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...
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...
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?"
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.
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
"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...
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.
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.
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.
The StarPhoenix, Tuesday, August 26, 2008 Liberal policies at odds with province By 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?
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."
Prince Albert Daily Herald, Saturday, August
16, 2008 David Orchard: Liberal of the north By 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.
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
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...
The StarPhoenix, Thursday, August 7, 2008 Orchard must reconcile position By 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?
Northern Pride (Meadow Lake, SK), Tuesday, August 5,
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.
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
To read what northerners are saying about David Orchard
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.
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."
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
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,
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
National Post, Saturday, April 5, 2008 Liberals: Writer was never a Grit riding president Frank Proto, president, Saskatchewan Liberal
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
Prince Albert Daily Herald, Thursday, February 21, 2008 Editorial
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...
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...
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?
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.
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...
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.
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
... 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.
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.
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...
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"
'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.'
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.
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.
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.
The Prince Albert Daily Herald, Tuesday, January 22,
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
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
open letter to her asking her to resign and file nomination
papers to run for the position.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008 CBC Newsworld "Politics"
David Orchard tells his side of the story in an interview with
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
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.
The StarPhoenix, Tuesday, January 15, 2008 EDITORIAL
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.
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
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...
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.
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
The Prince Albert Daily Herald, Monday, January 14, 2008 EDITORIAL
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.
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.
Latest news flash!
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
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
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
Canadian Press, Saturday, January 12, 2008 Sask Liberals in northern riding challenge Dion
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 ...
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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?
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).
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
"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?"
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.
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."
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
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.
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.
The StarPhoenix, Saturday, January 05, 2008 Dion anointing Beatty sends wrong message Editorial
... 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.
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.
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
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.
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."
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...
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.