Pubdate: Thu, 02 Nov 2017
Source: Winnipeg Sun (CN MB)
Copyright: 2017 Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Joyanne Pursaga
Page: 4


Tells colleagues to disclose any ties to marijuana industry

Manitoba's premier is calling on his cabinet colleagues to declare any
potential conflicts of interest related to the marijuana industry.

Premier Brian Pallister said his government will release details of a
request for proposals next Tuesday that relates to the sale of
recreational marijuana, which the feds will legalize on July 1, 2018.

Pallister said it's clearly time to ensure all those who could benefit
from the marijuana business don't sway the outcome of that process.

"This is not just for elected people, this would be for any senior
staff, for our legislative assistants as well," Pallister said. "If
they have any pecuniary interest in a decision being made around
cannabis legalization, they need to withdraw from the decision-making

Pallister said he publicized his directive on declaring cannabis
conflicts because his cabinet has the power to determine how and where
marijuana will be sold. When asked if he expects pot will be sold all
or mostly by private companies in Manitoba, Pallister told reporters
to wait for Tuesday's RFP announcement to find out.

NDP leader Wab Kinew, however, said he expects all MLAs would
proactively declare any potential conflicts with their elected roles,
without the directive. Kinew alleged Pallister raised the topic to
distract Manitobans from questions on whether the province will
maintain its Lifeflight Air Ambulance service.

"I think it's a bit of a distraction today, to be quite honest," Kinew

Lifeflight provides air transport for critically ill or injured
Manitobans from areas outside a 200-kilometre radius of Winnipeg.
Kinew said the provincial government refused to confirm Wednesday if
it will pay to recertify the service's pilots.
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MAP posted-by: Matt