Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Pallister's mansion: the sequel

Manitoba Tory chief tells rags-to-riches tale

  • Print

Brian Pallister wants Manitobans to know that while he recently dropped $2 million on a Wellington Crescent mansion, he wasn't born with a silver spoon in his mouth.

The Progressive Conservative leader called a news conference Monday to respond to criticisms of the purchase, which appears to have drawn more public attention than the entire 13-day fall legislative sitting.

Pallister described how he came from humble beginnings on a farm southwest of Portage la Prairie. How he and his two siblings were raised in a 450-square-foot home that did not have indoor plumbing until 1967.

The future Tory leader put himself through university, worked for a time as a school teacher and then launched a financial consulting business out of his car.

"I built my business based on helping people get better off financially, and in so doing, I got better off financially myself," he told reporters, speaking from notes.

"I helped young families get out of debt. I helped small business people to find success in an era of double-digit interest rates. I helped farmers to be able to pass on their farms to their heirs. I helped labourers get benefits packages. I helped working people get pensions. I helped seniors find better financial security than they would have without my advice."

Pallister said he took exception to comments from university professors quoted in the Free Press and CBC stories about his house purchase.

The academics left the false impression, he said, that he couldn't relate to, or had disdain for, people who were struggling financially.

"Nothing could be further from the truth," he said Monday.

Pallister's new address boasts 9,000 square feet of living space with a seven-car heated garage, a backyard basketball court and a view of the Assiniboine River. It sits on 1.7 acres of riverfront property. It was originally listed for $3.3 million.

The Tory leader said he and his wife "lived frugally and reasonably" for many years.

"We've chosen to invest in Manitoba and we're proud of that choice."

He said he entered politics to fight for those who need "smarter and more efficient government to work for them, who need government to help sometimes and sometimes just to get out of the way."

He noted that last week when the house-purchase story broke, his party was advancing issues such as fairer taxes for working people and the plight of children in the care of child and family services.

"I've never been in the proximity of a silver spoon. I understand what it's like to live with humility. I understand what it's like to run out of money before the end of the month. I can relate to people very well who work hard and who do not always find success," he said.

As for his own success, Pallister said: "I used a simple plan. Zero, 20, 60. I started with nothing. I went to night school for 20 years. I've always worked 60-hour weeks."

larry.kusch@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 11, 2012 B4

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Your top TV picks for Nov. 28-30

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A young goose gobbles up grass at Fort Whyte Alive Monday morning- Young goslings are starting to show the markings of a adult geese-See Bryksa 30 day goose challenge- Day 20– June 11, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • JOE.BRYKSA@FREEPRESS.MB.CA Local-(  Standup photo)-    A butterfly looks for nector on a lily Tuesday afternoon in Wolseley-JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS- June 22, 2010

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should Canada send heavy military equipment to Ukraine?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google