9:30 a.m., May 21)
give Bertschi green light in bid for federal nomination
By Fred Sherwin
hopeful David Bertschi has been given the green light to
run for the federal nomination in Ottawa-Orléans,
joining retired lieutenant-general Andrew Leslie as the only two candidates
to so far get formal approval from the Liberal Party of
Liberal candidate David Bertschi is hoping
to wear the Liberal colours once again in
next federal election, but first he must win
the nomination after recently getting green-lighted
by the party. File photo
made the announcement in a statement released on his Facebook
page on Monday..
pleased to announce that I am now officially in the race
to become the next federal Liberal candidate in my home
riding of Ottawa-Orléans.I want to thank everyone
for their support. Merci a tous et toutes pour votre appui.
Have a great week. Bonne semaine," Bertschi wrote.
ran against Conservative incumbent Royal Galipeau in the
2011 General Election when he lost by less than 4,000
votes. Since then he's been actively carrying the Liberal
Party colours at events throughout the riding and helping
to build up the local war chest.
ran for the party leadership in 2013, but ultimately had
to pull out of the race three days before the leadership
convention where Justin Trudeau won in a landslide.
east end lawyer has been criticized by some in the Liberal
camp for taking part in the leadership race, but Bertschi
says he did it to help provide a fresh approach and fresh
ideas to the issues facing the party.
have no regrets about running for the leadership. It was
a wonderful opportunity for me to travel around the country
and share my thoughts and ideas with other committed,
hard-working Liberals who care deeply about the rebirth
of this party, like I do," says Bertschi. "It
was one of the best experiences of my life."
has been waiting to be green-lighted for nearly a month.
The reason for the delay is thought to be his lingering
debt from the leadership race. Earlier this year, Liberal
leader Justin Trudeau 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.
outstanding debt at the conclusion of the leadership race
was $150,000, nearly half of which was the nomination
fee. He has since raised nearly $60,000 to bring his debt
down to less than $92,000 and counting.
the debt issue out of the way, Bertschi can now focus
on the nomination race and staving off the challenge from
Andrew Leslie, who is considered by many to be the preferred
choice of party insiders including the leader.
was appointed co-chair of the party's international affairs
committee last September and has provided advice to the
Liberal leader on foreign and defence issues. He was also
a keynote speaker at the Liberal convention in March.
addition of Leslie to the local nomination race has caused
a rift among local Liberal supporters. A number of Bertschi's
former supporters have switched their allegiance and are
now supporting Leslie. But the race has also had the effect
of galvanizing support among Liberals still loyal to Bertschi.
his credit, Bertschi sees the heightened public interest,
generated by Leslie's running, as a positive rather than
look at it as a positive opportunity to highlight and
showcase our party and the people who are willing to become
Liberal representatives. The challenge for the party is
to make sure it's an open, fair nomination process without
hindrance or impediment and that everyone is treated fairly,"
for his own chances, Bertschi is hopeful the hundreds
of hours he's invested in the community and in carrying
the Liberal Party colours over the past five years will
yield dividends when it comes time for the local party
members to chose a candidate.
cautiously optimistic and I'm hopeful it will," says
Bertschi. "I've dedicated almost every weekend for
the past five years and several nights a week to the community
and to the party, whether it's active political involvement
in helping to raise the party's profile in the riding,
or building up the local war chest, I've been tireless
in everything I can."
been tireless in working in the community, living in the
community, running in the community and supporting the
community and the people who live here, and when it comes
to that component I cannot imagine the other candidates
putting in the leg work in understanding the community
as well as I have. Having said that, I never take anything
for granted and never take anyone for granted. And I plan
to continue to work hard right up until the nomination
of which is shaping up for an exciting conclusion. Two
big questions still remain to be answered, however, the
first is whether or not there will be a third candidate
in the nominations race -- former Liberal MP Gar Knutsen
is still waiting for to be green-lighted by the party
-- and the second is when the actual nomination meeting
will take place?
the provincial election causing everything to be put on
hold, Bertschi and Leslie are both hoping the meeting
will be held after June 12 when Ontarians head to the
polls, and before July 1 when most them will be heading
to their cottages.
story was made possible thanks to their generous support
of our local business partners.)
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