By The Canadian Press
WINNIPEG – Manitoba’s Opposition New Democrats say the Progressive Conservatives broke a law that bans government advertising during byelections.
The NDP is upset over newspaper and television ads in recent days — taken out by the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority — that promote plans to close emergency rooms at some hospitals in the city.
The NDP has filed a complaint with the elections commissioner that says the ads should have been pulled last Friday when Premier Brian Pallister called a byelection for June 13 in the Point Douglas constituency in Winnipeg.
NDP justice critic Andrew Swan says the ads violate a section of the Election Financing Act that forbids most government advertising during election campaigns.
Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen says health authorities have been told about the advertising ban and are expected to follow the rules.
The former NDP government was found guilty of violating the advertising ban in 2011, but was not penalized because the law does not include any consequences for such offences.