A Court of Queen's Bench judge turned down a request by a government lawyer Tuesday for an urgent hearing into whether Finance Minister Stan Struthers and Healthy Living Minister Jim Rondeau should be removed from office over the province's handling of Assiniboia Downs.
Judge Brenda Keyser said the allegations against the ministers are not considered urgent and put it over to Sept. 25.
Lawyer Jamie Kagan said the sooner the allegations against Struthers and Rondeau are dealt with, the sooner the damage to their reputations can be fixed.
"The ministers are seeking leave of this court that it be heard on an urgent basis so that they can have their reputations cleared," Kagan said.
The Manitoba Jockey Club alleges Struthers and Rondeau violated the Legislative Assembly and Executive Council Conflict of Interest Act and should be removed from office. The club argues Rondeau used confidential information to develop a plan to have the Red River Exhibition Corporation take over Assiniboia Downs. It also says Struthers is conspiring with the Red River Ex to drive the jockey club into bankruptcy, allowing the Ex to take over the horse-racing site.
It just one of several legal salvos the jockey club has launched against the Selinger government and its intention to cut $5 million in video-lottery terminal revenue from the club. The club argues without that money, the remainder of the horse-racing season will have to be cancelled because it won't have the funds to operate.
Keyser, without giving specific reasons, said the case did not meet the standard of an urgent matter. The other factor is the courts effectively shut down for staff holidays in July and August.