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NDP, Tories trade barbs as election nears

Chomiak “trying to save his own seat”



Dave Chomiak

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 17/4/2016 (1453 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Barbs were flying Sunday as the Progressive Conservatives and New Democrats exchanged attacks on the second-last day of the campaign.

First on the offensive was NDP candidate Dave Chomiak, demanding Tory Leader Brian Pallister tell the whole truth about his holdings in Costa Rica before voters head to the polls Tuesday. The Tories dismissed Chomiak's demand as "trying to save his own seat."

Then, Conservative candidate Cameron Friesen accused the New Democrats of having no plan to pay for their promises, warning the provincial sales tax could rise to as high as 10 per cent under NDP rule.

A fiery Chomiak spoke to reporters from NDP headquarters in downtown Winnipeg Sunday, reiterating the party's demand for complete honesty from Pallister.

"What has happened over the past week, in regards to Brian Pallister, is nothing short of a question that requires answering. Something smells here," Chomiak said. "Brian Pallister has promised what he is going to do in the first 100 days if he should take office, but he has been inaccurate, some would say lied, about what has happened the last seven days."

Chomiak’s demands come after a Costa Rican newspaper reported a public records search showing Pallister owning three parcels of land through a holding company in a "highly sought-after" coastal area of Costa Rica, which is in Central America.

The three parcels, totalling 13.26 acres, have a taxable value of US$134,000. The paper reported Pallister also controls a second holding company that owns two vehicles. The paper said it is common practice for foreign nationals to place real estate and vehicles in holding companies.

"This is Dave Chomiak trying to save his own seat," read a statement from the PCs sent out Sunday afternoon.

"Brian Pallister has already responded at length to this Costa Rican newspaper story, going so far as to actually correct information by confirming an additional parcel of land as part of the same property."

The PCs released a statement on Saturday saying Pallister owns a fourth piece of land as well.

The NDP said Pallister did not disclose the property in conflict of interest forms submitted to the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba.

"Brian Pallister has to come forward before the election… he has to tell us today," Chomiak said. "If he wants to be premier, he has to be honest."

Chomiak said he wasn’t taking issue with the properties themselves, but the inconsistencies he’s seeing. Chomiak referred to a selection of papers posted on the wall behind him, each suggesting an inconsistency from as far back as two years ago.

"I’m more concerned about why he’s contradicted himself several times, why he’s hiding these holdings," he said. "People can have vacation land, they can have properties – but you don’t lie about it, you don’t say one thing and then say another thing, that’s the issue."

Pallister has faced criticism for the amount of time he has spent in Costa Rica since he was elected MLA for Fort Whyte in a 2012 byelection. He also admitted he was there during the height of the 2014 Assiniboine River flood after CBC obtained documents placing him in the country at that time.

Meanwhile, the PCs were on the offensive themselves Sunday, accusing the NDP of not coming clean.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p><p>Cameron Friesen, PC candidate for Morden-Winkler accuses the NDP of planning to increase the PST another percentage point in order to pay for campaign promises during a media call at the PC headquarters Sunday.160417 - Sunday, April 17, 2016</p></p>


Cameron Friesen, PC candidate for Morden-Winkler accuses the NDP of planning to increase the PST another percentage point in order to pay for campaign promises during a media call at the PC headquarters Sunday.160417 - Sunday, April 17, 2016

PC candidate Cameron Friesen told reporters the NDP’s platform confirms the party’s intentions to raise and potentially broaden the PST to help compensate for $600 million in campaign promises.

"There’s no indication on how they will pay for them," Friesen said. "There’s no disclosure of the fact that Manitobans will be stuck paying for the tab on NDP overspending."

Friesen said the PST could go as high as 10 per cent from the current eight.

The NDP said Friesen’s claims are unfounded.

"These are last-minute, desperate attempts to divert attention from Brian Pallister's web of coverups on the same day that he has been caught misleading Manitobans once again," read a statement from the NDP.

"Only Conservatives would call investments in child care, universities and more doctors and nurses 'vote-buying.'"



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Updated on Sunday, April 17, 2016 at 4:50 PM CDT: Writethru

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