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MP Svend Robinson's Personal Statement PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Thursday, 15 April 2004 04:20

Svend Robinson, MP: Burnaby, B.C., 15 April 2004-- For some time now, I have been suffering from severe stress and emotional pain.  While continuing to undertake my responsibilities as the federal Member of Parliament for Burnaby-Douglas, and to serve my constituents with dedication and hard work, I have experienced great inner turmoil.  The reasons for this are of course intensely personal, and I am not prepared to discuss them, but among others relate to the cumulative pressures of dealing with the emotional consequences of a nearly fatal hiking accident.  The past few months have been particularly difficult and painful.

This accumulated stress culminated last Friday in my engaging in an act that was totally inexplicable and unthinkable. While attending a public jewellery
sale, I pocketed a piece of jewellery.  I did this despite knowing full well
that the employees who were there recognized me and did so in a context
where I had provided to them my full name and contact information in
writing, and that the entire area was under electronic surveillance.
Something just snapped in this moment of utter irrationality.  Immediately
upon leaving the premises I realized that I must return the jewellery.  Too
afraid to go back, and unable to contact the owners by telephone, during the
long weekend, I spent a weekend of great anguish, determined to return the
jewellery at the first opportunity.  o­n Tuesday morning, I attempted to
contact the owners, and not being able to do so directly, I went to the
police and gave them a full account of what I had done, and returned the
jewellery to them. This matter is now in the hands of the police and Crown
Counsel.  My legal counsel, Clayton Ruby, has communicated with Crown
Counsel and outlined the circumstances fully.  I await the decision of Crown
Counsel and will not seek to in any way avoid full responsibility for my
actions should charges be laid in these circumstances.

I have sought and am receiving professional medical help to understand and
deal with these issues.  I have commenced a course of therapy with this
objective, and I look forward to full healing and recovery with the
excellent professional assistance I am receiving.  Clearly at this painful
and difficult time, while there are outstanding legal and health issues to
be addressed, I must devote my full energy and time to recovery and healing.
I will therefore be taking time off for medical leave immediately. My
hardworking and experienced staff will certainly continue to serve the needs
of my constituents, and I will remain in close contact with them.   I am
also stepping down at this time as the federal New Democrat candidate for
Burnaby-Douglas while these issues remain unresolved.  I do this with the
full support of my federal Leader Jack Layton, my riding President, Doug
Sigurdson, and my partner Max Riveron.  I will be meeting in the near future
with my riding executive to discuss the longer term implications of this
decision should an election be called while these issues remain outstanding.

As you can imagine this has been a nightmare.  I cannot believe that it has
happened, but I am human and I have failed.  I have felt such a sense of
privilege and honour to serve my constituents in Burnaby and indeed people
across Canada, and feel an equally powerful sense of sadness that I have let
them down.  As I deal with this issue, I hope I will have their
understanding and support.

In light of the very personal nature of this statement, and the outstanding
legal issues, I will not be able to take any questions.  Thank you for your

Last Updated on Thursday, 15 April 2004 04:20

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