Developments in Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River

Meadow Lake Progress, October 19, 2008
Orchard proud of election race
By Kathy Gallant, Progress Staff

"Nationally, there was a split in the vote," [Orchard] said in an interview on Wednesday, October 15. "The Conservatives didn't get a majority, so that means people were out there voting for other parties, and different representation for Canada." ...

Overall, Orchard said that he is happy with what he accomplished during the election, despite not winning the seat. "I was out there, I was interactive, I am glad that I got to meet with so many wonderful people," he said. "I wish (Rob) Clarke luck with this position and in the riding." continued...

Maple Leaf

The StarPhoenix, Thursday, Ocrober 16, 2008
Orchard criticizes voting process. Identification requirement problematic, candidate says.
By David Hutton

David Orchard and his Liberal campaign team say something must be done to smooth the voting process for aboriginal and rural voters, many of whom were shut out at the polls Tuesday because they lacked proper identification, weren't enumerated or were told to vote at distant polling stations. continued...

Election results for Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River:

CON Rob Clarke 8,964 46.7% Elected
LIB David Orchard 5,816 30.3%  
NDP Brian Morin 3,412 17.7%  
GRN George Morin 735 3.8%  
FPP (First Peoples Party of Canada) Rob Ballantyne 282 1.5%  
Maple Leaf

Meadow Lake Progress, Sunday, September 28, 2008
The candidates face the crowd
by Jennifer Blake

... one man asked what many have been asking since the debate was announced, "can someone here tell me why Mr. Clarke did not attend tonight?" continued...

Maple Leaf

Prince Albert Daily Herald, Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Liberals' platform includes ideas for farmers, northerners
by Joshua Page

Re-committing to a moratorium on closing rural mailboxes is a particular fighting point for Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River Liberal candidate, David Orchard. "I get my mail from them and the more you have to drive and drive, the more frustrating it is," said Orchard, a fourth-generation farmer.

...As for the embattled situation between the Canadian Wheat Board and the Conservative government, a Liberal government would avoid any government intervention, placing all responsibility on elected Wheat Board officials. "The Wheat Board belongs to the farmers, not the government," said Orchard. continued...

Maple Leaf

The StarPhoenix, Saturday, September 20, 2008
Orchard seeks elusive win in Sask.'s North
by Rod Nickel

The man Stephane Dion didn't want, Peter McKay betrayed and Joe Clark called a "tourist" in the Tory party has scratched out a surprisingly long career of being blindsided and left for dead. Where does he keep finding new political life?

"I'm not bitter," Orchard said, looking a bit like Clint Eastwood squinting into the sun as he strolled the shore of Montreal Lake, about 100 kilometres north of Prince Albert. "I'm a farmer. You have good years, bad years and you stick with it." continued...

Maple Leaf

The StarPhoenix, Saturday, September 20, 2008
Clarke no-show at forums

The first candidates' forums in the Desnethe riding won't include the incumbent. Clarke said he has several reasons for taking a pass on the forum planned for Meadow Lake Sept. 25: His schedule is full; he doesn't want to get into a debate before the leaders' debate Oct. 2 for fear of contradicting leader Stephen Harper; and he's not a big fan of forums in any case. continued...

Maple Leaf

Toronto Star, Friday, September 12, 2008
Orchard stands by Dion, urges Green Shift tweak
by Jennifer Graham, Canadian Press

David Orchard, running in the vast northern Saskatchewan riding of Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River, said he stands by Dion. But the organic farmer suggested the Green Shift plan would hurt voters in his riding and should be tweaked — again.

"I don't want to see farmers or fishermen or northerners penalized for using fuels for which there is no option, they have no alternative," said Orchard, who won the Liberal nomination in Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River last month over former NDP provincial cabinet minister Joan Beatty. continued...

Maple Leaf

Prince Albert Daily Herald, Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Contact conundrums
by Joshua Page

Despite being Canada's worst kept secret for months, the recently called federal election revealed outdated or incorrect information on party websites for the Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River riding. ...The only candidate with reliable contact information for residents to call is Liberal David Orchard. continued...

Maple Leaf

The StarPhoenix, Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Liberal policies at odds with province
Randy Burton

... Standing on the brink of a federal election, which face of the Liberal party should Saskatchewan voters recognize? Is it that of Dion, whose climate change plan is too radical even for Jack Layton and the NDP? Is it that of Ralph Goodale, the stolid workhorse who has laboured under a number of distinctly different Liberal leaders? Or is it that of David Orchard, the political maverick and anti-nuke who is the party's newest candidate in Saskatchewan? continued...

Maple Leaf

Meadow Lake Progress, Sunday August 24, 2008
Orchard wins Liberal nomination
By Jennifer Blake

... Now that he is the Liberal candidate, Orchard said he is focusing on the future, and he has a lot to work on. "Northern Saskatchewan is one of the richest areas of the country, yet there is a high unemployment rate," he said. "There is poverty, poor roads and to me that is unacceptable. There is a disconnect between the riches and what people are getting." In addition, Orchard said he wants to focus on environmental issues. ... "There needs to be sustainable development that does not destroy our heritage." continued...

Maple Leaf

Prince Albert Daily Herald, Saturday, August 16, 2008
David Orchard: Liberal of the north
y Lindsay Thorimbert

Liberal party members of Northern Saskatchewan have made their voices heard — they have asked for David Orchard.

"David Orchard, we're pleased to announce, is the nominee for Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River," said Robert Ermel, executive director of the Saskatchewan Liberal Association. continued...

Maple Leaf

Canadian Press, Friday, August 15, 2008
Outspoken activist David Orchard to run for federal Liberals in Saskatchewan

OTTAWA — Once spurned by Liberal Leader Stephane Dion, outspoken activist David Orchard has now been embraced by party rank and file in a northern Saskatchewan riding.

The organic farmer and anti-free trade activist was elected late Thursday to be the Liberal candidate in Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River during the next federal election. continued...

Maple Leaf

The StarPhoenix, Thursday, August 7, 2008
Orchard must reconcile position
Randy Burton

... the question of where Orchard stands on issues critical to the riding, such as the future of the uranium industry. Among the myriad of other topics that Orchard holds unwavering opinions on, he has been strongly opposed to any suggestion that Saskatchewan should ever be considered as a site for the long-term storage of nuclear waste. ... if nuclear power is a blight on the planet, then what of uranium mining? continued...

Maple Leaf

Northern Pride (Meadow Lake, SK), Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Our democracy must not be made a fool of

... Looking at the polling locations for the August 14 nomination vote, five of the polling stations are located in the northern half of the riding, while two are found in the Northwest. ... The only polling stations in the Northwest are in Meadow Lake and Canoe Lake Cree Nation. Orchard wants to include another polling station in Ile-a-la Crosse so that Liberal party members from La Loche, for example, don't have to drive hours just to vote.

It may seem like small potatoes, but what's at stake is ensuring a contest where both candidates compete for their peers' support on an even playing field. continued...

Maple Leaf

Press Release, July 31, 2008
David Orchard and Joan Beatty to contest federal Liberal nomination.
August 14th date set for Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River.

The Saskatchewan Liberal Association has given notice for the nomination meetings for the Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River riding's federal Liberal candidate to take place on Thursday, August 14th, in ten locations: Canoe Narrows First Nation, Cumberland House, Deschambault Lake, La Ronge, Pelican Lake First Nation (Chitek Lake), Meadow Lake, Pelican Narrows, Pinehouse Lake, Prince Albert and Red Earth First Nation. The hours are from 2:30 pm to 9 pm, and members can vote in any location convenient for them.

Meanwhile, community leaders in the northwest are also requesting that Ile-a-La Crosse to be added to the locations, to serve the over 100 party members in that region. David Orchard strongly supports this urgent request, so that all members of the riding have fair and equal access to a polling location. (See enclosed poster for the exact locations.)

To read what northerners are saying about David Orchard go here.

Maple Leaf

National Post online, Friday, May 23, 2008
David Orchard sets out to save Canada. Again.
By Kelly McParland

If you're ever on one of those TV reality shows in which success depends on the determination to persevere in the face of betrayals, setbacks, failures, dirty tricks and the unreliability of others, the guy you want on your side is David Orchard. continued...

Maple Leaf

The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon) and Regina Leader-Post, Thursday, May 22, 2008
Orchard to seek Grit nomination
By James Wood

... "When I made that decision to join the Liberals I did so in a serious way. There are good times and there are bad times. I'm a farmer, you have good years, you have bad years, but you won't get too far if you don't stick with things so that's what I've done," Orchard said in an interview.

... Senator David Smith, national co-chair of the Liberal campaign, said unusual circumstances, such as the timing of the byelection, led to Beatty's appointment and normal nominating procedures would be followed this time. "We wouldn't play favourites. It's a level playing field from our perspective," he said from Toronto. "What's that old song . . . accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, so let's move on. What happened happened." continued...

Maple Leaf

Media release, Wednesday, May 21, 2008
David Orchard to run for the Liberal nomination in Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River

"Following an extensive period of consultation across the riding, I have decided to put my name forward as a candidate for the Liberal Party nomination in the northern Saskatchewan riding of Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River.

As part of the Liberal team, I will offer my energy and experience to work for an alternative vision for the riding and the country to that put forward by Stephen Harper's government. If selected, I intend to speak for Metis, First Nations and non-aboriginal alike. Mine will be a fighting voice for everyone — the Meadow Lake farmer, the daycare worker in Sandy Bay, the student in Pinehouse, the trappers in Cumberland House, or the fishermen and women in Wollaston Lake. It is my hope to also be a voice for understanding across the cultural and racial divide in this far-flung riding, which covers over half of Saskatchewan." continued...

Maple Leaf

National Post, Friday, April 11, 2008
Dirty politics in Saskatchewan
Jim Durocher, Saskatoon

Re: Liberals: Writer Was Never A Grit Riding President, letter to the editor, April 5.

Saskatchewan Liberal party president Frank Proto and party president Marie Poulin are simply wrong in trying to smear Chief Marcel Head, the democratically elected Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River riding association president, by claiming that he is "not, nor has he ever been," the president. ... They owe an apology to all riding members and especially those who agreed to serve on the executive. continued...

Maple Leaf

National Post, Saturday, April 5, 2008
Liberals: Writer was never a Grit riding president
Frank Proto, president, Saskatchewan Liberal Association;
Senator Marie-P. (Charette) Poulin, president, Liberal Party of Canada, Ottawa

Re: Liberals Should Know Better, Marcel Head, April 3.

... Mr. Head is not, nor has he ever been, the riding association president for Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River constituency. Any statement to the contrary -- including that claim in this column's opening sentence -- is misleading and untrue. ... Given that Mr. Head has no official role within the party, he will have no official role in this process. continued...

Maple Leaf

National Post, Thursday, April 03, 2008
Liberals should know better
by Chief Marcel Head

... in the aftermath of the March 17 byelection we are hearing that the Liberals lost the riding to the Conservatives because aboriginal voters were "apathetic," didn't understand the necessity of showing ID, did not grasp the very real achievement of the Kelowna Accord or because the Liberal candidate "didn't have enough time."

These are simply unacceptable excuses for losing. We are pleased with the Kelowna Accord. We also had a lot of time to prepare for this byelection — many months, in fact — and Elections Canada had done a good job making people aware of the ID requirement.

We objected to the overriding of the democratic process. continued...

Maple Leaf

Globe and Mail, Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Liberals unable to rally supporters in Northern Saskatchewan
by Joe Friesen and Campbell Clark

... The by-election loss was a blow for Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion, but inside the party, it has also damaged the reputation of the senior Grit in the province, Ralph Goodale.

It was Mr. Goodale who pressed Mr. Dion to cut short a nomination race in the riding to appoint Ms. Beatty. Mr. Dion overruled his own senior campaign managers, David Smith and Mark Marissen, to take Mr. Goodale's advice. continued...

Maple Leaf

Prince Albert Daily Herald, Friday, February 22, 2008
Dion sticks with his choice
by Tara Campbell

... Dion was in Prince Albert on Thursday, along with Beatty, to meet with community leaders and First Nations chiefs in preparation for the byelection next month. continued...

Maple Leaf

The StarPhoenix, Friday, February 22, 2008
Dion, Beatty tour northern riding
No apology offered for appointing candidate

by Darren Bernhardt

... Goodale and Beatty flanked Dion as he spoke about the situation but made no apologies for his appointment. ... Dion dismissed suggestions made by some of those opposed to the appointment that it will hurt the party's chances, considering the riding was last won by Liberal Gary Merasty by just 67 votes. continued...

Maple Leaf

The StarPhoenix and Regina Leader-Post, Thursday, February 21, 2008
Dion to rally support in controversial riding
By James Wood

...No meeting is planned between Dion and Orchard, the anti-free trade activist who backed Dion in the 2006 Liberal leadership race.

"Nothing has changed. The situation is pretty fixed with the appointment," said Orchard spokesperson Marjaleena Repo. "There's no alternative. Nothing has been offered, you know, even to be considered. So it is the status quo. The status quo prevails."

Repo said Orchard won't run as independent or seek the Green Party nomination in the northern riding. He is also not planning at this point on running in another riding as a Liberal in a general election, she said. continued...

Maple Leaf

Prince Albert Daily Herald, Thursday, February 21, 2008
Liberal leader faces the music

... Somewhere, sometime today, Dion is going to have to face reporters (and, we suggest, party faithful) and explain why he chose to circumvent a standard candidacy process and appoint a kidnapped NDP MLA as the official candidate while simultaneously eliminating the democratic efforts of two well-organized campaign groups. continued...

Maple Leaf

Globe and Mail, Thursday, February 7, 2008
The riding where nearly any result is possible
Forget party allegiances - in a Saskatchewan district the size of Germany, it's tough to keep track of who's running for which party

by Roy MacGregor

... The Liberal candidate, who on Nov. 7 was elected a New Democratic member of the provincial legislature, is out there somewhere, but no one seems quite sure where. The New Democratic candidate is nowhere to be found and the riding association president listed on the party website says she is no longer in charge and, as a matter of fact, has no idea who is now in charge. The Conservative candidate is too busy campaigning to respond to his calls.

... [long-time area Liberals] say Orchard may have been their best chance to hold the seat, as Merasty won by only 67 votes in 2006 in an election that still seeps bad blood. continued...

Maple Leaf

Regina Leader-Post, Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Letter to the Editor
Backing Orchard

by Marjaleena Repo

In three columns dealing with the Liberal party's missteps in the Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River riding, Murray Mandryk discredited himself by his vitriolic attack on David Orchard...

Those who know Orchard, his track record, his knowledge about and involvement in many issues of outside international trade ("free trade"), such as the environment, agriculture, war and peace, are left wondering: what ails Mandryk? continued...

Maple Leaf

The StarPhoenix, Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Letter to the Editor
Issue in Desnethé riding is respect for democracy

by Joe Durocher, Meadow Lake

I am an on-reserve Indian businessman in Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River. I'm dismayed at the behaviour of John Dorion, who was running to be the Liberal candidate in my riding. continued...

Maple Leaf

Meadow Lake Progress and Northern Pride, Sunday, February 3, 2008
Letter to the Editor
Will Dorion ever learn?

by Frank Tomkins, Saskatoon

... If John Dorion really thinks he can unite all the Liberals by his misguided defection in what would appear as a hopeless cause, John had best start by apologizing not only to Orchard but to the thousands of people across Canada who must feel insulted by his remarks. To many of us that have know John for many years, we wonder will ever learn? continued...

Maple Leaf

Globe and Mail, Saturday, February 2, 2008
Hot and not

Saskatoon -- In Jane Taber's Notebook of Jan. 12, Alberta Liberal Party president Adam Campbell was described as David Orchard's friend. In fact, he was a political acquaintance. They both supported Stéphane Dion's leadership candidacy. Mr. Campbell wrongly states that Mr. Orchard was "fully aware" that Mr. Dion might appoint an aboriginal woman as the Liberal candidate in the northern Saskatchewan riding of Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River. Mr. Orchard was neither consulted nor informed about the appointment, until it was offered and accepted.

Marjaleena Repo, Saskatoon
Campaign manager for David Orchard

The above is an edited version of a letter Marjaleena Repo wrote January 12, 2008. To read the unedited version go here, where Marjaleena's letter unedited letter is posted below Taber's.

Maple Leaf

The StarPhoenix, Thursday, January 31, 2008
Appointment best serves northerners
by John K. Dorion

...Of course I was disappointed when Stéphane Dion pre-emptorily appointed Beatty, but I understand that a leader sometimes must make tough decisions in the best interests of the party. As a longtime loyal Liberal, I fully support his choice.

... Orchard does well when it comes to picking leaders (in whatever party he happens to be in at the time), but his subsequent actions prove that he has enormous difficulty in abiding by the rules (of whatever party he happens to be in at the time). Orchard now should join the next party on his list, or failing that, start his own to keep himself at the center of attention. continued...

Read Joe Durocher's response, "Issue in Desnethé riding is democracy," The StarPhoenix, February 5, 2008 and Frank Tomkins, "Will Dorion ever learn?" Meadow Lake Progress and Northern Pride, February 3, 2008.

Maple Leaf

Vancouver Sun, Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Political gadfly gives hope to disgusted voters
by Margo Lamont Catamo, Vancouver

Re: Both Tories and Liberals will have to step lightly, Barbara Yaffe, Jan. 26

When Barbara Yaffe writes that David Orchard is "seen as a gadfly by some in his new party," that is not necessarily a bad thing. The dictionary says gadflies "bite or annoy livestock and other animals." Certainly in the quarter century-plus that Orchard has been on the political scene championing a sovereign Canada, he has put a nip or two into some old bulls' backsides. continued...

Maple Leaf

The Prince Albert Daily Herald, Monday January 28, 2008
Disgruntled Liberals meet
Want appointment rescinded

by Tara Campbell

"We are not going to let people in Ottawa override our democratic right," said Chief Marcel Head of Shoal Lake First Nation, who's been leading the fight against Dion's appointment. "This meeting today is to elect a new executive committee ... we want to see the nomination process continue ... we will not be dictated to." continued...

Maple Leaf

Friday, January 25, 2008
On being "yaffied"

The Vancouver Sun published today an edited version of Marjaleena Repo's response to Sun columnist Barbara Yaffe's "Maverick Orchard finds new party to tangle with." Yaffe calls Orchard an "organic produce businessman" (and not a farmer!), a "social conservative," an "oddball," a "nuisance" and more. You'll find Repo's unedited version, "On being 'yaffied'" here and what the Sun published, "Shafting by Yaffe based on factoids, canards" here:

'Barbare Yaffe... coins a new term, "orcharded," to describe the shafting of an individual. I'm now coining another term for the very same phenomenon, and that is being "yaffied." It means a person being shafted by someone who writes about them without knowing the first thing about them and is willing to invent facts to fit their personal prejudices and fantasies.' continued...

Maple Leaf

Friday, January 25, 2008
Letters to Newspapers

Melville Advance (SK), Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Afraid of Orchard
by Greg Chatterson, Fort Qu'Appelle, SK

... They demonize the man and stand in his path to Parliament when ever possible because his stubborn integrity, patriotism and honesty has proven incorruptible. As apposed to the discredited title politician Orchard is a modern day Statesman. continued...

The StarPhoenix, Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Northerners won't accept Liberal sham of democracy
by Frank Tomkins, Saskatoon, SK

The interference by senior Liberals in the Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River byelection has torched a political firestorm they may have difficulty putting out. Gone are the days when someone from the South could go up North and buy an election with a few jugs of wine. ...

Many aboriginal people from the North fought in the Second World War, the Korean War and some are fighting today. Four of my brothers and I were in the Second World war, and it was not for the kind of "democracy" being handed down to us now. continued...

The Regina Leader-Post, Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Magic tricks
by Larry Zepp, Prince Albert, SK

In northern Saskatchewan, as in all of Canada, Liberal voters assumed that democracy existed. But this month, Stephane the Magnificent, Dion the magician, waved his magic wand and, to everyone's surprise and shock and awe, made democracy disappear. continued...

Maple Leaf

The Prince Albert Daily Herald, Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Hey, Liberals: it's not our mess

Good afternoon, federal Liberal party. We'd like to suggest, if you don't mind, that we did not cause the problems you currently face in the riding of Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River. continued...

Maple Leaf
New Audio: Monday, January 21, 2008
CBC Radio Saskatchewan "The Morning Edition"
Host Sheila Coles interviews appointed Liberal candidate in Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River, Joan Beatty, about her reaction to Chief Marcel Head's and the riding's Interim Executive Committee's open letter to her asking her to resign and file nomination papers to run for the position.
Maple Leaf

January 18, 2008
Dr. Grace McKay-Jolly, retired professor, University of Saskatchewan, letter to Stéphane Dion:

... I have lived closely with Metis and First Nations peoples for the past 20 years and, by invitation, I attended the meeting in Prince Albert on January 12th. The pain and anger were palpable. John Dorion and David Orchard were there, having been tossed aside by their leaders as if their months of hard work counted for nothing. The elders were there to pray and counsel us. Veterans spoke of fighting for freedom in other countries only to lose it in their own. Mayors and Chiefs representing thousands of northerners spoke powerfully, never of the candidates, always of the democratic right to choose the candidate. Finally, they all, elders, veterans, chiefs, mayors and residents achieved consensus and made their recommendation. ... They deserve to be heard. continued...

Maple Leaf

Vancouver Sun, Friday, January 18, 2008
The dirty little undemocratic secret of political parties
by Barbara Yaffe

A growing battle over a federal Liberal candidate in a Saskatchewan riding is more than just an internal party affair. It underscores a serious flaw in a political process most Canadians believe is fully democratic. continued...

Maple Leaf
Saskatoon, January 17, 2008
Marjaleena Repo has written an Open Letter to Ralph Goodale challenging Mr. Goodale's assertions, made in public and to the media, that David Orchard knew all along that there was going to be an appointment of a female aboriginal candidate in Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River and that he was fully informed about it before it was done.
Maple Leaf

Regina Leader Post, Tuesday, January 16, 2008
The drama of Beatty and the beast
by Murray Mandryk

... This production of Beatty and the Beast (the latter title role played by either Ralph Goodale or David Orchard, depending on your perspective) again has people buzzing about Liberal politics, though not necessarily in a good way. continued...

Maple Leaf

Regina Leader Post, Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Letter to the Editor
Losing touch with base?

by Sean McConnachie

... The Liberal Party has always been a strong advocate of democracy and the benefits that it can bestow on society. It has done this historically, both at home and in other countries, assisting the establishment of UN-sanctioned elections in places like the Congo. Nevertheless, this democratic sentiment in the big red machine seems to be dwindling like a candle in a snowstorm. continued...

Maple Leaf
New Video: Tuesday, January 15, 2008
CBC Newsworld "Politics"
David Orchard tells his side of the story in an interview with Don Newman.
Maple Leaf


National Post, Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Orchard: an "open book" not a "loose cannon"
Marjaleena Repo responds to John Ivison

... I wish John Ivison would make a serious effort to find a more apt description of David Orchard than "potential loose cannon," as the term refers to an irresponsible and reckless individual whose behaviour, either intended or unintended, endangers the group he belongs to. If anything, in a phrase-to-phrase combat, Mr. Orchard is an "open book" whose writings and speeches are available in book form and in numerous articles, accessible on his website for the investigative mind. ...

On a more serious matter, Mr. Ivison repeats the canard that David Orchard "has long opposed … gay marriage." As his longtime friend, advisor and campaign manager, I have yet to hear or see words to that effect come from his mouth or pen. continued...

Maple Leaf
New Audio: Tuesday, January 15, 2008
CBC Radio "As It happens"
Appointed Liberal candidate in Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River, Joan Beatty, speaks to why she accepted the appointment.
Maple Leaf

The StarPhoenix, Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Northern Sask. fiasco highlights Dion's weakness

It is somewhat ironic that at the very moment Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion became dangerously trapped in an uncharted Saskatchewan minefield, he was in fact half a world away -- in a war zone. ...

Even a political neophyte could not have helped but notice Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River was a delicate situation. Once a bastion of Liberal strength, over the last decade it has swung through all three major national parties — even having the same candidate represent different parties in two consecutive elections and run as an independent the next time out. continued...

Maple Leaf

The StarPhoenix and National Post online, Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Riding must have say on candidate
by Michelle Hugli

... Whether the decision to appoint her [Beatty] is based partly on her gender and race or whether that's being used as a reason to avoid other members from winning the nomination, the fact is much is being said about what she is rather than what she can do. She could do a lot for that riding, and party members deserve to hear her ideas and vote for her based on her skills and abilities.

If she has to campaign for her nomination, we will hear more about what she will do as a Liberal candidate in the riding than what she is, which is all we've heard about. continued...

Maple Leaf

The StarPhoenix, Monday, January 14, 2008
Upset Liberals use funny bone
by Randy Burton

I'm not sure I've ever been to a political meeting where so many angry people had so much fun.

Unlike scores of similar gatherings I've attended where humourless white folks grimly tear their opponents to shreds, the Native people gathered here Saturday to protest Liberal paternalism brought a singular joy to their task. continued...

Maple Leaf
New Audio: Monday, January 14, 2008
CBC Radio "As It happens"
Carol Off interviews Chief Marcel Head, Shoal Lake First Nation, Saskatchewan about the appointment of Joan Beatty as the Liberal candidate in Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River.
Maple Leaf

The Prince Albert Daily Herald, Monday, January 14, 2008
Liberals' battle applauded

Even those who do not support the Liberal Party can be forgiven for wishing success for the grassroots Liberals in Desnethe-Misinippi-Churchill River. ... While the battle they are about to wage is largely a closed-door, Liberal-only affair, it's a process that affects all of us. continued...

Maple Leaf
New Audio: Monday, January 14, 2008
CKOM News Talk 650, "John Gormley Live"
David Orchard is John Gormley's guest to discuss developments in the riding of Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River riding around the appointment of NDP MLA Joan Beatty as the Liberal candidate cutting short the nomination race.
Maple Leaf

Latest news flash!

The StarPhoenix online, Sunday, January 13, 2008
Liberal Party members gather to protest Beatty appointment
By Darren Bernhardt

PRINCE ALBERT - Ralph Goodale may be one of the most respected politicians in Ottawa, but in his home province and to several members of his Liberal Party on Saturday, he was about as popular as a kick in the groin. As a matter of fact, the latter was more popular: it was mentioned more than once as a gift that should be bestowed on Goodale, the Regina-Wascana MP and former minister of finance for Canada.

A fired-up group of nearly 200 people - mayors, residents, First Nations chiefs, Metis leaders - gathered at the Prince Albert Inn throughout the day for an emergency membership meeting regarding the recent upheaval in the federal riding of Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River. continued...

From the left, Chief Marcel Head, Shoal Lake First Nation; Alex Maurice, Mayor of Beauval;
Travis Durocher, Canoe Lake First Nation and Mike Durocher, Lawyer.
Photo: Antoinette Martens

Alex Maurice, mayor of Beauval, addresses the meeting.
Photo: Antoinette Martens

Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River emergency meeting

Photo: Antoinette Martens

Photo: Antoinette Martens

Maple Leaf

Saturday, January 12, 2008
Open letter to Stéphane Dion and Joan Beatty
from Chief Marcel Head, Pakwaw Sakahigan (Shoal Lake) First Nation, Saskatchewan,
Chairperson of the Interim Executive of the Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River Liberal Riding Association

On instructions from the emergency riding meeting held in Prince Albert, January 12, 2008, where an Interim Executive was formed and Chief Marcel Head was elected the Interim Chairperson, the letters call on Stéphane Dion to rescind the appointment of Joan Beatty and on Joan Beatty to resign and file for nomination papers, "so due process can prevail."

Maple Leaf

Canadian Press, Saturday, January 12, 2008
Sask Liberals in northern riding challenge Dion picking candidate

PRINCE ALBERT, Sask. - A Liberal Party nomination dispute in Saskatchewan enmeshed in politics, race and gender became more complicated - and confrontational - Saturday.

More than 140 disaffected party members voted to create a new riding executive they hope will in turn hold a nomination runoff to decide who will carry the party banner for the northern riding of Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River in a March 17 byelection.

The move has left provincial party brass shaking their heads, given, they say, that the riding already has an executive ... continued...

David Orchard has replied with a letter to The StarPhoenix: "... In fact, there is no functioning riding association in Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River. No executive, no president. A formally constituted riding association has not existed for some time." continued...

Maple Leaf

With "friends" like these...

Globe and Mail, Saturday, January 12, 2008
Floridity, memory and bafflegab
by Jane Taber

... David Orchard - the anti-free-trade activist who delivered delegates to Stéphane Dion to help him win the 2006 Liberal leadership. Mr. Orchard says he was blindsided by the leader's decision to appoint Joan Beatty, an aboriginal woman, as the candidate in the northern Saskatchewan riding where he was campaigning for the nomination.

But Adam Campbell, the Alberta Liberal Party president, says that Mr. Orchard, who is a friend, is "not coming clean on this." He says Mr. Orchard was fully aware that if an aboriginal woman came forward to run, she would be appointed. Mr. Campbell says that Mr. Dion knew "David was going to be upset" by the decision but he asked him to remind Mr. Orchard "of what we are all trying to achieve here." Mr. Campbell says that Mr. Orchard "is saleable in lots of other ridings." continued...

Marjaleena Repo, senior advisor to David Orchard, has responded with a letter to the Globe and Mail:

I was very surprised to read the item in Jane Taber's Saturday Notebook about Alberta Liberal Party president Adam Campbell making statements as David Orchard's "friend, " discrediting Mr. Orchard from the basis of his supposed personal knowledge.

Adam Campbell is no friend of David Orchard's, although the Globe and Mail is not the first one to whom he has made that claim. He was a political acquaintance and in the Liberal leadership campaign they both supported Stephane Dion's candidacy, nothing more, and certainly is not the trustworthy and close friend he presents himself as. continued...

Maple Leaf

Vancouver Sun, Friday, January 11, 2008
Maverick Orchard finds a new party to tangle with
Barbara Yaffe

Would-be politician David Orchard would most certainly qualify for the Rodney Dangerfield Award, if one existed. ... It may be time to coin a new, made-in-Canada verb: to be orcharded. continued...

Read Marjaleena Repo's response, "On being 'yaffied'" published in an edited version in the Vancouver Sun, Friday, January 25, 2008 under the title "Shafting by Yaffe based on factoids, canards"

Maple Leaf

Missinippi Broadcasting, Friday, January 11, 2008
Dorion Upset With Media Attention On Orchard

... Cumberland House native John Dorion says it was his campaign that sparked hundreds of constituents to buy Liberal party memberships, and not David Orchard.

Dorion feels Orchard has been given credit by the media for much of his work, and Dorion believes he would beat Orchard if a nomination vote were held today. continued...

Maple Leaf

National Post on line, Friday, January 11, 2008
David Orchard: the man Ottawa loves to cheat
by Kelly McParland

Click here to visit the National Post's page for photos of Stephane Dion with David Orchard at a 2006 press conference at the Bessborough Hotel in Saskatoon, where Orchard endorsed Dion's leadership bid, and Orchard with Peter MacKay in 2003 following the results of the third ballot at the PC Leadership Convention in Toronto.

At some point, David Orchard is going to start suspecting that people in Ottawa just don't want him around.

Sure, they're willing to pal around with him as long as he's able to deliver votes, delegates, organizing expertise or whatever other bit of political capital they happen to need at the moment. But after that it's arrivederci Davie. Don't let the door slam on your way out.

This time Orchard has been unceremoniously blocked from seeking the Liberal nomination in the Saskatchewan riding of Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River, one of four ridings that will hold by-elections to replace departing Liberal MPs on March 17. Orchard says he campaigned for the nomination for three months, signing up hundreds of members and clocking 20,000 km in travels across the riding, in the belief it would be an open contest. Instead, Dion used his powers as leader to hand the nomination to Joan Beatty, a former minister in the provincial government who was the first aboriginal woman to hold a seat in Saskatchewan's cabinet.

Not surprisingly, Orchard feels betrayed. He says he was specifically assured there would be an open race and urged to campaign hard. He refuted a claim by Ralph Goodale, the House Leader and dean of Saskatchewan Liberals, that all prospective candidates were made to sign a paper acknowledging Dion might bypass the nomination process and appoint his own candidate. He dared Goodale to produce the paper or back off. continued...

Maple Leaf

The StarPhoenix, Friday, January 11, 2008
His side of the story
Orchard claims Dion made him assurances

by Janet French

David Orchard says he was told by federal party leader Stephane Dion and other senior Liberals that Dion would not hand-pick a candidate to run in a March 17 federal byelection in northern Saskatchewan.

Orchard, who began campaigning for the Liberal nomination in the Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River riding three months ago, said there's no truth to the party's assertions he knew it wanted an aboriginal woman to run in the sprawling northern riding. ...

Asked who told him there would be no appointment, Orchard repeated that Goodale never said anything about it, and he was also assured by a national Liberal campaign co-chair.

"Of course, the leader told me there would be no appointment," Orchard added. continued...

Maple Leaf

The Globe and Mail, Friday, January 11, 2008
Liberals at odds over candidate
Dion is urged to allow open nomination in riding where he picked the contender

by Jane Taber, Senior political writer; with a report from The Canadian Press

Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion's decision to appoint an aboriginal woman candidate to a northern Saskatchewan riding is provoking battles both inside and outside the party.

Internally, the situation is being described as "ugly" by one senior Liberal, who says there have been shouting matches among strategists and MPs over the appointment of former NDP Saskatchewan MLA and cabinet minister Joan Beatty. continued...

Maple Leaf

The StarPhoenix, Friday, January 11, 2008
Beatty's move to join Grits not hard to fathom
by Doug Cuthand

... It's not unusual for First Nations and aboriginal people to switch parties. Political issues in Indian country generally are local, or centre on the recognition of aboriginal and treaty rights.

Issues that relate to basic services such as clean water, improved infrastructure and employment often take centre stage in election campaigns. Issues such as rights and land claims are very important to aboriginal people, but may not make a blip on the radar screen in other constituencies or may be viewed negatively.

The loyalty in Indian country is to the individual who can deliver. Partisan politics are seen as a vehicle to make change for your community. Few aboriginal people are so close to a party that they will support a candidate based on party affiliation alone. ... So, what are Beatty's chances of securing a federal seat? continued...

Maple Leaf

National Post, Thursday, January 10, 2008
Dion plays to win with Orchard snub
John Ivison

... In making his decision, Mr. Dion must have weighed two key factors: Ms. Beatty is a well-qualified, aboriginal woman (he has committed to ensuring a third of candidates at the next election are female); and, Mr. Orchard is a potential loose cannon who might backfire during a campaign (he has long opposed the North American Free Trade Agreement, gun control and gay marriage). continued...

Click here for Marjaleena Repo's response published in the National Post, Tuesday, January 15, 2008, "Orchard: an 'open book not a 'loose cannon.'"

Maple Leaf

Canadian Press, Thursday, January 10, 2008
Orchard says he was assured Liberal nomination for Sask byelection would be open
by Joan Bryden

OTTAWA - David Orchard says he'd never have campaigned to become a Liberal candidate in Saskatchewan if he had been told from the outset that Leader Stephane Dion would appoint a woman. ...

Goodale, the lone Liberal MP from Saskatchewan, said Wednesday that Orchard and other prospective candidates knew full well that Dion might appoint a woman. Indeed, Goodale said all would-be candidates signed a paper acknowledging that the leader might bypass the democratic nomination process and make an appointment.

"Mr. Goodale's statement is completely and utterly false," Orchard said in a brief telephone interview. "In fact, I was assured that there would be no appointment whatsoever and urged to work hard for the riding.

"Does anyone believe that I would have campaigned for three months — I criss-crossed the riding, 20,000 kilometres, signing up hundreds of members — if there'd been a threat of an appointment over my head?" continued...

Maple Leaf

The StarPhoenix, Thursday, January 10, 2008
Northern Liberals fighting mad
Randy Burton

... If there's one thing that unites a disparate northern population, it's the notion that people from outside the community should feel obliged to tell them what's good for them.

And nothing could do that in a more prominent way than telling them their voices do not count when it comes to choosing who they want to represent them in a federal election. It's safe to say at this point that when federal leader Stephane Dion decided to appoint former NDP cabinet minister Joan Beatty to become the Liberal candidate in the northern riding, he had no idea he would be provoking such a backlash. continued...

Maple Leaf

The StarPhoenix, Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Northerners plan protest of Liberal appointment
Randy Burton

Disgruntled Liberals in the province's north have organized a meeting for Saturday to protest federal Liberal Leader Stephane Dion's decision to bypass a nomination meeting for an upcoming byelection.

In an interview Tuesday, Bruce Morin, chief of the Big River Band, said he thinks Dion made "a big mistake" by appointing Beatty.

"He's going to lose a lot of votes over this. He won the last time with a slim majority of votes thanks to the efforts of people like us. And now he goes and does this to us. This is an insult to the people who live out here. This should have been our choice." continued...

Maple Leaf

National Post, Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Dion's Prairie parachutist
by Colby Cosh

 ... the "Ottawa-hath-spoken" flavour of Mr. Dion's decision has not gone unnoticed. One local Indian leader called it a "slap in the face" and an act of "tyranny." A Métis organizer was reminded of "the old Indian agent mentality ... The idea that 'we' know better than 'you' the people, what is good for you."

As for the non-aboriginal Saskatchewanians in the area, particularly the longtime New Democrats, it is hard to find a reason they wouldn't feel exactly the same way, or even use the same words. continued...

Maple Leaf

The StarPhoenix, Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Dion defaults on debt to Orchard
by Randy Burton

Free trade critic and former Tory leadership candidate David Orchard delivered 150 votes to Dion's leadership campaign in 2006, but apparently that wasn't enough. ...

He's now in the humiliating position of being shunted aside for a hand-picked candidate with absolutely no base of support within the Liberal party. What she shares with Dion is a disregard for the concept of loyalty. continued...

Maple Leaf

The StarPhoenix, Saturday, January 05, 2008
Dion anointing Beatty sends wrong message

... As Roy Head, who was president of the riding when it was known simply as Churchill River, said in a recent letter to The StarPhoenix: "If the appointment goes ahead without the people in the constituency having any say, it would be a slap in the face ... It would suggest that constituents aren't capable of electing their own representative and that the selection has to be made for them by the Liberal leader." ...

Her appointment by Dion smacks of the kind of insider politics that so turn off Canadians from the electoral process. continued...

Maple Leaf

Toronto Star, Saturday, January 5, 2008
Dion accused of snubbing Orchard
Candidate appointment causes controversy

by Susan Delacourt, Ottawa Bureau

OTTAWA–Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion appears to have taken a giant political risk in refusing to allow David Orchard, the farmer and political activist, to run for the party in the coming federal by-election in Saskatchewan.

Orchard, who delivered more than 100 delegates to Dion's leadership campaign a year ago, had his heart set on running in Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River – one of four ridings where by-elections are to be held on March 17 to replace departing Liberal MPs.

... It is said that former finance minister Ralph Goodale, who's long been the political godfather for the Liberals in Saskatchewan and is now the Opposition House leader, was opposed to Orchard running in the by-election. continued...

Maple Leaf

The StarPhoenix and Regina Leader-Post, Saturday, January 05, 2008
Appointment exemplifies bad politics
by Murray Mandryk

... At best, it appears [Joan] Beatty got this appointment for the wrong reasons. At worst, it provides a lot of examples of a lot of things wrong in politics. continued...

Maple Leaf

The StarPhoenix, Saturday, January 05, 2008
Political shake-up
By James Wood

REGINA - In a move with major repercussions on both federal and provincial politics in Saskatchewan, federal Liberal Leader Stephane Dion has appointed NDP MLA Joan Beatty as his party's candidate in Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River. continued...

Maple Leaf

Canadian Press, Friday, January, 4, 2008
Rift opens in Liberal party over appointment of NDP MLA to run in Saskatchewan
by Joan Bryden

OTTAWA - Irate supporters of David Orchard are warning that Liberals will lose a coming byelection in northern Saskatchewan now that Leader Stephane Dion has chosen to appoint an NDP defector as the party's candidate.

And even though Dion's chosen candidate, Joan Beatty, is an aboriginal woman, some native leaders are suggesting it's racist to bypass the democratic nomination contest in the heavily aboriginal riding.

"There is an Indian Affairs mindset and this is it to the core, the old Indian agent mentality we all know too much about," Metis leader Jim Durocher says in an angry letter to Dion, obtained by The Canadian Press. "The idea that 'we' know better than 'you' the people, what is good for you." continued...

Maple Leaf

Prince Albert, SK, Thursday, December 27, 2007
Open letter to Stéphane Dion from Gordon Kirkby, former mayor of Prince Albert and former Liberal MP for Churchill River

It was with utter amazement that I read the story in the Globe and Mail on December 19, 2007. It had been said that there are some Liberals in this province that put self interest and the maintenance of personal influence ahead of winning seats for the Liberal party. ...

I told Mr. Orchard what would happen and he didn't believe me. He believes me now. It is my hope that it will not take a defeat in a general election in this riding to convince you. continued...

Maple Leaf

Sunday, December 23, 2007
Open letter to Stéphane Dion from Jim Durocher, past president of the Metis Association of Saskatchewan and past federal and provincial Liberal candidate

... By way of background, the North has been for decades on the receiving end of colonial attitudes and unforgiveable arrogance coming from the south and centre of our country. In my life I have seen many examples. We have had candidates selected and foisted upon the riding. We have had nomination meetings held outside the riding itself. I could go on, but I'm sure you are an intelligent man and understand something of colonialism and racism. continued...

Maple Leaf

The StarPhoenix, Thursday, December 20, 2007
David Orchard, Dion's dilemma
by Randy Burton

... When you sign on with David Orchard, you're not forming a partnership with a guy who is prepared to lie down and be run over if the leader thinks it advisable. What you get is a practised grassroots politician with a flair for organization. You also get a committed activist who expects to be treated with some respect for his abilities. continued...

Maple Leaf

The Globe and Mail, Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Dion draws ire over proposed by-election candidate
by Campbell Clark

...The battle over who will carry the Liberal banner in a vast northern Saskatchewan riding has developed into a power struggle pitting MP Ralph Goodale, the party's strong man in the province, against Mr. Orchard, the prominent farm activist who twice ran for the leadership of the Progressive Conservatives. continued...

Maple Leaf

Canoe Lake, Sunday, December 16, 2007
Open letter from Joseph "Butch" Iron to the Liberal Party of Canada

... When I heard Dave Orchard was running I felt good. I said I'd help right away. I joined the Liberal party with my wife and two boys. I paid 40 dollars for a family membership. This is the first time I paid for a membership in a political party. It's the first time I'll be voting in a federal election. ...

If they do this [appoint Joan Beatty] and they hurt Dave I won't bother with the Liberals anymore. I will go with the NDP. And my family too. I think the chiefs will have something to say about this too. And that is without even talking about democracy. continued...

Maple Leaf

Prince Albert Grand Council Tribune, November 2007
David Orchard Wants Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River Nomination
by Ron Merasty

David Orchard, 57, a Saskatchewan farmer originally from Borden, along the South Saskatchewan River west of Saskatoon, is one of the best-known Canadians. He has been in the public spotlight for much of the past 20 years. Orchard is contesting the Liberal nomination for Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River, and wants to become its Member of Parliament. Orchard says that he wants to become the representative of Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River so that he will stem the Americanization of Canada by Stephen Harper's Conservatives.

People in northern communities of the constituency are receiving him well, he said, and has sold a fair number of memberships. When the Tribune talked to him, he was in Canoe Lake enroute to Meadow Lake for a speaking engagement. continued...

Maple Leaf

Prince Albert Daily Herald, 26 November, 2007
Supporter defends candidate's credentials

To the Editor:

This letter is in response to a newscast I heard today in reference to David Orchard and his announcement to run as a Liberal in the Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River riding. I was upset by comments made by his opponent John Dorion who implied that David has no connections to the North and hasn't a grasp of the issues of that place. He also went on to say that David isn't qualified because of his lack of Cree language skills.

I am a member of the Buffalo River Dene Nation. The riding in question is very large and Cree isn't the only Native language spoken. I speak fluent Dene and would like to know if John can freely converse in that. David speaks French. There have been other MP's who spoke only English and still represented the riding with skill. I think it's a shame that campaign should largely be about race and language.

John also stated that David had no connection to the North. David is connected to the North by blood as he is my former brother in law and has a niece who is also a band member. I have a large family and many of us consider David's beliefs to be close to what we believe in. We accept him for what he is.

David is known by many in the north for having taken part in the blockade of logging roads and clear cutting in Canoe Lake in which he was arrested and jailed with other protesters from surrounding northern communities. David understands that there is a thin line between responsible harvesting of resources and exploitation.

David is a long time activist who has a passion for the important issues of the North and the political know-how to get things done in Ottawa. Our MP should be elected for his or her ability to represent the riding and not for race or lack of Native language skills.

Terrie S. Bekattla
Prince Albert  SK

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