Premier Selinger has been forced to admit he used tax dollars to pay contracted union staff to join his office during the NDP leadership fiasco. The term of the contract coincided with the duration of the Premier’s leadership campaign and delivery of the union delegates’ vote to support him.
“The Premier used taxpayers’ dollars to contract a union official to fill a political staff position he admits he did not need before the NDP leadership race and has not needed since,” said Leader of the Official Opposition, Brian Pallister. “This raises serious questions about what impact contracted union staff had in securing the Premier his narrow 33 vote win at the convention, and why taxpayers paid the bill.”
Access to information documents confirm Executive Council signed a six figure agreement with the UFCW to contract one of their top union officials from November 3, 2014 to April 2, 2015. Selinger confirmed he would run in the leadership contest in early November and the campaign concluded in March. UFCW was allocated 160 delegates spots at the NDP leadership convention.
Under repeated questioning during Estimates in the Legislature, Selinger refused to be transparent and failed to disclose Heather Grant-Jury’s job description. Selinger also failed to disclose what role she played in his leadership campaign and her involvement in securing union endorsements and delegates.
The NDP has wasted close to a million dollars on staff-related costs associated with the NDP leadership debacle alone, while front line services suffer. This money can never be used to improve the worst ER wait-times in Canada, or protect vulnerable children. Selinger must stop this cover-up and be transparent about the extent of waste related to the NDP civil war.