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This article was published 29/5/2019 (708 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
WINNIPEG - Manitoba political candidates with criminal convictions and other legal troubles will soon have to disclose their pasts before they can run for office.
A bill requiring the disclosure has passed final reading and is expected to become law next week when the legislature breaks for the summer.
The bill, from Tory backbencher Sarah Guillemard, requires candidates to reveal any convictions they've had under the Criminal Code, the Controlled Drug and Substances Act and the Income Tax Act.
The information would then be posted online by Elections Manitoba, and people who fail to disclose could face a fine of up to $10,000 or a year in jail.
There are exceptions for people who were convicted as minors and for people who have received formal pardons.
But there is no exception for people like Opposition NDP Leader Wab Kinew, who received a record suspension for assault and impaired driving convictions from more than a decade ago.
"Voters in Manitoba should be aware of the history of all candidates so they can make the best decisions possible," Guillemard said in a written statement.
Kinew had several run-ins with the law, some of which he revealed in his 2015 memoir, The Reason You Walk.
He was convicted for impaired driving and for assaulting a cab driver in his early 20s more than a decade ago — offences for which he has since received record suspensions.
A record suspension does not erase a criminal conviction, but removes a criminal record from the Canadian Police Information Centre database in order to help people land jobs and move on with their lives.
The federal government replaced the pardon system with record suspensions in 2012.
Kinew was also charged with assaulting his partner in 2003 but the charge was stayed in 2004. In 2017, his former partner said she stood by her accusation that Kinew threw her across the couple's living room and did not know why the Crown stayed the charge.
Guillemard's bill only requires convictions — not charges — to be disclosed.