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NDP stadium photo op violated election law, Manitoba Tories say

Manitoba’s Progressive Conservative Party has asked the commissioner of elections to investigate a photo op that took place at Investors Group Field in 2011. Randall Paull / Global News

WINNIPEG — Manitoba’s Progressive Conservative Party is accusing the NDP government of violating election rules.

The party has asked the commissioner of elections to investigate a photo op that took place at Investors Group Field in 2011.

According to PC Leader Brian Pallister, the office has assigned an investigator to pursue the allegation.

On Aug. 26, 2011, Premier Greg Selinger and other politicians gathered at IGF for an update on its construction progress. The Tories say just three days later, new NDP ads were unveiled featuring the new stadium construction. The election was held Oct. 4, 2011.

The Elections Financing Act prohibits government from publishing or advertising “any information about its programs or activities” in the last 90 days before an election.

Pallister said the timeline indicates the project was subject to opportunism.

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“I’m raising this now, in part, because I don’t want to see secrecy prevail here,” said Pallister.

The NDP were previously found guilty of contravening the act after a 2011 photo-op at the new birthing centre.

When asked what the penalty is for violating the act, Pallister said, “The penalty is public shaming. People shouldn’t break the laws of the province no matter what their position in life.”

The stadium was a year behind schedule and over budget. At conception the cost estimate for the new stadium was $115 million. That price ballooned to $210 million.

Triple B Stadium Inc., the group that owns the stadium, has since sued the architect and builder Stuart Olson Dominion, claiming it wasn’t built properly. They in turn blame the other parties, saying they just did what was requested.

READ MORE: Investors Group Field architect blames Triple B, builder for problems

Triple B Stadium has already spent $4.7 million to fix a leaking ceiling and concrete cracks.

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