POLITICS
12/07/2011 01:07 EST | Updated 02/06/2012 05:12 EST

New Brunswick Tory says he was wrong to pressure official to plow road for party

FREDERICTON - A New Brunswick government backbencher who pressured a Department of Transportation official to have a road plowed for a birthday party says he made a mistake.

Conservative Jake Stewart, who represents the rural riding of Southwest Miramichi, said he was unaware of plowing policies when he made the request in January.

"I didn't know it at the time," Stewart said Wednesday.

"I think I was elected for a couple of months, and I pushed it a little hard."

The issue was raised in the legislature by Liberal member Rick Doucet, who accused Stewart of seeking to have a rural camp road plowed so "he and his buddies could have a birthday party in the woods."

But outside the legislature, Stewart said the party was in fact for a four-year-old and he was trying to comply with a request from a constituent.

"They wanted to have a birthday party for a four-year-old on the Big Hold Brook Road, which service is not provided to," he said.

"If I made a mistake, it was probably in pushing it because I really wanted it plowed so these little kids could have their party."

Stewart exchanged a number of emails with a Department of Transportation official. In one email