Winnipeg Free Press Newspaper Archives Jun 19 2015, Page 5

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Winnipeg Free Press (Newspaper) - June 19, 2015, Winnipeg, Manitoba C M Y K PAGE A5 winnipegfreepress. com TOP NEWS WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, JUNE 19, 2015 A 5 Date: Saturday, June 20 Larry’s Guest: Marilyn Peckett Parks Canada What amazing park are you going to explore this summer? Dealer Permit # 84271 $ 7,994 OR $ 87 B/ W* C118841 2009 CHEVROLET COBALT LS Auto, air, local trade, CD player. $ 11,498 OR $ 88 B/ W* C119461 2012 CHEVROLET SONIC LS Keyless entry, 10 airbags, brake assist, traction control. $ 32,998 OR $ 231 B/ W* A98981 2012 CHEVROLET CAMARO 2LT RS Convertible, RS pkg., leather, USB, rear camera. $ 9,998 OR $ 93 B/ W* T130161 2009 PONTIAC G6 SE Cruise, auto, air, local trade, traction control. $ 11,353 OR $ 87 B/ W* A98842 2012 CHEVROLET SONIC LS Brake assist, 10 airbags, keyless entry, traction control. $ 12,500 OR $ 111 B/ W* T131401 2011 CHEVROLET HHR LT Power driver’s seat, huge rear storage, Bluetooth, chrome wheels. Only 67,000 km. $ 34,998 OR $ 267 B/ W* D40321 2013 ACURA TL ELITE Sunroof, local trade, leather, navigation, dual- zone A/ C, SiriusXM, Bluetooth. $ 16,998 OR $ 135 B/ W* A98723 2011 FORD RANGER SPORT SUPERCAB FX4 MP3, A/ C, ABS brakes, electronic stability, auto, fully loaded. $ 16,998 OR $ 130 B/ W* A99541 2013 CHEVROLET IMPALA LT Multifunction steering wheel, dual climate control, sunroof, StabiliTrak. $ 14,998 OR $ 134 B/ W* T131791 2011 DODGE GRAND CARAVAN SE Seats 7, tri- zone climate control, electronic stability, ABS. $ 30,998 OR $ 209 B/ W* A98251 2014 CHEVROLET CAMARO 2LT RS Convertible, leather, RS pkg., backup camera, USB, touchscreen radio. $ B/ W* C119011 2014 CHEVROLET CAMARO 1LT MyLink, Bluetooth, OnStar, LCD screen. $ 5,998 OR $ 65 B/ W* C118091 2009 CHEVROLET COBALT LS 1 owner, local trade, power steering, aux audio. $ 11,998 OR $ 107 B/ W* A99182 2011 CHEVROLET CRUZE LT TURBO Auto, air, local trade. Only 45,000 km. $ 12,518 OR $ 96 B/ W* C118951 2012 CHEVROLET CRUZE LT TURBO Auto, air, MP3, ABS brakes, electronic stability. SOLD * All prices and payments are plus taxes. Representative Transaction: Advertised price, $ 20,000 ( includes all fees) + GST & PST ($ 2600)= $ 26,000. Financed at 6.99% for 72 Months = $ 179B/ W. Cost of Credit $ 5,184. Dealer # 84271. Images may not represent the actual vehicle. Premium Pre- Owned CLEARANCE! # BestGradGiftEver! Double Your Student Bonus to $ 1,000. Only until June 30 th ! ( Applies only to GM Certified Pre- owned Vehicles.) W HY weren’t the alarm bells going off for Premier Greg Selinger? In the wake of revelations Infrastructure Minister Steve Ashton tried to improperly obtain a $ 5- million untendered contract to buy Tiger Dam portable floodfighting equipment to help Interlake First Nations, this has become the pre- eminent question surrounding the premier. On Wednesday, the Free Press revealed Ashton had been the subject of a conflict- of- interest investigation by the Manitoba ombudsman. Ashton has personal and political connections to two parties involved in the contract. Selinger was out of town when the story broke, but he did issue a statement that said after the contract rose to the cabinet level for discussion last October, he ordered it be subjected to a full public tender. On Thursday, Selinger elaborated. He told the Free Press he was supporting a proposal by Ashton to have the contract reviewed by the ombudsman. “ There’s lots of potential there for them to confirm what really happened in terms of the internal process,” Selinger said. To be frank, it’s a little hard to believe the premier really believes what he is saying. Particularly his intimation he personally does not know “ what really happened.” Senior government sources confirmed Ashton and his cosy relationship with U. S./ International Flood Control Corp. — the Calgary- based company that makes Tiger Dam — had been a major source of concern for political staff for several years. The concern was based on the fact IFCC, which received Manitoba contracts worth at least $ 6 million, is represented here by restaurant owner Peter Ginakes, one of Ashton’s longtime friends and political donors. This was all well- known inside the NDP government. As a result, it seems odd, even improbable, Selinger was unaware of the magnitude of the problem Ashton was cooking up. In fact, the Ginakes- Ashton relationship was only the tip of an unethical iceberg lurking in this file. The contract in question would have seen $ 5 million in Tiger Dam equipment made by U. S./ International Flood Control Corp., acquired by the Interlake Tribal Council to establish an emergency flood operations centre. Spearheading the deal was former Peguis First Nation chief Glen Hudson. Hudson and Ginakes were much more than contractor and client. As well as owning the rights to Tiger Dam in Manitoba, Ginakes sits on the board of directors of the Chief Peguis Investment Corp., an agency of Peguis First Nation, which was spearheading the purchase of Tiger Dam equipment to stock an emergency floodfighting centre. Further complicating matters was the fact sources confirmed Ashton had been lobbying within government to grant Peguis a casino licence as part of a partnership with the Manitoba Jockey Club to redevelop Assiniboia Downs. In an interview, Ashton conceded he has long supported the establishment of additional aboriginal casinos. All of this information was well- known to Selinger’s senior staff and key cabinet ministers who had fended off Ashton’s bids to push more business to IFCC and award Peguis a casino licence. “ Steve was always trying to get us to buy Tiger Dam,” one senior government source said. “ It was a constant thing with him. And in most instances, we were able to beat him back because we always had the support of the premier.” The big question now with all this knowledge within easy grasp, why has Selinger not disciplined his minister for trying to obtain an untendered contract? Certainly, Selinger’s principal critics within his own government believe the premier wittingly approved of what Ashton was doing when he wouldn’t kill the contract proposal at an October cabinet meeting. Thursday night, a spokesman for the premier’s office said the untendered Tiger Dam contract first reached the Treasury Board Oct. 6. It was not recommended for approval. That decision went on to a cabinet meeting on Oct. 8, the spokesman said. At that meeting, the premier decided not to approve the Treasury Board recommendation but did commit to studying Ashton’s proposal a bit more. This may have been interpreted by some at cabinet as tacit support for the untendered contract. The spokesman said, however, Selinger met Oct. 9 with senior officials in Manitoba Infrastructure and the Treasury Board secretariat to discuss the contract. Selinger decided at that meeting to send the entire contract to a formal public tender, the spokesman added. Where does all this leave us? It is increasingly clear that given Ashton’s relationship to both the vendor and the purchaser of the dam equipment, it was inappropriate for him to be involved in the deal at all, let alone acting as the agent to secure an untendered contract. What is unclear is why, having apparently made the right decision to stop Ashton’s plan for an untendered contract, Selinger did not discipline his minister for potentially putting the government in such a difficult position. Unfortunately, that is not going to be something the ombudsman is going to consider in any future investigation. dan. lett@ freepress. mb. ca DAN LETT Why did Selinger not discipline his minister? CHRIS YOUNG / THE CANADIAN PRESS FILES Premier Greg Selinger: does he really believe what he’s saying? A_ 07_ Jun- 19- 15_ FP_ 01. indd A5 6/ 18/ 15 10: 24: 24 PM

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