June 18, 2013 4:02 am
Updated: June 18, 2013 4:05 pm

Premier and opposition call for Zinck to resign, he refuses

MLA Trevor Zinck talks with reporters outside Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax on Monday, June 17, 2013.

The Canadian Press File/Andrew Vaughan

HALIFAX — Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter is giving beleaguered MLA Trevor Zinck time to resign and threatening to expel him from the legislature if he doesn’t quit soon.

Dexter says he will reconvene the House to force Zinck out, if he doesn’t quit before his sentencing in six weeks.

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Zinck changed his plea on Monday, the fifth day of his trial, to guilty on charges of fraud over $5,000 and breach of trust. A charge of theft over $5,000 was dropped.

“I think the fair thing is for if this is going to finish on August 7th for the court process to be completed and then for the House to deal with it if that’s necessary,” said Dexter.

Members from all three parties are calling for his resignation.

“He has to be fired. In any other job if you’re guilty of stealing of money you’re fired. Whether it’s the company till or taxpayers money, same thing” said Progressive Conservative leader Jamie Baille.

Liberal leader Stephen McNeil said Dexter doesn’t need to wait.

“There was a guilty plea entered yesterday, there’s no question about guilt, he’s already acknowledged that. The length of sentence, that will be determined August 7th is really irrelevant in terms of the house, that’s court proceedings, the house needs to respond now,” said McNeil.

Meanwhile, Zinck’s supporters are staying true.

“Who doesn’t make mistakes, we’re all human beings,” said Nadine McNamara adding she would canvass for him in the next election.

“I can’t see why people are thinking that. He’s done a lot of good for this North End,” said Noreen Cassibo.

Zinck said outside court Monday that he made errors with his expenses, but wants to remain in the legislature and is holding talks with the Speaker’s Office.

He confirmed in court he was given more than $10,000 from the Speaker’s Office to cover constituency expenses in 2008 and 2009, even though he didn’t pay most of those owed money.

Zinck will continue to collect his $83,000 salary.

-with files from The Canadian Press

© 2013 Shaw Media

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