Two days ago the Winnipeg firefighters union announced it was endorsing her for mayor. But yesterday that endorsement exploded in her face when another mayoral election candidate, Robert Falcon-Ouellette, started asking questions about the extent of the union's support.
Union boss Alex Forrest sneered "It's a stupid complaint." He then told the Winnipeg Free Press that the signs carried and t-shirts promoting Wasylycia-Leis by his members "were all invoiced to her campaign."
That's what's known in police circles as "a confession."
The city bylaw governing municipal elections, passed under orders by the provincial NDP government, states categorically:
Prohibited contributions not to be accepted
9(1) A registered candidate in an election shall not
(a) solicit or accept a contribution from
(i) a person who is not an individual normally resident in Manitoba, or
(ii) an organization;
(a) a trade union, a partnership and an unincorporated association,
This is the second mayoral campaign for Wasylycia-Leis, so she has no excuse for not knowing that union donations are specifically outlawed, whether they are reported as an election expense or not.
The penalty for breaking campaign financing legislation?
Anyone caught has to either pay for the illegal donation or give it back. That's it.
This isn't the first time that NDP election campaigns have broken financing legislation. The fact they have never been punished may have encouraged the Wasylycia-Leis campaign to thumb its nose at the law.
In the 2010 election, attendees at a public meeting heard NDP-backed council candidate Ross Eadie declare he couldn't run if it wasn't for the financial support of the NDP. Despite 8 complaints filed with Marc Lemoine, described as Winnipeg senior election official, he did nothing to investigate the matter.
In 1999, the provincial NDP party defrauded the province for $76,000 in rebates for election expenses attributed to union volunteers. The fraud was kept secret with the collusion of Manitoba's Chief Electoral Officer, Richard Balasko.
We see the news today about the "official" CMHR opening being delayed to November:
In case you missed them, here are this week's trifecta of Museum posts: