WINNIPEG — Manitoba New Democrats are poking fun at Conservative Premier Brian Pallister's much-publicized vacation home in Costa Rica by raffling off a vacation to the country as part of a party fundraiser.
On their website, the NDP say the $4,500, one-week trip for two to an all-inclusive resort in Tamarindo is "close by Brian Pallister's private villa."
The raffle promises the "chance to live like part-time Premier Brian Pallister for a week in sunny Costa Rica!"
Tickets are $20 each and the draw will be made on Dec. 9.
The NDP has accused Pallister of being completely disconnected from work because documents obtained through Manitoba's freedom-of-information law show no records of phone calls between Pallister and senior staff during four of his most recent trips to Costa Rica.
Pallister has said he doesn't have to explain his work habits or reveal how he communicates with staff while in Costa Rica.
"I work harder than any premier that's been around here for a long, long time," he said in May. "I don't have to defend my work ethic to you or anyone else."
I work harder than any premier that's been around here for a long, long time.Brian Pallister
He said last December he planned to spend between six and eight weeks a year at his vacation home, though he later revised the estimate to five weeks.
Documents obtained by the NDP show government staff have reached out to his wife, Esther, through her email account while trying to set up a conference call with Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen, and that a draft of this year's budget speech was emailed to her.
Pallister defended his wife's access to confidential government information, saying he has shared information with her for 25 years and they have never been associated with a leak.