Friday, May 20, 2005

Soldiering On

Despite recent some developments related to election timing, we offer you the only thing we can - an update.

Some quality gossip from lower mainland New Democrats. It would seem the race for the NDP nomination in New Westminster-Coquitlam has been joined. We recently brought you the news that 2004 candidate Steve McClurg would stand for the nomination again - but he's not the only one. It seems that former NDP New Westminster MP Dawn Black will also be throwing her hat into the ring.

Also from that part of the world comes the news that health care administrator and mental health advocate John Russell is considering running for the NDP nomination in the Surrey area riding of Fleetwood-Port Kells.

Skullduggery in Fredericton? That's the suggestion in this CBC piece. Seemingly someone isn't happy with how things went down in the Conservative nomination race. Anyone keen to provide colour and texture would be advised to share with the whole class through an email sent to nominationwatch@hotmail.com...

And despite previous musings to the contrary, former Northwest Territories Premier Stephen Kakfwi won't be a candidate for anything in the forthcoming election, whenever it comes forth. CBC says he's not running as an independent in Western Arctic, and he's not running as a Liberal.

It would seem to be the Lesser of Two Evils Mark II in Markham-Unionville. The incredibly shrinking star candidate, Veterans Affairs Minister John McCallum will face another challenge from nominated Conservative candidate Joe "Garbage Immigrants" Li. Never has a NDP nomination in Markham taken on such significance. On the other hand, given conditions such as these, we actually think the Bloc could do quite well in Markham...

Distemper seems to be reigning supreme amongst Richmond's Conservatives. Despite the nomination of former Preston Manning chief of staff Darrell Reid, all the Richmond Review can write about is either how unhappy everyone seems to be, or denials thereof. "I heard there were heated feelings. I heard there were remarks exchanged. Whether there were fisticuffs, I'm not aware of that ... There was a lot of dissatisfaction expressed by a lot of people." Fisticuffs? Do tell us more...

There's also a treasure trove of information in the Hamilton local papers. (That's right, dear readers. We read them so you don't have to). The Stoney Creek News is beside itself with the information that local Labour Council Prez and School Board Trustee Wayne Marston will seek the NDP nomination in Hamilton East-Stoney Creek. The article also notes that Steelworker activist Bob Sutton will not seek the nomination, and that city councillor Sam Merulla, a former Liberal who joined the NDP a month ago, will not seek the nomination.

Across town, the Hamilton Mountain News reports that Hamilton councillor Bill Kelly "is not just sitting on the horns of a dilemma, he is in fact lying on a bed of nails." We think they mean he's in a bit of trouble, but we're not sure. In any event, the remainder of the article seems to be about Mr. Kelly's decision to seek the Hamilton Mountain Liberal nomination, so we thought we'd pass it along to you.

The Mountain News also runs this article, in which default Hamilton Mountain Conservative candidate Frank Graves claims that despite the failure of the party to attract a higher profile candidate, "I'm not a candidate by default". The article continues that Hamilton Mountain New Democrats will choose between former candidate Chris Charlton and Bob Thompson, a provincial government employee in their nomination race.

And finishing off on the Hamilton area (for those of you who are still reading), Dr. Gordon Guyatt, a a professor of medicine at McMaster University, " and the NDP's 2004 candidate in Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale (our least favorite riding name not involving Sea to Sky country) will seek the party's nomination for the forthcoming campaign. So says the Dundas Star-News.

Oh, and in a rare spot of non-Hamilton news, Environmental law specialist Linda Duncan has won the right to challenge Conservative MP and coffee baron Rahim Jaffer in Edmonton-Strathcona. Ms. Duncan will be running in the New Democratic interest.

Well the whole nomination thing got a lot less pressing all of a sudden, didn't it?

Anyone want to play some cards?

Thursday, May 19, 2005

An aquatic day: canals, rainy rivers and sea to sky country...

Centre of the universe, or just the centre of Niagara? In either event, the Welland Tribune gives us the full update on goings on in the federal riding of Welland. The big news is the arrival in the NDP nomination fight of Rob Dobrucki, a former city and regional councillor and present assistant to local MPP Peter Kormos. He'll challenge 2000 and 2004 candidate Joey DiBartolomeo for the nomination. The Conservatives have already nominated - their candidate is Mel Grunstein, who ran for the party in 2004. The Liberals, who are expected to renominate local MP John Maloney, have yet to do so.

The candidates are (tentatively) set in Thunder Bay-Rainy River. Liberal MP Ken Boshcoff has been renominated. He awaits both of his 2004 rivals, Conservative David Leskowski and New Democrat John Rafferty, both of whom will likely be renominated without opposition, according to the Fort Frances Times, which we have no reason to mistrust.

A decisive first ballot win was registered by John Weston in his bid to replace retiring MP John Reynolds as the Conservative candidate for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country. Weston, a lawyer and former advisor to Reynolds beat hopefuls Doug Lang, Ted Milner and Jean Lewis. The Powell River Peak continues that the Liberal candidate is to be Blair Wilson, who ran against Reynolds in 2004.

Sudbury Conservatives seem to have had a fairly fundamental experience in nominating pentecostal minister Kevin Serviss as their candidate against Liberal incumbent Diane Marleau. Northern Life reports that amidst cries of “amen” and “that's right”, Serviss set out his agenda. But there's trouble in paradise - some of Serviss' defeated rivals suggest Serviss' success in motivating Christian voters may not translate into success outside his faith community. With seeming less turmoil, Nickel Belt Conservatives nominated Margaret Schwartzentruber by acclamation.

Yukon Conservatives have nominated law student Graham Lang, the son of Yukon Energy, Mines and Resources Minister Archie Lang as their candidate against Yukon Liberal MP Larry Bagnall, according to the Whitehorse Star.

Our old friend Barry Turner has been nominated for the Conservatives in Ottawa South. But despite what the Ottawa Sun said yesterday, is it true that Alan Riddell, his nomination rival didn't jump out of the race but was rather pushed? Something about the party blocking his candidacy after finding out about a university prank in Mr. Riddell's past?

Peter Van Loan has been renominated as the Conservative candidate in York-Simcoe, says the Georgina Advocate ... a similar state of affairs has befallen Andy Mitchell - the Parry Sound North Star says he's renominated as Liberal candidate in Parry Sound-Muskoka. Oh, and Cory Ollikka, former President of the National Farmers Union of Canada has been acclaimed as the Liberal candidate in Westlock-St. Paul.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

A province so seething with nomination news as to require its own post.

We've gathered a great deal of news from Newfoundland and Labrador over the past few days and thought it proper to give it to you in one fell swoop. This is that swoop.

First, what we know for sure. At this point all of the province's Liberal incumbents (Byrne, Simms and Matthews) are set to run again except for Avalon MP John Efford, who is still making up his mind. As "reported" (repeated?) here previously, Efford may well not run next time as he is ill. At this point Efford is saying publicly that his decision to run will be made by his doctors.

Needless to say, there have been plenty of rumours about who might replace Efford or stand as the Conservative candidate if Efford bows out. Fabian Manning, a provincal PC MHA recently booted out of the Tory caucus in a dispute over government policy on crab management is a strong possibility for the Conservatives in Avalon.

While the gossip had been that St. John's South-Mount Pearl Conservative MP Loyola Hearn was going to jump from his current seat to run in Avalon, circumstances seem to have changed his plans. He is likely to stay in his present seat, although he is increasingly alienated from local Tories over the Manning affair and the budget vote on offshore money. The local buzz has also been that depending on what Hearn did, Provincial cabinet ministers and former provincial Tory leaders Ed Byrne and Loyola Sullivan might run in St. John's South or Avalon, respectively. Both are denying any interest at present.

The Conservatives have nominated a candidate in Bonavista-Gander-Grand Falls-Windsor. He is Aaron Hynes, about whom we know little save that he is a former Naval officer. Though there had been talk of Grand Falls-Windsor Mayor Walwin Blackmore and Lewisporte MHA Tom Rideout jumping in, both ultimately took a pass.

As far as the NDP is concerned, only one riding is likely to be a priority - Random-Burin-St. George's, where former fisheries union activist Father Des McGrath seems ready to run against Liberal incumbent Bill Matthews.

As for nonincumbent Liberals, it seems like Siobhan Coady may take another run for the Liberals against Hearn, having come fairly close in 2004. In St. John's East there isn't a presumptive Liberal standing in the wings. Names are being tossed around including former local businessman Paul Antle and former provincial cabinet minister Walter Noel.

UPDATE: A slight puncutation alteration. Thanks to a far flung but very valued reader.

Largely Belinda Free

The Ottawa Sun reports on a potential NDP candidate in Ottawa Centre - step forward Paul Dewar, a teacher and son of former Ottawa mayor Marion Dewar. In other Ottawa (and other filial) news, Michael Gaffney (son of former Nepean MP and councilor Beryl Gaffney) is seeking the Liberal nomination in Nepean-Carleton, according to the Ottawa Business Journal. To finish on Ottawa, CBC reports on some potential candidates for the Liberal nod in Ottawa West-Nepean. They are lawyers Jacques Shore and Gregory Sanders, though CBC does not make clear whether either will actually enter the race. The Sun also runs another piece musing on Ottawa Mayor Bob Chiarelli's as yet entirely theoretical bid for the Ottawa West-Nepean Liberal nomination.

Not travelling too far from Ottawa, we see the first Belindite surfacing, courtesy of Le Droit. He is the already politically promiscuous Alain Lalonde. M. Lalonde, you will no doubt recall, left the race for the Conservative nomination in Glengarry-Prescott-Russell decrying the lack of space for moderates within the party. Well, he knows a bandwagon when he sees one, and he's leaping on board, claiming that he wouldn't rule out running for the Grit nomination: "I have not received any calls, but I'm not closing the door. [...] I see very clearly, now, that my philosophy is more closely aligned to that side (the Liberals) than the Conservatives." In actual news of serious candidates in GPR, Le Droit also reports that Russell Township Councillor Sébastien Goyer is currently weighing his options as to whether or not to seek the Liberal nomination. The only declared candidates thus far are Denis Pommainville, Mathieu Dupont and Jeanne Charlebois.

A bulletin from one of our Quebec spies contains some interesting news from Outremont. According to Radio-Canada, the Bloc will run Jacques Leonard, a former PQ Minister and MNA from the Laurentians. And despite his busy schedule yesterday, Stephen Harper had the time to travel (flee?) to Montreal to unveil the party's candidate in Brossard-La Prairie. He is Tenzin Dargyal Khangsar, coordinator of the national Canada-Tibet committee and an organizer of the Dalai Lama's recent visit to Canada.

Just in from the Tri-Cities - New Democrat Steve McClurg says he's up for a rematch against New Westminster-Coquitlam Conservative MP Paul Forseth. Forseth says he's running again, as is Port Moody-Westwood-Port Coquitlam Conservative James Moore. Expect more B.C. nomination news now that that provincial dustup is over.

Things are a little clearer up north. Western Arctic New Democrats have renominated Dennis Bevington, who came within 53 votes of defeating Liberal MP Ethel Blondin-Andrew in 2004. In Nunavut, the Conservatives have nominated David Aglukark as their candidate against incumbent Liberal MP Nancy Karetak-Lindell.

Oh, and Mark Eyking has been renominated as the Liberal candidate in Sydney-Victoria. He's represented the riding since 2000.

In other smallish news, Dan Samson has been nominated as the Conservative candidate in Thornhill.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Because We Ought to Take The Story Seriously...

We do offer you junkies this nugget from the Globe's piece on the story of the moment:
Ms. Stronach represents the Ontario riding of Newmarket-Aurora. Mr. Martin said Tuesday that Martha Hall Findlay agreed to stand down as the Liberal candidate in Newmarket-Aurora.

And that's that.

Updates: It's Just What We Do.

There's a big, sweeping nomination watch overview CP story by Joan Bryden that's a must-read. What's news in it? Well, Deborah Coyne running for the Libs in an as yet unnamed Ottawa riding counts as news.

How the not terribly mighty have fallen. Former Wetaskawin MP Willie Littlechild was defeated in his bid to reenter politics in the Wetaskawin Conservative nomination race by Blaine "I am the guy down the street trying to earn an honest living" Calkins. Good luck on that, Blaine.

A squeaker in Fredericton. Pat Lynch has been confirmed as the winner of the Conservative nomination, beating Raj Venugopol by only three votes.

One unpleasant rumour can now finally be killed. John Nunziata will not be running for the Conservatives. At least not in his old seat of York South-Weston. Local Conservatives have nominated Steve Halicki as their candidate. In other Ontario Conservative news, Alderman Patrick Brown, who is probably still surprised he didn't become MP for Barrie last year, will run again against surviror Aileen Carroll.

Northern Life provides a pretty decent update on nomination activity in the Sudbury area. Sudbury Liberal MP Diane Marleau and Nickel Belt Liberal Ray Bonin have both been renominated, as have their NDP challengers from 2004, Claude Gravelle and Gerry McIntaggart, respectively. The Conservatives are not quite as settled, with Stephen Butcher, who ran unsuccessfully against Marleau last year, challenged for the nomination this year by Al Gorman, Kevin Serviss and Dave Deloye. In Nickel Belt, Margaret Schwartzentruber and Gerald Potvin will contest the nomination.

Housing activist Michael Shapcott has been nominated as the NDP's candidate against Bill Graham in Toronto Centre. Shapcott previously ran in 2004.

Various dribs and drabs from the Ottawa Sun includes the news that Glengarry-Prescott-Russell MPP Jean-Marc Lalonde has decided not to enter federal politics, and will not be the big dog in the GPR Liberal nomination fight. As rumoured here previously, Denis Pommainville, the mayor of Nation and warden of the United Counties of Prescott Russell, announced Friday he would seek the nomination. Also in the Sun is the news that Conservatives in Ottawa-Orleans nominated "former Liberal" Royal Galipeau.

Henry Clarke has a rival in the Peterborough Liberal nomination race. She is Diane Lloyd, according to Peterborough This Week. One of them will face Dean Del Maestro, who according to the same rag is the Conservative candidate.

According to something called Halifax Live, Peter Mancini, former NDP MP for Sydney-Victoria and now a Dartmouth area legal aid lawyer has won the NDP nomination in Dartmouth-Cole Harbour. Our Atlantic spies tell us that Paul Francis, about whom we know nothing will be the Conservative candidate. And while we're thinking about Metro Halifax, the Chronicle-Herald says that youngish lawyer Andrew House is the Conservative candidate for Halifax.

And to make a change from all this news on candidates being nominated, here's a piece from the London Free Press about candidates in southwestern Ontario not being nominated. At least not yet.

Oh, and for purely historical purposes, here's an article on the situation in Newmarket-Aurora from April 22. Seems a long time ago, doesn't it?

Monday, May 16, 2005

Pairing

We seem to be getting a flurry of news from political partisans attempting to seek publicity for candidates of... well, of limited electoral horizons.

In an attempt to foster decency and an atmosphere of mutual repsect, we will pair such candidates, at least today. For example, we offer you the news that Eric Steedman will represent the NDP in Westmount-Ville Marie, and that Hugh McFayden has won the Conservative nomination in Winnipeg Centre.

Similarly linked (at least by us) are New Democrat Joe Chan in Calgary North Centre and a fellow named Goldstein, nominated for the Conservatives in Trinity-Spadina. It's got to be either Lorrie or Samuel, and we can't be bothered to check, really. Consult the lawn signs if you must.

You Mean People Check This Thing on Weekends?

An interesting piece on a little talked about issue in English Canada in today's National Post (remember the National Post?) - Bloc nominations. Read the piece, which is about the increased diversity of the Bloc team. The bare facts are that Liza Gomez is the Bloc's candidate in Honore-Mercier, Maria Mourani will run against Liberal MP Eleni Bakopanos in Ahuntsic and Vivian Barbot will stand against Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew in Papineau.

Pause and consider, NomWatch readers, the travels of Tony Clement, now the nominated Conservative candidate in far away (at least from Brampton) Parry Sound-Muskoka.

27 year old Brian Storseth thumped Joe Dion and a cast of thousands and is now the Conservative candidate in Westlock-St. Paul. In other suburban Edmonton news, Mike Lake won the sweepstakes in the Kilgourless Conservative nomination process in Edmonton-Beaumont-Mill Woods, beating 2000 and 2004 candidate Tim Uppal. He will face nominated Hewardite Progressive Canadian Sherry Lavery, amongst others.

A cautionary tale about politicians in hats can be found here, along with the news that former Sault Ste. Marie Liberal MP Carmen Provenzano is nominated again, and will attempt to wrestle his old job from New Democrat Tony Martin.

Dr. Bob Mullan will run for the Conservatives in Kings-Hants against Scott Brison, of whom they may have some passing recollection.

The Chronicle-Journal says Thunder Bay-Superior North New Democrats have chosen businessman and 2004 candidate Bruce Hyer as their nominee against Liberal MP Joe Comuzzi.

Keith Fountain, a foreign service officer will run for the Conservatives in Ottawa Centre, according to the Ottawa Sun.

The London Free Press says the candidates are set in London West. Liberal MP Sue Barnes is now renominated, and will face NDP activist Gina Barber and the already nominated Great Uncle, Al Gretzky, who is not attempting to trade on his famous surname.

Le Droit (who are doing yeoman's work) reports that Denis Pommainville, currently Warden of the United Counties of Prescott & Russell and current Mayor of La Nation Township, has officially announced yesterday his candidacy for the Glengarry-Prescott-Russell Liberal nomination. It also reports that a lawyer from the Town of Alexandria, Pierre Aubry, is, like every other living, breathing Liberal in GPR, rumoured to be considering a run for the nomination.

Former MP and financial somethingorother Garth Turner won the Conservative nomination in Halton. Others winning Conservative nominations include Lou Grimshaw, a defence management consultant, whatever that is, nominated in Kingston and the Islands, Ron Cannan, a Kelowna city councilor, was nominated in Kelowna-Lake Country to replace the retiring (but not shy) Werner Schmidt. Ajmir Mandur, of whom we know nothing, will represent the Conservatives in Kitchener Waterloo.