Manitoba government accuses opposition of 'terrible breach' after recording of health meeting leaked

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Manitoba's Progressive Conservative government tried repeatedly Wednesday to get opposition parties to admit they privately recorded a video meeting between public health leadership and elected officials — an accusation the Liberals and NDP deny.

During question period Tuesday, Premier Brian Pallister and Health Minister Cameron Friesen accused their rivals of an ethical breach, after a recording of the Monday meeting was provided to CBC News.

Part of that recording was quoted in a Tuesday online story. Health officials, including Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin, were quoted in the story as saying the province was looking into a longer winter break for K-12 schools, and was also considering expanding provincial travel restrictions.

Friesen said on Wednesday that the good faith the government showed by briefing the opposition parties at the Monday meeting was violated.

"This represents a terrible breach. It is a ethical failing. It is a privacy breach. It is conduct unbecoming of a member of the legislative assembly," Friesen said. 

The minister said the health-care leaders felt exposed now that their private comments had been made public.