The Progressive Conservatives have asked the Commissioner of Elections to investigate potential NDP violations of election financing rules in light of a photo-op involving the construction of Investors Group Field in the lead-up to the 2011 provincial election.
“The premier knowingly participated in a media photo-op that appears to be a clear violation of the elections financing rules. Manitoba taxpayers deserve to know what really transpired, and if once again NDP political interference has resulted in wasting millions of tax dollars,” said Official Opposition Leader Brian Pallister.
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. The provincial government is the major funder of the stadium. The NDP leader used the stadium site to stage a photo op to tout construction progress on Aug. 26, 2011. Only three days later, the NDP unveiled their new political ads featuring stadium construction. The election was Oct. 4, 2011.
The NDP continue to block transparency on the stadium project. The Selinger NDP initially supported an audit by the Auditor General of the controversial project, but then voted to oppose the stadium audit a few short weeks later.
Cost overruns for Investors Group Field are estimated in the tens of millions of dollars and climbing. Total overrun costs are unknown as repairs are ongoing and further problems and complications could become apparent.