WINNIPEG — Manitoba’s Tory opposition was shot down Wednesday in its attempt to hold a public meeting into the how the NDP refiled its expenses for the 1999 election campaign.
House Speaker George Hickes ruled a motion by Tory Leader Hugh McFadyen was not a matter of public importance.
McFadyen said the Tories wanted to use the last few hours of the spring session – which ends today – to debate the independence of Elections Manitoba in the matter.
"We want to get to the bottom of what happened with the NDP scheme," McFadyen said. "We want to understand why Elections Manitoba swept under the carpet. I think if we’re not successful in doing that then there are very serious questions the way democracy operates today in Manitoba."
The Tories also want a public inquiry, which the NDP has refused.
The New Democrats say they did nothing wrong in filing elections expenses, but did pay back $76,000 several years later.
The issue was mentioned in an Elections Manitoba annual report several years ago, but has only been raised by the Tories this year when they say new information came forward about how the expenses were filed.