Saturday, November 22, 2014

Manitoba premier spotted in penalty box for free Winnipeg Jets ticket

Manitoba Opposition leader Brian Pallister speaks to media on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014. Metro/Colin Fast 
 | MetroA two-and-a-half year old scandal about politicians accepting free Jets tickets is back in play, and Premier Greg Selinger is standing at centre ice.

In an interview with radio station CJOB on Wednesday, Selinger acknowledged for the first time that he sat in a box seat for free during a game in 2011.

“I attended a game at the invitation of Ken Cheveldayoff, an elected representative from Saskatchewan,” Selinger said in a statement released later in the day. “He didn’t want reimbursement for the ticket but recommended I make a donation which I subsequently did to a non-profit housing organization.”

But that’s not what Selinger told a legislative committee on May 9, 2012.  Under questioning from then-PC leader Hugh McFadyen, he said he purchased any Jets tickets he used directly from the team itself.

After the scandal erupted, Selinger asked all ministers and MLAS to disclose if they had accepted free hockey tickets. Thirteen NDP MLAs came forward, but Selinger wasn’t one of them.

PC opposition leader Brian Pallister said the leak of details about the Premier’s free ticket is another indication of a dysfunctional government.

“Whatever information has come to light didn’t come from us,” he said. “I strongly suspect they (the government) are not a team at all, just a group of individuals willing to throw each other under the bus.”

The government ultimately changed its policy to prohibit politicians and government officials from accepting free tickets to sporting events.

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