Manitoba

Manitoba Liberal candidate running on 'love & harmony' wants to close hospitals

The day after losing four candidates due to improper paperwork and another who was disqualified for having been an enumerator, Manitoba's Liberal Party is again in the spotlight, this time for comments a Westman candidate made at a debate.

Brandon West candidate says Manitoba has too many hospitals, consequently wait times are too high

Billy Moore, Liberal candidate for Brandon West, said he is running on a platform of Love and Harmony. (Riley Laychuk/CBC)

The day after losing four candidates due to improper paperwork and another to disqualification for having been an enumerator, Manitoba's Liberal Party is again in the spotlight, this time for comments a Westman candidate made at a debate. 

Billy Moore, the Liberal candidate in Brandon West, said he hasn't read the party's platform yet, but he is running on "love and harmony." 

He's the second Liberal candidate in recent days to admit publicly to not having read the platform. Thompson candidate Inez Vystrcil-Spence declared the same at the beginning of a CBC News mini-debate this week on health care. 

"Vote for Billy Moore as your MLA, for Brandon West. Only if you want things to get done in your favour, otherwise you may look the other way, it's your personal choice!" reads Moore's campaign poster. 

Moore said he decided to run "the Thursday before last."

He told those at a debate hosted by the Brandon Friendship Centre Wednesday that there are too many hospitals in Manitoba and that has driven up wait times. 

"To me, when we have too many hospitals, psychologically people think they are sick because the hospital is there to use," Moore told CBC News afterwards. "And if we take one or two hospitals [out], you will see a difference."

"You will have no hospital to go to."

He said that he believes people are more inclined to use hospitals if more are available.

"People wouldn't want to get sick because they have nowhere to go. They would want to stay healthy and work," he told the approximately two dozen people in attendance at the debate.  

Moore said the idea to close hospitals came from a personal analysis.

Moore is up against Progressive Conservative incumbent Reg Helwer and NDP candidate Linda Ross in the constituency. 

Moore's comments came the same day the party's candidate in Gimli, Joanne Levy, dropped out. The NDP had complained about her working as an enumerator before she became a candidate.  The Elections Act says enumerators cannot become candidates. Four other Liberal candidates also had their paperwork rejected. 

CBC News has requested an interview with Liberal leader Rana Bokhari about Moore's comments but was not immediately available.

"I need to have a conversation with Bill, obviously," said party spokesperson Mike Brown Wednesday. "Some of our candidates are going to speak out and say things that aren't necessarily on target, and we allow that.

"We're not like the other parties. We don't regulate our candidates. When people ask to speak to them, we provide them."

with files from CBC News

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