Statement By Bob Goulais:

“Overall, I’m quite disappointed with the Dryden results nationally.  I’m certainly happy with our result locally, electing 4 delegates to support Ken at the convention in Montreal.  But its clear to me that he cannot win with only 4.6 percent of delegates nation-wide.

“My rationale for supporting Ken was to give priority to the First Nations agenda.  Ken certainly has that vision and was very willing to listen and learn from First Nations people so that we can solve our social issues ourselves.  However, if Ken cannot deliver, I would like to work to ensure that First Nations agenda is included in the next Election Platform and is a significant national priority for the next leader.

“Although, I am leaning toward supporting Michael Ignatieff, for his ‘elect-ability’ and clear support within the Party across the Country, I’m not adverse to supporting Bob Rae for his historic support of First Nations rights.

“I would hope that Ken would make a swift decision about the future of his leadership campaign, so I may begin to discuss my priorities and my vision with both Mr. Ignatieff and Mr. Rae.”

Local Liberals support Ignatieff; 
‘Key riding’ to decide party leader

By Maria Calabrese
North Bay Nugget

Nipissing-Timiskaming is sending seven delegates to the Liberal party convention in December in support of leadership frontrunner Michael Ignatieff.
It’s a “key riding” in the leadership race with 54 per cent support for Igantieff, compared to 30 per cent nationally, said Greg DuCharme, treasurer of the Nipissing-Timiskaming Federal Liberal Riding Association and an Ignatieff supporter.
And with Nipissing-Timiskaming MP Anthony Rota and riding association president Dan Cleroux also backing Ignatieff, that brings the number of votes to nine.”We are a significant player in the drama that will be unfolding in Montreal in December,” DuCharme said.
Party members in Nipissing-Timiskaming voted Saturday at the Davedi Club, electing seven delegates who support the scholar Ignatieff, four for Ken Dryden and one for former Ontario NDP premier Bob Rae.
They’re among the 4,300 delegates elected across the country to attend the Dec. 2 convention to choose the party’s next leader.
Of the eight candidates, Rae, former Ontario education minister Gerard Kennedy and former cabinet minister Stephane Dion are the only ones within Ignatieff’s reach.
Dryden, Toronto MP Joe Volpe, former Conservative MP Scott Brison – who crossed the floor to sit as a Liberal MP in 2003 – and Toronto lawyer Martha Hall Findlay could drop out and throw support behind the other candidates.
It’s a disappointing result nationally for Dryden who was in tune with aboriginal, rural and Northern issues, said Bob Goulais, a Nipissing-Timiskaming riding executive and chief of staff for the Anishinabek Nation/Union of Ontario Indians who supported the hockey legend.
While Dryden may not have the opportunity or the momentum to push those issues, Goulais said he hopes other leadership candidates take notice of aboriginal concerns and make them part of the Liberals’ next platform.