POLITICS
04/03/2012 06:33 EDT | Updated 06/03/2012 05:12 EDT

New Brunswick Grits call for deputy premier to quit amid interference allegation

FREDERICTON - New Brunswick's Opposition Liberals are calling for the deputy premier to resign pending the outcome of an investigation into an allegation he tried to prevent one of his brothers from being charged with an aquaculture infraction.

Interim Liberal Leader Victor Boudreau told the provincial legislature Tuesday that he received a letter in February from an anonymous source alleging that Paul Robichaud tried to interfere with a departmental investigation involving his brother.

Boudreau said he forwarded the letter to the RCMP.

"Is the premier prepared to ask his deputy premier to step aside and await the outcome of the results?" Boudreau asked during question period.

Premier David Alward said he would take the matter under advisement and report back to the legislature.

Alward and Robichaud both declined comment following question period. Outside the legislature, Attorney General Marie-Claude Blais said it was the first time the government heard of the allegations.

RCMP Const. Chantal Farrah confirmed they received the letter from the Liberals and are looking into it, but won't comment further.

Bathurst, N.B., Crown prosecutor Paul Veniot confirmed Tuesday that a man named Donat Robichaud has been charged under the Aquaculture Act with "practising aquaculture other than on the site permitted."

Veniot said the matter would return to court May 9.

While Robichaud has a brother named Donat, no one could confirm Tuesday that the person charged is his brother.