Manitoba NDP Accused of Election Financing Violations

WINNIPEG — The Manitoba PC Party President Brent Pooles has lodged a formal complaint with Elections Commissioner Bill Bowles, urging an investigation into NDP MLA Ian Bushie (Keewatinook) for allegedly breaching The Election Financing Act by announcing new government funding to sway the upcoming by-election.

“During an election blackout, the NDP are attempting to leverage government resources to secure votes,” Pooles asserted. “Bushie and the NDP violated election regulations as their new funding announcement was publicized by the media, akin to making the announcement at a press conference. The media coverage was directly associated with organizations headquartered in Tuxedo.”

Following criticism for cutting funding to hundreds of youth employment programs across Manitoba, Bushie, the NDP minister for municipal relations, announced the reinstatement of $300,000 in previously-cut funding for community organizations, including some based in Tuxedo. The Election Financing Act restricts governments from promoting programs or activities during an election period.

“Recently, the NDP withdrew support from numerous Tuxedo-based summer camps, community groups, and youth programs,” Pooles noted. “The NDP could have addressed their budget cuts with the organizations privately, but chose to do so publicly, using taxpayer resources to distribute the message throughout Winnipeg and Manitoba.”

“We anticipate the results of the investigation into this blatant attempt by the NDP to influence a by-election using government resources,” Pooles concluded.–News Desk