The Manitoba Jockey Club (MJC) was granted a full, expedited Judicial Review Hearing in Queen’s Bench late yesterday afternoon – a process that can normally take many months to schedule. Given the urgency of the situation, the Judicial Review Hearing, under which legislative and executive actions are subject to review (and possible invalidation), will begin on April 26, 2013.
Also yesterday, the MJC filed a formal complaint and Request for Investigation with the Attorney General of Canada, RCMP National Headquarters and RCMP D Division in Winnipeg for offences potentially committed under the Criminal Code of Canada by the following:
• Stan Struthers – Manitoba Minister of Finance;
• Garth Rogerson – Chief Executive Officer, Red River Exhibition Association;
• Angela Mathieson – former Secretary to the Community and Economic Development Committee of Cabinet;
• David Miles – Chairman of the Manitoba Horse Racing Commission
Based on a supportive legal opinion provided by Hersh Wolch Q.C., a senior criminal lawyer and former federal prosecutor, the investigation, if the RCMP proceeds, would be in regard to an attempt by Garth Rogerson to acquire the MJC’s real estate asset (approximately valued at $70,000,000) through the use of confidential, cabinet privileged information and through access to Finance Minister Struther’s ability to manipulate the provincial budget for the purpose of bankrupting the Manitoba Jockey Club “by the end of March” if the MJC didn’t agree to the plan of Rogerson and Struthers, as stated by Rogerson in the Winnipeg Sun on January 31, 2013.
The complaint concerns as yet unproven allegations relating to possible offences by Rogerson, Minister Struthers, Mathieson and Miles under the Criminal Code:
• Section 122 – Breach of Trust by a Public Officer and;
• Sections 380(1) and (2) (Fraud) and/or conspiracy to commit these offences under section 465(1).
As stated in the Wolch opinion, “there is an overwhelming public interest in having these matters objectively subjected to a fair, impartial and unbiased police investigation.”
Assiniboia Downs is a half century old landmark entertainment facility and a major contributor to the Manitoba economy. It creates nearly 500 full-time jobs a year and has, over the past twenty years, contributed approximately $68 million in revenue to provincial coffers and the community.