The Prince Albert Daily Herald, Saturday, August 16, 2008
David Orchard: Liberal of the north
by Lindsay Thorimbert, Herald Staff
Liberal party members of Northern Saskatchewan have
made their voices heard - they have asked for David
"David Orchard, we're pleased to announce, is the
nominee for Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River," said
Robert Ermel, executive director of the Saskatchewan
He added that party policy is not to release the
number of votes received by each candidate.
Orchard said he heard of his victory at about 11 p.m.
on Thursday. The polls closed at 9 p.m.
"We worked very hard," Orchard said of his campaign.
"It was close to 60,000 kilometres on my vehicle from
one corner to the other of a big area."
Orchard said he will provide a strong, effective
voice for the riding, which "has sometimes been on the
receiving end of getting pushed around a bit in this
He identified housing, roads, illness and the
environment as issues in need of attention in the
"I promised to do my best to help to change some of
those conditions," he said.
With the nomination win, he said his affairs will
change only a little.
"Now, hopefully I can direct some of my firepower
towards Mr. Harper and his policies that I think are
hurting our country and our riding," added Orchard.
The Liberal party extended its welcome.
"We are pleased to welcome another nominated
candidate into our Liberal team. We look forward to
working with Mr. Orchard in preparation for the next
election campaign, and we wish him every success," said
Joseph Mayer, director of communications for the Liberal
Party of Canada.
Orchard beat Joan Beatty for the nomination, who was
appointed as the Liberal representative for the riding
early this year by Stephane Dion, federal Liberal
An insider told The Canadian Press that Orchard
garnered more than twice as many votes as Beatty.
On March 17, Beatty lost the byelection for the
riding to Conservative party candidate Rob Clarke.
Mayer said Beatty's loss does not signal a disconnect
between the Liberal Party and its members in the riding.
"The appointment was part of the leader's desire to
get more women, and she was seen as a very strong
candidate based on her record at the provincial level,"
Orchard said an appointed candidate didn't sit well
"The people of the riding wanted to participate in a
democratic process," said Orchard. "I think they reacted
quite strongly to this idea of something being imposed
"The people in the north, I think, were looking for
"Something that connects to them not only
democratically, but really is serious about the issues
that they're facing."
Orchard, an organic farmer who twice ran for the
leadership of the now-defunct Progressive Conservatives,
has long been an outspoken activist on environmental,
free-trade, aboriginal and agriculture issues.
He doesn't intend to pull his punches now just
because he's a candidate.
"I think the essence of a vibrant, national party is
you would have to encompass a wide range of views.
Probably one of the worst things (is) a monolithic party
where everybody stands up and nods at the same time and
says the same things,' he said.