Habitat for Humanity Manitoba's chief executive says he deeply regrets allowing a candidate for the provincial Progressive Conservative's leadership to launch her campaign on the non-profit's property.
Former Winnipeg police officer and Conservative MP Shelly Glover launched her leadership bid in the parking lot of Habitat for Humanity Manitoba's ReStore at 60 Archibald St. on Friday morning.
Habitat for Humanity Manitoba builds homes for low-income working families to purchase through a no-money-down, interest-free mortgage.
"This past Wednesday, representatives from the Shelly Glover campaign approached Habitat for Humanity Manitoba requesting permission to hold her announcement... at the ReStore location," CEO Sandy Hopkins said in a statement Saturday.
"My initial thought was to say no, and in hindsight, this is what I should have done. I deeply regret allowing this event to proceed."
The charity had one of its trucks parked as a backdrop for Glover's announcement, and her campaign signs are the same colour scheme as Habitat's signage. Glover thanked the ReStore in her speech and mentioned some of its employees.
Federal tax guidelines from the Canada Revenue Agency state a "charity may not take part in an illegal activity or a partisan political activity," and that "a partisan political activity is one that involves direct or indirect support of, or opposition to, any political party or candidate for public office."
Hopkins said it was not his intention to imply an endorsement of Glover's campaign by him or Habitat for Humanity.
Allowing the news conference to go forward in the non-profit's parking lot was a serious error in judgment on his part, he said.
"For that, I sincerely and deeply apologize," he said.