Opposition Leader Brian Pallister today renewed his call on Premier Greg Selinger to immediately remove Steve Ashton from cabinet due to mounting evidence of interference in the purchase of flood equipment and attempts to expedite an announcement of a health clinic for the benefit of a political ally.
“Ashton received donations only when he delivered on Tiger Dams,” said Pallister. “This is systemic arrogance and a lack of accountability by an NDP government that operates solely for themselves and their friends, at the expense of all Manitobans.”
Pallister noted there is damning evidence demonstrating a clear correlation between political donations and the purchases of Tiger Dams going as far back as 2009 between Ashton and Peter and Phyllis Ginakes.
“The Premier can no longer bury his head in the sand. He needs to step up and do the right thing. He must immediately address the erosion of public trust in light of his government’s actions.”
This is just the latest in a series of ethical boundaries being overstepped by Ashton and condoned by Premier Selinger. Earlier this week, it was revealed the minister attempted to pressure his government to allow the then-mayor of The Pas to announce a health clinic in that community in advance of last fall’s municipal election, at the expense of other communities with pressing needs.
This new information comes in the midst of a scandal in which the minister attempted to circumvent the tendering process by pressuring the Treasury Board to sole source $5 million for flood-fighting equipment in order to benefit a friend and political donor.