy, assistant managing editor at the Times and Transcript, resigned and Al Hogan, the paper's managing editor, is no longer employed by Brunswick News.

The Fredericton Daily Gleaner filed an access-to-information request and received the 2013 list that named Guy as a guest of NB Liquor, according to Doucet's report which was released Tuesday.

L'Acadie Nouvelle also filed an access-to-information request, but the report says the list it received had Guy's name and others removed, with the three-day visit to the lodge paid for by NB Liquor marked as private.

Rousselle said serious concerns have been raised, but he can't comment further because his office could become involved in the future.

"There could be legal implications," he said.

Doucet also recommended the access to information and privacy commissioner conduct her own review, something commissioner Anne Bertrand has already begun.