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This article was published 21/9/2017 (784 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
People accused of hurting other people have been disqualified in the past from running for political office, provincial Liberal leadership candidate Dougald Lamont declared Thursday.
"You can have second chances for people, people can improve themselves," Lamont told reporters when asked Thursday about newly minted NDP leader Wab Kinew. "Ultimately, the reason we say things in their past disqualify them, it's a matter of principle, it's a matter of justice.
"It's not fair to the people they hurt in the past. The NDP are saying we shouldn't talk about what happened in the past. Wab Kinew basically said someone who accused him of assault was lying — that's a very serious charge. There's a woman who's been driven into hiding."
Lamont made his comments in a scrum following a Laurier Club luncheon described as a showcase for Manitoba Liberal Party leadership candidates.
Lamont's opponents, MLAs Jon Gerrard and Cindy Lamoureux, wouldn't talk about Kinew, and party president Paul Brault said the Liberal Party would not be attacking Kinew's personal history.
"It's not our intention whatsoever," Brault said.
Kinew has continued to deny he physically assaulted his then-partner Tara Hart in 2003; Hart has come forward to describe the alleged physical assaults by Kinew, which resulted in two domestic assault charges against him. Both charges were later stayed.
Kinew's character and past are "a question for Manitoba voters," Gerrard said, while Lamoureux said, "I just want to focus on the leadership."
Very little policy made it into the candidates' short speeches Thursday to about three dozen party members. The Liberal leadership convention is Oct. 21.
"I will be releasing my policy platform at the end of the month," said Lamoureux. She would eliminate the "barrier" of party growth by ending annual membership fees of $5 a year for students and $10 for adults, and said she would not accept a leader's salary from the party.
"I'm committed to taking no salary, which our party can't afford," she said. However, party executive director Sam Dixon said later that the party constitution makes no mention of any additional compensation for being leader.
Gerrard, a previous leader who had little electoral success the first time around, said his experience would give voters an alternative to the NDP's wasteful spending and the Conservatives' hacking and slashing.
The public thinks the NDP is even worse than the Tories, who betray their own core because the provincial Conservatives led by Brian Pallister believes its base won't vote for anyone else, said Lamont.
"We need to say, it doesn't need to be this way," he said.