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January 18, 2008

Letter to Stéphane Dion by Grace McKay-Jolly

The Honourable Stéphane Dion, M.P.
Leader, the Liberal Party of Canada
81 Metcalfe Street, Suite 400
Ottawa, ON
K1P 6M8

Dear Stéphane Dion,

I have supported you consistently since the day — long before the leadership race — when I decided that your intelligence and integrity were what my country so desperately needed. I wanted you to be our Prime Minister. Your ill-advised intervention in Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River has shaken my confidence badly, not only in you, but in my own judgment.

I watched you from Afghanistan explaining how top down intervention does not work there. It does not work here either. Residents of Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River are insulted and outraged by your aborting of the legitimate nomination process and denying them the democratic right to choose their own candidate.

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. Revoke the race and gender based appointment which has trumped democracy in Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill. Ask Ms. Beatty to resign her appointment and run for nomination. Please do it immediately. It is no disgrace to change a bad decision which was based on misinformation and inadequate knowledge about the people involved. It is a sign of strength in leadership to listen to the people.

Yours very truly,

Grace McKay-Jolly

Cc   John Dorion
Jim Durocher
Chief Marcel Head
David Orchard

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