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National Post, Friday, April 11, 2008

Dirty politics in Saskatchewan

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.

For the record, Mr. Proto was notified about party members calling an AGM in the riding for Jan. 26. Cheryl Maurice, the acting president who was appointed by Mr. Proto in early 2007, I gather, but never elected by the membership, authorized the meeting notice and was quite willing to pass her presidency to someone elected by the members. A notice was mailed out to all members, those with e-mail got a second notice, and in addition to phone calls and media notices, the membership was well covered.

As a long-time northerner and Liberal party member (twice a candidate), I was asked to chair the meeting until the election of a new executive, and I did so fully confident that this was an exemplary riding meeting, in terms of legitimacy, democracy and membership notification. For Mr. Proto and Senator Poulin to claim otherwise and to attempt to diminish Chief Head is to dig themselves into a hole from which no one will be able to lift them. They owe an apology to all riding members and especially those who agreed to serve on the executive.

Jim Durocher, Saskatoon.

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