More details emerge into controversial fundraiser for St. Boniface MP Shelly Glover
Published Monday, January 20, 2014 5:28PM CST
Last Updated Monday, January 20, 2014 6:51PM CST
Groups from the Manitoba arts and culture community, who lobby Ottawa for money, were invited to a fundraiser last week on MP Shelly Glover’s behalf.
Federal rules say cabinet ministers can’t solicit money from anyone who may have lobbied or may lobby them in the future.
Glover and event organizers said the gathering was strictly to raise money for the party’s local riding association, but CTV News obtained information which suggests otherwise.
People who hosted the party told CTV News the event was a fundraiser for the local Conservative riding association and had nothing to do with Glover’s role as minister.
Outside of the event, Glover echoed those sentiments.
"The majority of these people were actually people who were friends of mine or board members or people that have been involved with the Conservative Party,” Glover said.
But the invitation to the fundraiser obtained by CTV News paints a different picture.
"Invitees are primarily members of the cultural community in Winnipeg,” it said. "Shelly is interested in meeting with you and hearing your views."
CTV has confirmed representatives from the Manitoba Theatre Centre, Manitoba Opera and Winnipeg Art Gallery attended.
Glover raised $1,200 at the event, but has instructed organizers to return the money.
Political opponent Dan Vandal said that’s not good enough.
“It’s clearly against the rules,” said Vandal, who currently represents St. Boniface as city councillor.
Vandal hopes to win the Liberal nomination to run against Glover in the next federal election.
He said the fundraiser put those organizations in an awkward spot to either attend it, or not go and potentially risk losing future funding.
"You can't sell access to a minister exclusively to the people who rely on the ministry for very survival," said Vandal.
One member of the Winnipeg Art Gallery who was invited to attend but chose not to is WAG chair Brian Bowman, who told CTV News he didn’t feel comfortable going to it.
The federal ethics commissioner is reviewing a request to look at the event. Opposition parties in Ottawa have filed complaints.
Glover wrote a letter to the ethics commissioner, letting that office know about the event and what steps she has taken to deal with the matter, including ordering the $1,200 be returned to donors.
Glover’s office said the minister did not know people from the arts and culture community would be at the party until she arrived.
-with a report from Jeff Keele