October 7, 2021
Treaty 1 and Dakota Territory, Homeland of the Métis Nation, Winnipeg MB--The Manitoba Elections Commissioner has agreed to the NDP’s request to investigate the PC leadership election and the use of alleged illegal memberships.
“This election matters—it decides the next Premier of Manitoba. There cannot be any concerns about the legitimacy and integrity of this process,” said NDP Leader Wab Kinew. “The PC Party and the two leadership candidates must do three things to prove they are scandal-free: cooperate with the Commissioner’s investigation, come clean about how many fraudulent memberships they have sold, and return all money raised through this alleged illegal scheme. We should not have dirty money in Manitoba elections.”
Media reports have indicated up to 4,000 memberships in the PC leadership election may have been purchased using a no-interest, 100-year loan repayment scheme. According to the Elections Financing Act, any fee paid for membership in a political party in this manner would count as an illegal contribution.
Despite the party’s own rules stipulating that election ballots must be mailed out as of October 5, the PC Party is now a week late to announce how many new members have been signed up during the leadership contest. Neither the PC party nor the leadership candidates have publicly repudiated this loan scheme or committed to rejecting the memberships and returning the money.
“If the PC leadership candidates intend to run honest and transparent campaigns, they need to immediately reject these alleged illegal memberships and promise to follow the rules,” Kinew said.