If you don’t stay, you’ll pay: that’s the message behind a private member's bill being proposed by Green Party member Donnie H.J. Benham.

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This article was published 16/8/2012 (3276 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Donnie Benham is the Green Party's candidate in the upcoming Fort Whyte byelection.

Donnie Benham is the Green Party's candidate in the upcoming Fort Whyte byelection.

If you don’t stay, you’ll pay: that’s the message behind a private member's bill being proposed by Green Party member Donnie H.J. Benham.

Benham, the son of former city councillor Donald Benham, proposed Tuesday in front of the legislature a bill he called the Honesty in Politics Act.

Such a bill would look to ensure that all successful candidates of a general election will be unable to step down until the next general election or risk paying a monetary penalty.

That penalty: the forfeit of all government monies and the giving back all government contributions to their pensions, with interest.

"Why should MLAs be allowed to quit their jobs without penalty?" said Benham to a group of reporters. "They made a contract to the people in a general election to serve a full term. They should keep their word."

The proposal comes on the eve of a provincial byelection set for September 4 in the Fort Whyte constituency. Benham has announced his candidacy for the Green Party, vying against Brian Pallister, the official leader of the Manitoba Progressive Conservative Party, Bob Axworthy for the Liberals, and NDP candidate Brandy Schmidt.

In the past 15 years, ten MLAs have left their posts after being elected. Pallister is inked on that list after leaving his riding in Portage la Prairie moments after a successful election in 1997.

Benham said his complete platform will be revealed at a later date.

This will be Benham’s second crack at a political office. His first was in the 2011 when he ran against Tory Heather Stefanson, now the MLA for Tuxedo.

Jeff Hamilton

Jeff Hamilton
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After a slew of injuries playing hockey that included breaks to the wrist, arm, and collar bone; a tear of the medial collateral ligament in both knees; as well as a collapsed lung, Jeff figured it was a good idea to take his interest in sports off the ice and in to the classroom.

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