Dissident Liberals Plot Next Move

Monday, January 14, 2008 at 15:29



An interim committee has been struck to try and restore the Liberal nomination race in Desnethe-Missinippi Churchill River.


At a meeting in Prince Albert over the weekend, party members called for Joan Beatty to resign and face David Orchard and John Dorion in an official nomination process.


Shoal Lake Chief Marcel Head helped organize the meeting.


He says committee members will notify Liberal brass today that they want an annual general meeting called as soon as possible.


They will also try to sit down with Beatty and write Liberal Leader Stephane Dion a letter informing them of their plans.


Head says if Dion doesn’t cooperate, a lot of Liberals in the constituency will likely sit out the coming by-election or vote for one of the other parties.


Head says once an annual general meeting is held, a new Liberal party executive can be selected for the riding.


He adds that group can then take control of future nomination processes, which he says will bar Liberals in Regina and Ottawa from deciding who gains future appointments.


Both Dorion and Orchard say they hope Beatty’s nomination can be reversed.


Orchard also takes issue with a recent media report indicating a new executive for the riding can’t be picked because one is already in place. Orchard says the executive “doesn’t exist”.


Saturday’s meeting was attended by at least four northern mayors and three First Nations chiefs.


La Loche Mayor Georgina Jolibois says Liberal Party leaders need to understand the issue is not going away.


Meantime, lawyer Bruce Richardson, who sits on the Liberal Party Green Light Committee, says he’s not aware of the group ever approving of the decision to appoint Beatty and end the nomination contest.


The president of the Saskatchewan Liberal Association, Frank Proto, did not attend Saturday’s meeting.


However, speaking on Friday, Proto said there was no way he could see Dion’s decision being reversed.


Proto adds the party simply wants to move forward.