June 21, 2018

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Pallister on hot seat and Elections Manitoba complaints: Politics 204 for April 15

What we're talking about

  • Progressive Conservative Leader Brian Pallister

    PC Leader Brian Pallister really likes visiting Costa Rica. According to a CBC news report, he has spent nearly one in five days there since being elected leader in 2012. More importantly, he wasn't forthcoming with reporters when asked about his whereabouts during the floods in 2014. Pallister is on the defensive and the other two political leaders ain't buying it.
  • Our editorial: Conservative Party leader Brian Pallister’s series of minor fibs and distortions has not disqualified him for the role of premier, but hopefully the media frenzy surrounding his home in Costa Rica and his whereabouts during the flood of 2014 has taught him a valuable lesson, namely the truth and nothing but the truth always works best in public life.
  • Explaining Pallister: In the meantime, Dan Lett has been following this story since 2014. He weighed in this morning in this column.

More election news

  • Elections Manitoba ballot box. We head to the polls on April 19.

    Complaint #1: There are concerns about duplicate voting in this provincial election. Elections Manitoba is investigating the complaints.
  • Complaint #2: There was a bit of a botch up for a small number of advance voters at Grant Park. Secrecy wasn’t compromised, but Elections Manitoba had to act quickly to ensure that the votes counted.

Switching gears

  • Robert Taman steps down from the Manitoba Police Commission.

    Stepping down: The man whose wife's tragic death -- and the botched investigation and prosecution that followed -- led to the creation of the Manitoba Police Commission. Robert Taman's wife Crystal died in 2005 when a truck, driven by an off-duty Winnipeg police officer who had fallen asleep, slammed into the back of her car while she was stopped at a red light on Lagimodiere Boulevard. Robert Taman has resigned as a commissioner on the Manitoba Police Commission.
  • Cruel and unusual: The Supreme Court dealt another blow to the justice agenda of the previous Conservative government today. In a 6-3 vote the high court ruled a one-year mandatory minimum sentence for a second drug offence was "cruel and unusual" and violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The court also said it was not fair to deny extra credit for time served pre-conviction if the offender was denied bail. They are at least the fourth and fifth components of the Harper government's tough on crime agenda struck down by the Supreme Court.
  • On Think Tank tomorrow: Fisher Steve Ducharme writes that the South Indian Lake fishery is on the verge of collapse, with no help from government or Manitoba Hydro, and columnist Deveryn Ross hears the desperate cry of “sauver les meubles” emanating from a doomed NDP camp.

Elections stories you may have missed

  • NDP Leader Greg Selinger chats with supporter Marilyn Rosaasen during an election stop at St. James MLA Deanne Crothers campaign office.

    Profile on Selinger: In the backroom of NDP incumbent Deanne Crothers’ campaign office in St. James Village, a Winnipeg freelance crew working for public-affairs channel CPAC is adjusting the light on party leader Greg Selinger. The man who’s been premier of Manitoba for the past 6 1/2 years is characteristically calm as he prepares to be asked, yet again, about having to fight to keep his job twice over the past 14 months.
  • Legacy riding: Let’s be clear: Cindy Lamoureux is the Liberal candidate in Burrows, not her dad, Kevin. He’s the Liberal MP for Winnipeg North. But Lamoureux definitely sees them as a team, a potential dynasty and her "in" to the Ottawa connections she says she’ll tap to help the provincial riding.
  • Tight race?: Sometimes you have to confront Mount Everest — sometimes the daunting challenge is 21 votes.That was the margin of victory in the Kirkfield Park riding for New Democrat Sharon Blady in the 2011 election. Sharon Blady, the health minister in the Selinger government, is working to retain her seat. Progressive Conservative Scott Fielding, it goes without saying, believes he can make up that ground and then some. "It was the closest seat in the province," said Fielding, a former city councillor who’s been chasing the provincial seat since September 2014. "We’ve been door-knocking for over a year — we’re into our fourth round," Fielding said.

The Free Press Politics: 204 is published weekday afternoons.

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