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Ex-Training Center Director for Labor Union Claims Compulsive Gambling Led to Alleged Burning Through CA$160,000 of Union Money

This Thursday was a highly anticipated one for the province of Manitoba, as the local court saw yet another gambling addiction case hearing. Heather Grant-Jury used to be the Principal Secretary to former Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger for several months but prior to this, she conducted a fraud allegedly worth about CA$160,000 allegedly caused by the compulsive gambling habits spiraling out of control.

Gambling addiction is not something to be overlooked, as more and more people fail to keep it at bay at all times. It is a compulsive tendency which could be triggered in times of need, or in situations where the individual find themselves vulnerable. The devastating impact it has on the player’s life, as well as the direct effect it has on their close ones, has been witnessed time and time again. Such has been the case of Ms. Grant-Jury who was involved in an extensive fraudulent activity case.

Director Used Union Cash for Personal Expenses

December 13 was eyed by many interested in the development of the case and the former Principal Secretary was present as well. She is threatened by being put in jail for the criminal activity which was in progress between May 2011 and December 2015. She was Director of the Training Center for the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 832. She was temporarily Selinger’s Principal Secretary between the end of 2014 and a couple of months into 2015.

It could be recalled that according to the discoveries made towards the end of 2016, the top aide used a credit card of the union in order to cover her personal expenses on a day to day basis. Crown attorneys Donald Melnyk and Peter Edgett claimed yesterday that she spent as much as CA$160,000, whereas lawyer Zilla Jones responded that the amount actually ranges around CA$60,000.

Many inconsistencies emerged in the expense claims of the union and the more investigation progressed, the more prominent they became. Shortly after the discovery was publicly revealed and the then-premier Selinger was notified, the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 832 announced it is going to seek compensation for the entire amount of Canadian dollars spent for Ms. Grant-Jury’s own benefit, instead of for the improvement of the union education projects.

Friday Set to See Ms. Grant-Jury Testify

The fraudulent scheme happened purposefully, as it was later revealed, as the top aide went as far as hiding her traces. She was masking said expenses as business payments and inventing lies in order to maintain her version. Payments at Safeway Supermarkets across the province were among the most frequent ones on the list of personal transactions. The year 2015 also saw payments at beauty supply stores, bookshops, as well as miscellaneous purchases such as lottery tickets.

Beatrice Bruske, the union’s secretary-treasurer was among the individuals who spoke this Thursday at the hearing and expressed the overall attitude towards the fraudulent activities. She stated that the leading position of Ms. Grant-Jury gave her the freedom to make her own decisions. As much as CA$10,000 has already been paid by the former Director of the Training Center who eventually admitted that problem gambling has triggered the fraudulent activity in the first place.

This Friday is set to see Ms. Grant-Jury testify. Gambling addiction among individuals at leading positions has been a vastly discussed topic in the past weeks, as former Liberal MP Rajvinder Grewal recently revealed his struggles with problem gambling and the devastating impact it has had on his financial state. He filed his resignation from the Liberal caucus only, stating that next year will see his final decision on the subject.