FREDERICTON (GNB) – The following statement was issued today by Public Prosecutions Services regarding R. v. Gérard Comeau:

The trial of Gérard Comeau for an offence contrary to section 134 of the Liquor Control Act has attracted much attention.

To ensure New Brunswickers maintain confidence in the administration of justice it is necessary that the public is made aware that the decision to appeal or not in this file is being made by Public Prosecution Services, an agent of the Attorney General who is constitutionally independent from the government. It is not a decision being made by the government and/or NB Liquor.

Any and all decisions made by Public Prosecution Services are made independently and free from any third-party interference. Decisions to prosecute, to continue prosecutions, or to appeal decisions are based solely on evidence, the law, precedents and the public interest.

In this matter the trial decision is being reviewed by prosecutors to determine if there is cause to appeal. Some legal errors may be present in this decision and appellate review may be necessary. Should a Notice of Appeal be filed, our reasons to appeal will be clearly set out in the Notice of Appeal. This document will be a public document available for examination.

Furthermore, it is important to note that the effect of the trial decision is limited in theory to Gérard Comeau. The Provincial Court does not have the jurisdiction to strike down a law in a general way as it applies to all citizens. Consequently, Public Prosecution Services will carefully exercise its discretion to ensure the public interest is well served should law enforcement present us with any similar files.