Chief Urges Orchard To Give Up Nomination Battle

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 at 14:43



A First Nations chief believes David Orchard is wasting his time trying to get the Liberals to change their mind about the nomination in northern Saskatchewan.


Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation Chief Darrell McCallum is a known supporter of Liberal appointee and fellow band member Joan Beatty.


McCallum notes political appointments at this level are rarely overturned.


He also insists Orchard admitted in a meeting with the PBCN band council before Christmas that party leader Stephane Dion had the right to appoint a candidate in the Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River by-election — an assertion Orchard strongly denies.


McCallum also says if Orchard somehow ended up as the Liberal candidate and won the by-election — he wouldn’t be able to offer assurances that he would remain a Liberal.


Orchard says he’s only been a member of two political parties in his life — and in the case of the Progressive Conservatives, he argues they left him for a merger with the Canadian Alliance — not the other way around.


McCallum notes he suffered his own political setbacks before becoming chief of one of Saskatchewan’s largest First Nations.


He says he didn’t make a fuss after losing two previous band elections — and advises Orchard to take the same approach.


Meanwhile, Orchard is refusing to comment on former nomination hopeful John Dorion’s decision to now support Beatty’s appointment — or Dorion’s assertion that Orchard’s “antics” were dividing northern Liberals.