The Prince Albert Daily Herald, Friday, February 22, 2008
Dion sticks with his choice
by Tara Campbell
Stephane Dion continues to defend the controversial
appointment of Joan Beatty as the Liberal candidate for
the upcoming byelection in Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill
"With Joan Beatty we will be better equipped in
Northern Saskatchewan - she has great experience," said
Dion, addressing the media on Thursday afternoon. "I'm
optimistic that in the end on March 17 we will have Joan
Beatty for the north of Saskatchewan and for all of
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.
"It has been an honour for me to meet with mayors,
chiefs and grand chiefs," said Dion.
Earlier in the day, Dion and Beatty travelled to
Sturgeon Lake in effort to energize and unite Liberal
Party members, some of who have said they will not vote
Liberal in the March 17 byelection if Beatty, a former
NDP cabinet member, is on the ballot.
Dion has been criticized by some members of his party
since hand-picking Beatty. John Dorion and David Orchard
had been running for the candidacy when Dion stepped in
and named Beatty as the official Liberal candidate in
Dion said Orchard is a friend and wished that Orchard
had been with him to show support for Beatty.
Marcel Head, chief of the Shoal Lake First Nation,
has been leading the way among disgruntled Liberals and
said many of the people he knows will not be voting
"They might be voting, but not Liberal," said Head.
Beatty, however, said the focus should not be on the
candidate, but on the issues.
"At the end of the day it's not about the candidate,"
said Beatty. "It is about solving the many problems in
Dion is convinced that appointing Beatty was the
right move and that she will be accepted.
"I think she is welcome everywhere. When you have the
opportunity to have such an exceptional individual
willing to join your political family to help her
community you don't miss that opportunity."