Sunday, October 21, 2007

N.S. Tory riding executive suspended for defiance


Operations suspended for local Tories print this article
BY MONIQUE CHIASSON
http://www.amherstdaily.com/index.cfm?sid=73232&sc=58

WENTWORTH - The Conservative Party of Canada has stripped decision-making capabilities from the local Tory association's board of directors.

Don Plett, the national council's president, told the Monday News the council "will be suspending operations of the (Cumberland Colchester Musquodoboit Valley Conservative Association's) board ... but we are not disbanding the board."

What that means is current association board members will be allowed to remain on the board, but will not be permitted in decision-making. Instead, members of a newly created management committee will be responsible for decision-making.

Plett said the AGM will take place, but the council will decide when.

Rather than posting the entire article from The Amherst Daily News only information beyond what was in the CP article has been quoted above.

BELOW(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)

When democratic rights clash with constitutional provisions . . .

        "We have such a divisive issue in our riding, a difficult and emotional issue, and we want to make sure the actions we're taking to reflect the
        general membership," Armstrong said in an interview following Sunday's meeting Wentworth, N.S.

        "We think they do, we think Bill gets huge support out there in the grassroots of our party, but ... we need some direction as a board on what to do."
        Armstrong suggested the national council would have a responsibility to listen to a freshly elected executive.
        
        *                                   *                                   *

        "They are demanding their right, the democratic right, to select the candidate," Casey said in an interview Sunday.

        "And that was always my understanding of the position the prime minister took, that each riding association should select their candidate."
        
«¤»¥«¤»«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»

N.S. Tory riding executive suspended for defiance over Casey's nomination
James Keller, THE CANADIAN PRESS
http://www.recorder.ca/cp/National/071021/n1021104A.html

HALIFAX - A Tory riding executive in northern Nova Scotia has been suspended by the party's national council over its defiant support for ousted MP Bill Casey, a Conservative spokesman said Sunday.

The executive in Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley was told to either choose a candidate other than Casey, who was kicked out of caucus earlier this year for voting against the federal budget, or resign.

But the riding executive decided to do neither, and will instead hold an annual general meeting next month to let local members voice their opinion.
In the meantime, the executive has been suspended and will be replaced by an interim board, which will select a candidate if an election is called, said party spokesman Ryan Sparrow.

"They were suspended because if there's a snap election, hypothetically, a candidate (other than Casey) would have to be appointed and they refused to accept that," Sparrow said in an interview.

"From all accounts they were very good to work with. It's a disagreement and as a result they've been suspended."

News of the suspension followed a meeting Sunday evening, when the executive informed the party's national council president Don Plett of their decision not to choose a new candidate.

Riding association president Scott Armstrong said the board wasn't told about the suspension at the meeting with Plett, though the party said the suspension was a condition imposed by the national council last week.

"If that's true, we're sorry about that," said Armstrong. "We think we were a very effective board, we were elected by the people and we think we've represented them well."

Armstrong said local members will have their say at the general meeting, scheduled for Nov. 27, when members will elect a new riding executive. Armstrong said he expects many of the board members will return.

He said the board still wants Casey as the candidate, and he expects local party members will agree at next month's meeting.

"We have such a divisive issue in our riding, a difficult and emotional issue, and we want to make sure the actions we're taking to reflect the general membership," Armstrong said in an interview following Sunday's meeting Wentworth, N.S.

"We think they do, we think Bill gets huge support out there in the grassroots of our party, but ... we need some direction as a board on what to do."
Armstrong suggested the national council would have a responsibility to listen to a freshly elected executive.

It's the latest in a back-and-forth clash between the riding association and the Conservative party.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Stephen Harper used an announcement about a deal to end his fight with Nova Scotia to make clear that Casey will not allowed to rejoin the Conservative caucus.

The riding association voted last weekend to nominate Casey anyway, but the national council quickly declared the riding vacant.

Casey, who said he will run as an Independent if he can't run as a Conservative, said the prime minister has an obligation to listen to the riding association.

"They are demanding their right, the democratic right, to select the candidate," Casey said in an interview Sunday.

"And that was always my understanding of the position the prime minister took, that each riding association should select their candidate."

Casey's fight with Harper stems from changes to the federal equalization program contained in the most recent budget.

The budget forced Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador, to choose between their offshore deals or an enriched equalization formula that included a fiscal cap - a choice that had the potential to cost Nova Scotia up to $1 billion.

The new deal between Premier Rodney MacDonald and Harper guarantees that Nova Scotia won't lose any royalties under the revised equalization formula.

Casey has argued the deal amounts to a tacit admission by Harper that his government was wrong all along.


© The Canadian Press, 2007