Glover defends claim of voting irregularities in Manitoba Tory leadership challenge

Shelly Glover says she believes a spreadsheet her campaign team received before Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson was named winner of the Progressive Conservative leadership vote is correct.

Glover, who lost to Stefanson by a narrow margin on Oct. 30, alleges there were irregularities when ballots were counted and she wants a judge to order a new vote.

Glover says she doesn't believe the total count by Progressive Conservative Party election officials, which found she received 49 per cent of the vote.

"It's unfathomable for me to think of how we got to that number," Glover said Tuesday during a cross-examination of her affidavit in Court of Queen's Bench.

When the final results were announced, the ballots totalled 16,546, with Stefanson winning 51 per cent. The win also made Stefanson premier, replacing Brian Pallister, who resigned in September

Progressive Conservative Party leadership has said that the leadership election was fair.

Party president Tom Wiebe told court Monday that campaign leaders were aware the spreadsheet was never intended to be the final tally.

Wiebe, during cross-examination of his affidavit, defended the count and said "that spreadsheet was strictly to tell them who had voted."

Glover's team was given the spreadsheet early in the morning and she told court it included the names of 16,045 people who voted.

Glover, a former member of Parliament, said she did not observe votes being counted. But since the election, she said, she has recounted the total and believes the spreadsheet contains the right number.

"I believe it's correct."

Much of Tuesday's cross-examination focused on members of Glover's campaign team and how they analyzed the spreadsheet, other documents and emails to conclude that voting irregularities had taken place.

Harley Schachter, the lawyer for the Progressive Conservative Party, posed to Glover's team that there were errors in the spreadsheet so it was clearly not meant to be used as a reflection of the total vote.

He added that the reading of numbers by Glover's campaign also doesn't add up.

The challenge is next scheduled for arguments before a judge on Dec. 10.

 This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 30, 2021.