11 a.m., Nov. 16)
letter throws local Liberal nomination race into question
By Fred Sherwin
Bertschi's bid to get a secomd shot at Ottawa-Orleans
incumbent Royal Galipeau is very much in the
air following reecnt developments regarding
his possible nomination. File photo
Justin Trudeau ruled that any future MPs must vote pro-choice,
which led to pro-life supporter Gar Knutsen's withdrawal
from the local nomination race, now comes word that David
Bertschi will likely be blocked from running over outstanding
leadership debt, thus paving the way for Trudeau confidante
Andrew Leslie to win the nomination uncontested.
to a story published in today's Ottawa Citizen,
the Liberal Party leadership sent a letter to Berschi
last week informing him that his nomination, which was
approved by the party's Green Light committee last May,
has been revoked on the grounds that he has yet to pay
off the debt he incurred while running for the Liberal
Party leadership in 2013.
the same story, Bertschi denies that his candidacy has
been revoked by the Green Light committee but he admits
that it has been called into question.
understanding is there are a number of negotiations ongoing
at the moment and well see what they do in the next
week," Bertschi told the Citizen on Friday.
Liberal Riding Association president Lee Beauregard also
received a letter from the Party calling Berschi's nomination
status into question, but he also confirmed to the Citizen
that discussions on the matter are still taking place.
leery to get into that right now but, yes, I did receive
a letter from the party, Beauregard told the Citizen.
Theres discussions going back and forth on
it and I dont know where those discussions are.
ran up a debt in excess of $150,000 during the leadership
this year, the Liberal Party issued a directive that no
one could seek a nomination as long as they had outstanding
debt from previous Liberal leadership contests. The position
was later clarified to allow Liberal leadership candidates
the opportunity to bring their outstanding debt to less
than $100,000 with a plan to eliminate it entirely.
filing his nomination papers in the spring Bertschi had
paid back more than $60,000. bringing his debt to under
$92,000. He has since paid back more than $40,000 in accordance
with a debt repayment plan accepted by the Green Light
committee in May, however, close to $50,000 remains.
letter sent to Bertschi and the ridng association also
makes mention of an anti-defamation lawsuit he filed against
the Arizona-based owners of a gossip website which published
defamatory statements about him during the leadership
race. Despite the fact that the company never filed a
statement of defence, Bertschi withdrew his suit before
filing his nomination papers.
says the Green Light committee was fully aware of the
lawsuit when it approved his nomination.
local nomination race has been an issue for the Liberals
for the past six months. Bertschi, who ran against Conservative
incumbernt Royal Galipeau in 2011 and lost, had always
made it clear that he planned to run again. News of Leslie's
interest in the nomination first surfaced in February.
He was green lighted in April.
Knutsen, who was a former Cabinet minister under Jean
Chretien, pulled out of the race while his nomination
papers were still being reviewed. After Trudeau ruled
that any future Liberal Party MPs must vote for pro-choice
if the abortion issue ever came up for a vote in the House
of Commons, Knutson said he could not meet the leader's
left Bertschi and Leslie as the only two candidates. It
was thought that a nomination meeting would be held after
the provincial election, but spring turned into summer
with no word on a possible date. A date in September was
then thought to be a possibility, but it too passed as
the body politic turned its collective attention to the
was three weeks ago. Now it seems the local nomination
race will be little more than a coronation. What is not
known is the potential fallout should the Liberal Party
stick to its decision to disqualify Bertschi.
Orléans lawyer has been the face of the Liberal
Party in Ottawa-Orléans for the past eight years.
He has built up a network of grassroots supporters largely
on his own and he has raised tens of thousands of dollars
for the local Liberal war chest.
he's rejected many of his supporters might decide to spend
the next election on the sidelines which would hurt the
Liberal chances against Galipeau who is seen as a populist
and has won three mandates in a row.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)
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