The New Democrats allege Brian Pallister’s holdings in a Central American country are much larger than he has let on.
On Sunday, NDP Kildonan candidate Dave Chomiak accused the Progressive Conservative leader of “deliberately misleading Manitobans” about his whereabouts during the 2014 flood and about what he owns and does in Costa Rica.
Recent revelations about offshore holdings funnelled through Panama by politicians around the world prompted demands from the NDP and the Liberals for Pallister publicly release his tax return. He replied that all he owns in Costa Rica is a single property and a bank account with $2,300 in it.
“Yesterday, media reports from Costa Rica and company records indicate that he has two holding companies and three properties in the tropical country,” the NDP said in a news release. “Late last night, a PC spokesperson indicated that he actually has four properties and two holding companies.”
“Manitobans deserve further and full explanations from Brian Pallister directly today about his holdings in Costa Rica and need to be reassured that the current claims by a PC party spokesperson are the whole truth,” Chomiak said in the release.
Recently-revealed documents show Pallister spent a total of 240 days in or travelling to Costa Rica since he was elected to the legislature in 2012.
Pallister initially said he was at a family wedding in Alberta during the 2014 flood, when the province declared a state of emergency and brought in the military, but he later admitted he was in Costa Rica.
He said he was trying to protect his family’s privacy.
When Pallister was later asked where he went the last time he left the country, he said North Dakota, when in fact he spent 36 days in Costa Rica in January and February. He apologized for getting the dates wrong.
Sunday afternoon the PCs said Chomiak's annoucement was an attempt at trying to save his own seat and repeated incorrect information.
The party said Pallister already responded at length about his trips and assets in Costa Rica, and called today's move another desperate attempt by the NDP to distract Manitobans.