Drover re­leased on con­di­tions

Former mil­i­tary of­fi­cer, po­lit­i­cal can­di­date vows to seek the help he needs


A re­tired of­fi­cer with the Cana­dian Forces, who once as­pired to be the Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive MHA for Port de Grave and premier of New­found­land and Labrador, ad­mit­ted in court last week that his life has been on a down­ward spi­ral.

Gary John Drover was re­leased from cus­tody fol­low­ing a bail hear­ing at provin­cial court in Har­bour Grace on Dec. 7. He had been in pol­icy cus­tody since Nov. 30, when he was ar­rested and charged with break and en­ter and as­sault. The in­ci­dent is al­leged to have taken place at a Car­bon­ear home on that date.

The most re­cent mat­ter was the lat­est in a string of charges Drover has faced since early July.

The ac­cused also faces charges of op­er­a­tion of a mo­tor ve­hi­cle while im­paired, dan­ger­ous driv­ing and fail- ure to com­ply with con­di­tions of an un­der­tak­ing. The dan­ger­ous driv­ing charges stem from an Oct. 12 in­ci­dent on Vet­er­ans Me­mo­rial High­way. Po­lice re­ceived com­plaints that Drover was driv­ing his mo­torhome in an er­ratic man­ner. He was later in­volved in a col­li­sion in Bay Roberts.

Judge Jacqueline Brazil re­leased Drover, who cur­rently re­sides in Car­bon­ear, on a strict list of con­di­tions, in­clud­ing a pro­hi­bi­tion on the pos­ses­sion or con­sump­tion of al­co­hol or any il­le­gal drugs or sub­stances.

“I hope you don’t make me re­gret it,” she said.

The ac­cused was or­dered not to con­tact or com­mu­ni­cate with one of the vic­tims of the al­leged break and en­ter.

Drover is due back in court Jan. 23 to deal with the Oct. 12 and Nov. 30 mat­ters.

Drover was med­i­cally re­leased from the mil­i­tary in 2008 af­ter he was deemed un­fit for ser­vice due to a “psy­cho­log­i­cal in­jury” in the per­for­mance of his du­ties. At the time, he was di­ag­nosed with se­vere de­pres­sion and anx­i­ety.

Drover first en­tered the spot­light ear­lier this year af­ter an­nounc­ing he would seek the PC nom­i­na­tion in Port de Grave for the Oct. 11 provin­cial gen­eral elec­tion. He also stated pub­licly it was his am­bi­tion to one day be­come premier.

But in early July he was in­volved in an in­ci­dent with an RNC of­fi­cer in Par­adise that re­sulted in him be­ing charged with pos­ses­sion of a weapon dan­ger­ous to the pub­lic (a power drill), as­sault­ing a po­lice of­fi­cer with that weapon and ob­struct­ing the of­fi­cer in the ex­e­cu­tion of his du­ties.

Drover fin­ished last of the six can­di­dates in the run­ning, re­ceiv­ing 15 of the more than 1,600 votes cast.

It’s been a dif­fi­cult time for the 20year vet­eran of the mil­i­tary, who

Gary Drover

. holds a de­gree in com­merce from Me­mo­rial Univer­sity and is the fa­ther of two teenage daugh­ters.

In court last week, Judge Brazil told the de­fen­dant: “You come be­fore me as a re­tired Cana­dian Forces mem­ber, a sol­dier who never had a crim­i­nal record. Now you’re 49 years old; you’ve had three out­stand­ing mat­ters be­fore this court and you pled guilty to one. That’s since July 2 and this is Dec. 7, so there’s some­thing go­ing on here,” the judge ob­served.

Han­nah Coombs, her sis­ter Claire and mom Kayla Janes take in the Har­bour Grace Santa Claus Pa­rade as it passes by their Har­vey Street home. Or­ga­nized by the town’s vol­un­teer fire bri­gade, the pa­rade was held Dec. 3 un­der sunny skies and ideal weather con­di­tions. For more pa­rade photo high­lights, see Page A6

Wade Oates will be sworn in as a Bay Roberts town counil­lor Tues­day, Dec. 13.

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