cheap hotels on jersey shore ‘Electoral urgency’ prompted Thibeault appointment
Electoral urgency prompted Premier Kathleen Wynne to appoint Glenn Thibeault the Liberal candidate in a Sudbury byelection rather than allowing members of a riding association to nominate the former Sudbury New Democat MP.
Wynne knows there are concerns the normal nomination process wasn’t followed, and has spoken with Sudbury provincial Liberal riding association executive members about it.
But the focus now is on moving forward and working with Thibeault “so we can have a representative who is strong and part of a government that is implementing a plan that is good for Sudbury,” said Wynne in a 20 minute interview with The Sudbury Star.
Wynne said the sole reason she flew to Sudbury on Friday on the Liberal Party dime was to meet with riding association executives, and with Thibeault and his supports.
Riding association president Bill Nurmi said his executive decided to a person Thursday night to help Thibeault “transition” to his own team, but then to resign after that.
Wynne said the executive would remain in office until after a byelection and Thibeault presumably wins. But Nurmi said his executive is looking for “an exit” much sooner than that.
Wynne wouldn’t say when a byelection would be called. “Let me just say we’re eager to get Glenn to Queen’s Park.”
Wynne has up to six months to set the date for a byelection after Sudbury New Democrat MPP Joe Cimino resigned Nov. 20 because of personal reasons.
Given the turmoil the riding was in after Cimino’s resignation, Wynne said she thought it best to follow Liberal Party policy, which allows the premier to appoint a candidate in a case such as this.
When asked why she didn’t let the nomination process proceed with Thibeault taking a run at it, Wynne said “electoral urgency shortens the process.
“I really believe Glenn is the right candidate. That’s why I have appointed him. I haven’t used the appointment process as premier in other byelections .
“In this situation, because there was a fair bit of churn and turmoil, it really seemed like this was the best way to go.”
It was a tough decision for Thibeault to jump from the federal NDP to the provincial Liberals, said Wynne. She met his wife and two young daughters Friday, and said they were “right there for their dad.”
A Liberal Party photographer accompanied Wynne and her entourage and presumably took photographs of the premier with Thibeault and his family.
Thibeault surprised Sudburians and his former party leader and caucus Tuesday when he announced he had been appointed by Wynne to be the Liberal candidate in a Sudbury byelection.
That announcement came the day after Andrew Olivier told reporters he had been contacted by Wynne and Liberal fundraiser Gerry Lougheed Jr., and asked to step aside to allow a “choice candidate” to be appointed.
Nurmi told The Sudbury Star his executive, many of whom have worked for the party for 20 years, felt disrespected by kept out out of the loop by Wynne and Liberal brass.
But Wynne said, when a candidate makes a decision such as this,
“it’s a small number of people who are a part of the circle of confidence. That’s the way it has to be, and so that was out of respect for Glenn and his process.”
It wasn’t her intention to “wound anybody,” said Wynne. She acted in good faith and tried to work with people like Olivier. She told him last Thursday what was happening, but insisted she didn’t offer him a job or anything else if he co operated.
“What I did do was try to tell him . why it was important to me we have Glenn as the candidate. I want Andrew to be part of the Liberal family. I want him to be on side with us.”.
Admitting she was “an imperfect human being,” Wynne said her intention was to have the best representative for Sudbury.
“That’s why I’m here. I’m here because I want people to know I want us to move forward together and, at the same time, I acknowledge there was process that did hurt people. “From this moment on, it’s in the best interests of the people of Sudbury if we get the best representative in government at Queen’s Park,” said the premier.
Thibeault is that person because he’s a seasoned politician who understands government and the electoral process, knows the community and what it needs, and “shares a value system” with Wynne and her party.
“He is completely on side with the program we’re offering,” said Wynne.
She hasn’t spoken with Olivier since his news conference Monday, but will in the future.
Wynne hasn’t spoken with Andre Bisson either, the Liberal Party’s vice president for the northern region. He resigned earlier this week.
Thibeault accompanied Wynne to The Star office for the interview. When asked if he was worried about blowback from switching parties, he said: “For me this politics,” echoing a description of it as “a blood sport.”
He said he’s respectful of people’s opinions and doesn’t mind them expressing them to him “as long as they’re not vile and vicious.”
He expected to face criticism in person and on social media. He was less prepared to be yelled at this week when he was in a Sudbury mall Christmas shopping.