Dion Makes Visit To Boost Beatty Campaign

Thursday, February 21, 2008 at 14:00



Canada’s leader of the Opposition might be attempting some fence-mending during his visit to Saskatchewan today.


Liberal Leader Stephane Dion was supposed to visit Wollaston Lake and Prince Albert to drum up support for Liberal candidate Joan Beatty in an upcoming by-election.


However, fog prevented his plane from landing in Wollaston earlier today.


Instead, he made a quick jaunt to the Sturgeon Lake First Nation.


Dion’s decision to appoint Beatty, rather than let the candidacy be decided locally, has angered some of the party faithful in Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River.


But Dion stands by his decision — arguing it was a case of “exceptional” circumstances where a candidate the party favoured didn’t have enough time to generate the necessary votes at a nomination meeting.


Dion also believes a Liberal win in this riding will send the Conservative government the message that walking away from the $5.1 billion Kelowna Accord was wrong — adding it’s important Liberals in the riding unite to prevent the Tories from getting the seat.


Dion has a meeting scheduled with Aboriginal leaders this afternoon in Prince Albert. Beatty and Liberal MP Ralph Goodale will also be present.


Meanwhile, former nomination candidate David Orchard says it doesn’t appear Dion has set aside time to meet with him.