Orchard picks Saskachewan
Orchard has announced that he will run in Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River where a by-election is due to be called by the end of February. The seat was vacated this summer when first-term Liberal MP Gary Merasty left Parliament a year and a half into the term.
This is an intriguing for several reasons. First Merasty, a Michael Ignatieff supporter, quits, much like fellow Iggy backer and former Vancouver-Quadra Liberal MP Stephen Owen did a month earlier. Second, Orchard is credited as a kingmaker of sorts to Stephane Dion who was able to use the Orchard delegates at last December's leadership vote to slide into third place ahead of Gerard Kennedy, one of the freshest faces in the leadership field. That move allowed Dion to gain support from people who could not support either Ignatieff or Bob Rae, the other frontrunner. Finally, the always controversial Orchard is being forced to contest the nomination. Given the key organization role Orchard played in Dion's victory Dion must be making an effort to let Orchard be identified as the Liberal membership's candidate rather than his candidate - just in case the Saskatchewan farmer's campaign does not mesh well with Dion's Liberal Party in the heavily aboriginal northern riding.
As for Burnaby, we have lost yet another Liberal hopeful - first Joyce Murray manager Gerry Lenoski stepped aside then ex-NDP Steve McClurg followed fast on his heels and now David Orchard. What does Lily Harvey, a businesswoman with degrees in engineering and business, need to do for the party to let her stand as a candidate against NDP incumbent Peter Julian?