Opposition Leader Brian Pallister today challenged Premier Selinger to come clean and stop the secretive and illegal withholding of public information which has become his trademark.
“Lack of information on taxpayer-funded political severances, untendered Tiger Dam contracts with no explanation, and now no guarantee of a budget before the next election – it’s shameful,” Pallister said.
As of July 31, 2015 none of the untendered Tiger Dam contracts from 2009 to 2014, valued at $9 million, were disclosed in a database as required by law under section 80 of the Financial Administration Act. Some of the information was unveiled to PC researchers at the end of August – but only after they confronted the government directly and informed them they were breaking the law.
Last week under questioning from Pallister, Selinger confirmed further wrongdoing in the scandal over attempts by Emergency Measures Minister Steve Ashton to circumvent normal procedures in the $5-million purchase of flood-control equipment from a political donor. The Premier admitted in committee last week that a public announcement of the purchase was made in July 2014 before securing cabinet approval – a clear attempt to circumvent the proper tendering process.
Selinger has also promised to release details of severance paid to several staff members fired for not supporting his bid to retain the party’s leadership. That has not happened.
“Democracy is based on respect for the people who toil and sacrifice and are the source of government revenues,” Pallister added. “This premier has failed to show respect for Manitobans.”