Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Search for new chief electoral officer: Opposition storms out of meeting

  • Print

THE task of finding a new provincial chief electoral officer--the person who makes sure elections are on the up-and-up--got sidetracked last night when opposition MLAs stormed out of the first all-party meeting to start the hiring process.

The five opposition MLAs say they won't participate in the process until the Selinger government launches an independent review into how Elections Manitoba handled NDP rebates following the 1999 election. The NDP used union volunteers to finangle extra, taxpayer-funded rebates.

Elections Manitoba eventually forced the party to repay $76,000 in improper rebates several years later, but it never pursued charges under election finance laws and did not comb through returns from previous elections.

Steinbach MLA Kelvin Goertzen said that cloud over Elections Manitoba must be removed before any thought can be given to replacing Richard Balasko, who retires in April. And that can only happen by the government calling an independent inquiry, which is unlikely.

What happened last night also won't delay a byelection being called in Concordia, likely in a matter of weeks, but it could impact the public's confidence in the next general election in October 2011, Goertzen said.

"It's not just elected members of the legislature," Goertzen said. "It's anybody who's considering running, for any political party, to ensure that they know that the chief referee of elections is going to referee in an appropriate way."

Government House Leader Bill Blaikie said the walkout by the opposition won't affect the hiring process.

"That process cannot be held hostage to an ongoing political debate between the opposition and the government about things that have happened in the past," he said. "We have a responsibility to the future here."

Rules allow the committee to carry on without the opposition's involvement. The six remaining NDP MLAs agreed to strike a subcommittee to start looking for Balasko's replacement.

Blaikie said the committee does not yet have a short list of potential candidates.

bruce.owen@freepress.mb.ca

 

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 22, 2010 A6

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

Key of Bart - Take It Easy

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • A goose flys defensively to protect their young Wednesday near Kenaston Blvd and Waverley -See Bryksa 30 Day goose challenge- Day 16 - May 23, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should the city grant mosquito buffer zones for medical reasons only?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google