Statement from PC MLA Barbara Adams on Premier Iain Rankin’s multiple arrests for Impaired Driving

We learned about the Premier’s two drinking and driving arrests - and his party’s choice to conceal those arrests from the public during his eight years in office - on Monday at a Public Health briefing.

I am sympathetic to anyone who tries to turn their life around after making a mistake as an adult, and I believe in second chances. But it’s clear the Premier didn’t learn his lesson. After his license was suspended for a first offence, he engaged in the same behaviour a second time. He then mischaracterized the outcome of his second offence yesterday to Nova Scotians, downplaying the severity and significance of his actions.

The Premier describing himself as innocent - when it is now clear from media reports that he got off on a technicality - is as troubling as using a COVID-19 briefing to do political damage control for his selfish behaviour.

The privilege afforded to Premier Rankin is a privilege that other Nova Scotians do not share. For the son of a politician to be able to repeatedly drink and drive without repercussions, speaks to a different standard. Where others would lose jobs or face jail time, Mr. Rankin did not.

This is a Premier who, not four weeks ago, scolded students for breaking gathering limits, all while knowing he repeatedly endangered the lives of Nova Scotians when he was their age.

The hypocrisy is stunning and speaks to a lifelong pattern of weak leadership.

When I was 18, my uncle was killed by an impaired driver. MADD has noted that approximately 1,500 people are killed in Canada each year in alcohol-related vehicle crashes. Their website quotes that for every arrest for impaired driving, they have likely driven drunk on 80 other occasions. So I have no reason to believe the Premier when he says it only happened twice. He was only caught twice.

While the Premier continues to limit questions from the media, we may never get all the answers. I’m calling on the Premier to release all documents related to both of these incidents and let Nova Scotians decide if he has been honest and open about his behaviour.