The Progressive Conservatives have requested and the Commissioner of Elections has launched an investigation into allegations Manitoba Hydro contracts were offered in exchange for support for Premier Greg Selinger.
The allegations became public in December 2015 when a letter dated April 21 from Opaskwayak Cree Nation (OCN) Chief Michael Constant to Deputy Premier Eric Robinson was reported in the media. The letter alleges that in exchange for support for Selinger in the “election process” contracts would be awarded for Bipole III transmission line work to OCN.
The allegations stem from a closed-door meeting between Constant and Robinson in OCN territory on Feb. 19, 2015. Constant wrote he also met with Selinger “during his visit at this time.”
“We requested the investigation as we feel these are very serious allegations involving public trust and our democratic system,” PC House Leader Kelvin Goertzen said.
A Feb. 5, 2016 letter from Goertzen to the commissioner reads in part:
“The applicability of The Elections Act provision on bribery and intimidation offences to a by-election or a general election process is beyond dispute. The gravity of these allegations as they relate to the NDP leadership race and/or the upcoming provincial election requires thorough and urgent investigation.”
The Commissioner of Elections confirmed an investigation has begun via email dated Feb. 7, 2016.