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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.

I pledge my strengths to the battle for justice and fair play for a region in Canada that has not seen enough of either.

I am a fourth generation farmer who knows agricultural issues in my bones. As a teenager I drove a tractor in farm protests. In 1975, our farm made the transition to 100% organic production. In 1995, I ripped up the Crow benefit cheque for $15,000 for my farm at a press conference, because I believed that the Crow rate, guaranteed to farmers in perpetuity, was not for sale.

I have spent thousand of hours in the battle for First Nations and Metis rights. In the 1980s, I was part of the effort (successful) to save the historic bullet scarred boards on the front of the rectory at Batoche. In the 1990s, I stood with the Elders and protesters at Canoe Lake, was arrested and jailed with them, in the battle for environmental protection and for a fair return to First Nations for their forest resources.

Throughout my adult life I have worked to protect our country’s sovereignty and the environment upon which we all depend for our survival.

In the weeks ahead, I will continue to travel from farm to farm, town to town and First Nation to First Nation across the north to speak, to learn and to listen.

I will ask for support from across the riding and in turn will continue to give my all, whether on the national stage or on one in Pelican Narrows or Ile-a-La-Crosse, for a better, stronger, fairer Canada for all of its citizens, regardless of race, colour, occupation or background."

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