NDP Leader Greg Selinger calls PC Leader Brian Pallister homophobic in final days of election

With just over a week left in the provincial election campaign, NDP Leader Greg Selinger came out swinging Monday, saying PC Leader Brian Pallister was homophobic and a PC government would implement a "Harper-like agenda."

NDP Leader Greg Selinger says Tory leader Brian Pallister needs to explain record on LGBT issues

With just over a week left in the provincial election campaign, NDP Leader Greg Selinger came out swinging Monday, saying PC Leader Brian Pallister is homophobic and a PC government would implement a "Harper-like agenda." (CBC)

With just over a week left in the provincial election campaign, NDP Leader Greg Selinger came out swinging Monday, saying PC Leader Brian Pallister was homophobic and a PC government would implement a "Harper-like agenda."

Selinger spoke at the MTS Centre Monday morning. It was the largest event the campaign has held so far in terms of the number of supporters and candidates present.

Selinger said Pallister has extreme conservative values and "backward-looking policies" in regards to the province's LGBT community.

"I think he's homophobic," said Selinger, adding Pallister needs to explain his record on LGBT issues.

On Monday, Pallister was asked if he was homophobic and said, "My record speaks for itself loud and clear."

Selinger pointed to previous comments Pallister made as a Canadian Alliance MP, in which he said same-sex marriage was a "social experiment."

But Pallister said he advocated for same-sex property rights in the '80s.

"I don't think I need anything but my record to stand by my attitude towards tolerance," he said. 

In a recent interview with CBC, Pallister called same-sex marriage "great" and said society supports it, but he declined to say if he personally supported it.

Selinger also said Pallister voted against NDP anti-bullying legislation that included provisions for gay-straight alliances for students and needs to explain why.

Pallister said it was because the NDP was "playing politics" with Bill 18.

"We positioned ourselves with well-reasoned, well-researched amendments, which would have strengthened that bill, done a better job of not just protecting gay and lesbian children in schools, but all children in schools," said Pallister. "The government refused to look at a single amendment because they were playing politics with a bill that should have been beyond politics."

Liberal Leader Rana Bokhari said Pallister has done things to indicate he could be homophobic, but she pointed out Selinger stood by NDP candidate Wab Kinew despite previous homophobic comments made on Twitter.

Selinger wants Pallister to show tax return

Selinger, who made his 2014 tax return public on Sunday, also questioned why Pallister hadn't released his own tax return.

A number of politicians have released their returns in light of the Panama Papers, which shed light on how some wealthy people hide money in offshore accounts.

Bokhari released her tax papers on Sunday as well and said she appreciated Selinger challenging the leaders to do so.

Pallister did not release tax information on Sunday, but he did release a statement in which he called Selinger's actions a "desperate stunt."

On Monday, Pallister maintained he would not publicly disclose his tax return, but he did reveal details about his bank account and vacation property in Costa Rica.

Manitobans head to the polls on April 19.


For CBC's full coverage of the provincial election, see Manitoba Votes 2016.

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