Will provincial Children and Family Development Minister Stan Hagen release Nicholas Simons from the confidentiality agreement that prevents him from talking about the Sherry Charlie case? That's the question we wanted the minister to answer earlier this afternoon. So your humble organ sent a note into legislature, requesting comment from Minister Hagen. But the Liberal frontbencher refused to leave the chambers because, according to communications director Kelly Gleeson, he was on house duty until 6:00. Fortunately we managed to catch Minister Hagen while he was taking a break from his duty in the speaker's corridor - just outside the chambers.
During the brief interview, he told us his staff would be seeking a legal opinion as to whether Mr. Simons could be released from his agreement - information that had been provided moments earlier by Mr. Gleeson. We also asked Minister Hagen whether he thought it was fair for him to criticize Mr. Simons when the New Democrat MLA was legally prevented from defending himself. After a short, hollow laugh, he replied "I think it's funny that you would ask that question given what people have been saying about me" before re-entering the house.