The leader of Manitoba’s official opposition claims that one of the women fighting to become the leader of the ruling progressive conservative party reached out to the NDP with dirt on her competition.
NDP leader Wab Kinew claims that Shelly Glover’s campaign shared concerns about the sale of PC memberships of Heather Stefansson’s campaign.
The PCs choose one of the two women to become the party’s next leader – and Manitoba’s next prime minister – on October 30.
Kinew claimed that Glover was trying to get the NDP’s help in her efforts to claim the job.
“The Glover campaign contacted the NDP a week ago to try to use us to remove Heather Stefanson. The Glover camp then gave us compromising information,” Kinew said on the floor of the Manitoba legislature.
Kinew then claimed that the Glover campaign claimed that the Stefanson campaign had sold PC memberships incorrectly.
“We urge the Glover campaign to explain to PC party members why they are trying to use the NDP to win that leadership race. We urge the campaign run by the Tuxedo member to respond to the allegation of irregular memberships.”
The NDP later shared screenshots of texts sent from a spokesman for the Glover campaign to an NDP official. In the texts, the Glover spokeswoman noted that Stefanson sold some PC memberships directly through her campaign page, while the election manitoba rules apparently prohibit the practice.
Stefansson’s campaign said the Progressive Conservative Party has already rejected the Glover campaign’s complaint about Tuxedo MLA’s membership sales.
The Progressive Conservative Party declined to comment on the complaint.
“We will not comment on the internal appeals process,” party spokesman Keith Stewart said in a statement Wednesday.
The Glover campaign also declined to comment on the complaint.
“There are a number of issues being reviewed by the PC party, and as such, it would be inappropriate for the campaign to comment at this time,” Glover spokesman David MacKay said in a statement on Wednesday.
Elections Manitoba also declined to say whether it is looking into a complaint.
“I’m afraid my policy is not to reveal whether an investigation is underway, nor to discuss the course of an investigation,” Election Commissioner Bill Bowles said in a statement Wednesday.
Stefansson’s campaign called the allegations of collaboration between Glover and the NDP unfortunate.
“It does not fit well with the values of our PC party. While the Shelly Glover campaign would rather work with the NDP than our PC party members, Heather will work hard for all PC members, no matter who they support, and all Manitobans,” he said. Stefansson’s campaign in a statement.
CBC News has also asked the Glover campaign to comment on Kinew’s claim.
On the floor of the legislature, Deputy Prime Minister Rochelle Squires accused Kinew of having pulled a stunt.
“It’s obvious that the leader of the opposition is obsessed with Manitoba PC party leadership, and I can assure you that if he stops doing such stunts, he will have plenty of opportunities to talk about his own leadership in good time, “Squires said.
Before Kinew raised his claim about Glover’s campaign, he claimed that the former Conservative MP was trying to accommodate people who are against COVID-19, while at the same time saying that she supports vaccination.
“You’re being exploited by people who want to say or do something to advance their careers,” Kinew said, referring to comments Glover made about “natural immunity” to CBC News and to Western Standard, a conservative Alberta-based publication.
Glover told both media health workers who received COVID believe they should be exempt from Manitoba’s directive, be vaccinated before Monday or take rapid COVID tests up to three times a week.
Glover later clarified that she does not believe that the conclusion of COVID should be an exception.