Conservatives pick former NDPer Kaur Sidhu for Maples in 2016 election

A former New Democrat with a controversial past is representing the Progressive Conservatives in The Maples in the 2016 provincial election.

Pharmacist Kaur Sidhu to represent PCs in the Maples despite past fine from pharmaceutical association

A former New Democrat will represent the Progressive Conservatives in The Maples in the 2016 provincial election. 

Party officials say Winnipeg pharmacist Kaur Sidhu won the nomination Saturday at a packed meeting with about 1,000 members. 
Kaur Sidhu, a one-time New Democrat, will be representing the Tories in The Maples in the 2016 provincial election. (Elections Manitoba)

"Everybody is tired of (the) NDP and its broken promises," he said. "People want change. So do I." 

In 2006, Sidhu wanted to represent the NDP in The Maples, but said the party barred him from the nomination process. 

Sidhu said then-premier Gary Doer's chief of staff Michael Balagus offered him a position on the Manitoba Taxicab Board in exchange for staying out of the NDP nomination race in The Maples and instead running in River East. 

"Instead of letting the democratic process go ahead, he was forcing me to not run for The Maples," Sidhu said. "That's not fair. Everybody has the right to run." 

At the time, Balagus was publicly accused of offering Sidhu a high-profile position with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.

The controversy sparked an investigation by Elections Manitoba. 

In August 2007, Elections Manitoba determined it would not lay charges in connection with the allegations.

'People will give me a second chance'

In 2012, the pharmacist ran into trouble with the Manitoba Pharmaceutical Association. 

It fined him $4,000 for transferring prescriptions from his former pharmacy to his new one.

He was also forced to pay $16,000 for the cost of the investigation. 

"I learned from that mistake, and I deny nothing," he said. "I think people will give me a second chance." 

Sidhu said he expects to take The Maples away from the NDP in the April 2016 election, because the immigrant has proven himself a successful businessman. 

In the 2011 provincial election, Sidhu ran for the Tories in the Rossmere constituency, but lost.

About the Author

Chris Glover

CBC News Reporter

Chris Glover has been a reporter, anchor and producer with CBC News for a decade. He’s an award winning storyteller, who has travelled the country in search of fascinating characters with compelling stories to share on TV, radio and online. A series he helped spearhead at CBC Toronto, No Fixed Address, won a national RTDNA award in 2017 and the municipal election special he anchored in 2018 was just nominated for an RTDNA award for best live special.


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