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Prince Albert Daily Herald, 26 November, 2007

Supporter defends candidate's credentials

To the Editor:

This letter is in response to a newscast I heard today in reference to David Orchard and his announcement to run as a Liberal in the Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River riding. I was upset by comments made by his opponent John Dorion who implied that David has no connections to the North and hasn’t a grasp of the issues of that place. He also went on to say that David isn’t qualified because of his lack of Cree language skills.

I am a member of the Buffalo River Dene Nation. The riding in question is very large and Cree isn’t the only Native language spoken. I speak fluent Dene and would like to know if John can freely converse in that. David speaks French. There have been other MP’s who spoke only English and still represented the riding with skill. I think it's a shame that campaign should largely be about race and language.

John also stated that David had no connection to the North. David is connected to the North by blood as he is my former brother in law and has a niece who is also a band member. I have a large family and many of us consider David's beliefs to be close to what we believe in. We accept him for what he is.

David is known by many in the north for having taken part in the blockade of logging roads and clear cutting in Canoe Lake in which he was arrested and jailed with other protesters from surrounding northern communities. David understands that there is a thin line between responsible harvesting of resources and exploitation.

David is a long time activist who has a passion for the important issues of the North and the political know-how to get things done in Ottawa. Our MP should be elected for his or her ability to represent the riding and not for race or lack of Native language skills.

Terrie S. Bekattla
Prince Albert  SK


* should be the Canadian-Alliance


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