Pal­lis­ter fully com­pli­ant: PCs

Say he has dis­closed all Costa Ri­can prop­er­ties af­ter re­port out­lines his for­eign hold­ings

Winnipeg Free Press - SundayXtra - - FRONT PAGE - By Larry Kusch

PRO­GRES­SIVE Con­ser­va­tive Leader Brian Pal­lis­ter says he has com­plied with Man­i­toba pub­lic-dis­clo­sure rules af­ter a Costa Ri­can news­pa­per re­ported he owns sev­eral prop­er­ties in the cen­tral Amer­i­can country through a hold­ing com­pany.

The Costa Rica Star, in a re­port Satur­day, said a pub­lic-records search showed Pal­lis­ter owns three parcels of land, through a hold­ing com­pany, in a “highly sought-af­ter” coastal area of Costa Rica. The three parcels, to­talling 13.26 acres, have a taxable value of US$134,000, although the news­pa­per notes that is likely a frac­tion of its com­mer­cial value.

The pa­per also re­ported Pal­lis­ter also con­trols a sec­ond hold­ing com­pany that owns two ve­hi­cles. It said it is com­mon prac­tice for for­eign na­tion­als to place real es­tate and ve­hi­cles in hold­ing com­pa­nies.

The NDP were quick to jump on the in­for­ma­tion, not­ing Pal­lis­ter did not dis­close the prop­erty in con­flict- of-in­ter­est forms sub­mit­ted to the Leg­isla­tive Assem­bly of Man­i­toba.

An NDP po­lit­i­cal op­er­a­tive handed out de­tails to re­porters Satur­day on their way into a news con­fer­ence at the PC party head­quar­ters, at which Tory spokes­woman MLA Heather Ste­fan­son re­sponded to a charge by NDP Leader Greg Selinger a Tory govern­ment might force some can­cer pa­tients to pay for their own drugs. Ste­fan­son called the ac­cu­sa­tion base­less and said she was “dis­gusted” Selinger “was play­ing pol­i­tics with can­cer pa­tients.”

Ste­fan­son did not re­spond to the Costa Ri­can news­pa­per re­port, but the PCs is­sued a state­ment late Satur­day that said Pal­lis­ter had al­ways fully com­plied with dis­clo­sure obli­ga­tions as an MLA and had acted on the ad­vice from the prov­ince’s con­flict of in­ter­est com­mis­sioner in do­ing so.

The state­ment said Pal­lis­ter’s prop­erty in Costa Rica ac­tu­ally con­sists of four parcels of land. One con­tains his va­ca­tion home, while the oth­ers are pas­ture and grass­land.

“Mr. Pal­lis­ter con­ducts no busi­ness ac­tiv­ity in Costa Rica and owns no rev­enue-gen­er­at­ing prop­erty,” the state­ment said, adding by pub­li­ciz­ing the news­pa­per re­port, the NDP were re­sort­ing “to ev­ery pos­si­ble smear tac­tic.”

Pal­lis­ter has faced crit­i­cism for the amount of time he has spent in Costa Rica since he was elected MLA for Fort Whyte in a 2012 by­elec­tion. He also ad­mit­ted he was there dur­ing the height of the 2014 Assini­boine River flood af­ter CBC ob­tained doc­u­ments plac­ing him in the country at that time.

JA­SON HALSTEAD / WIN­NIPEG FREE PRESS

Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive Leader Brian Pal­lis­ter ap­plauds a per­for­mance at the Vaisakhi Mela cel­e­bra­tion at the Pun­jab Cul­tural Cen­tre Satur­day.

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