Volume 12 Week 5

Thursday, Jan. 10


Posted Jan. 10

Posted Jan. 9

Posted Jan. 7


Orléans Ward
Matt Luloff

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney




(Posted 9 p.m., Nov. 16)
Online petition launched in attempt to reinstate Bertschi nomination bid
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

David Bertschi has launched an online petition to try and rally support to have his nomination candidacy reinstated. File photo

Supporters of ousted Liberal nomination hopeful David Bertschi are taking to the Internet and social media to try and convince the Liberal Party leadership to allow the nomination process to go ahead with him on the ballot.

At the centre of the reinstatement campaign is an online petition which was launched on Sunday afternoon. Within four hours more than 100 people had added their names to the list.

The preamble introducing the petition states: "We Liberals have a proud tradition of democratic process within the party. Liberal leaders do not impose their choices on the riding associations. Rather, every Liberal in the riding, without regard to where their family comes from or how they worship, may participate in picking their candidate."

Bertschi issued a statement on his website and Facebook page shortly after the petition was launched. In it, he confirms that he received a letter national Liberal Party co-chairs Katie Telford and Dan Gagnier last week, stating that his candidacy for the nomination had been revoked. By doing so, the CO-chairs and by extension the party, have paved the way for the only other candidate, retired general and Justin Trudeau confidante Andrew Leslie, to win the nomination unopposed.

Rather than outline the reasons given for the decision to revoke his candidacy, Bertschi writes that there were "a number of reasons, none of which are true".

According to a report in the weekend edition of the Ottawa Citizen, the Liberal Party allegedly revoked Bertschi's candidacy because he has yet to fully pay off the $150,000 debt he incurred during party's leadership race.

Earlier 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.

Before 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 another $40,000 in accordance with a debt repayment plan accepted by the green light committee in May, however, close to $50,000 remains outstanding.

In the statement released on his website, Bertschi says that the decision to revoke his candidacy was "purely political" and that it came "directly from the top".

He also states that after receiving the letter, he sent a response to its authors asking for a meeting to clear up the facts, but that his request has so far gone unanswered.

"In the spirit of diplomacy and for the good of our riding and the party, we sent a responding letter clearing up the facts and we requested to talk this through. However, so far our letters, our calls and frankly the truth have been ignore," Bertschi writes.

He then makes an argument based on the Liberal Party's "proud tradition of democratic process" to have his candidacy reinstated. He closes by stating, "We urge all of you, irrespective of who you support to make it clear to the Liberal Party of Canada that you want the Liberals of Orléans to pick the next candidate based on merit."

A number of the people who have so far added their names to the online petition are clearly upset. Some are threatening to tear up their Liberal Party memberships, while others say they plan to vote for the Conservatives or the NDP in the next election if Bertschi isn't reinstated.

Here is just one example written Joan Paquette from Orléans; "I've been voting Liberal for 62 years now. If we don't get an open nomination here, I will vote conservative for the first time."

And another from Stanley Paul -- "We the Liberal faithful have been lied to by our own leader. If David Bertschi does not get reinstated I will once again be pushed away from this party and I will work diligently to ensure candidate appointee does not win the next election."

Bertschi has been the face of the Liberal Party in Ottawa-Orléans for the past five 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.

If the Liberal Party leadership sticks to its guns in disqualifying Bertschi and paving the way for Leslie, they risk losing a large segment of support which only benefit the chance of Conservative incumbent Royal Galipeau getting elected to a fourth term.

You can view the online petition at https://www.change.org/p/justin-trudeau-reinstate-an-open- nomination-in-ottaorleans?recruiter=182096571&utm_

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