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Leader at arm's length from local nomination

Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Justin Trudeau said emphatically on more than one occasion Sunday that he will not become directly involved or interfere in picking the candidate to run for the Liberals in the NWT in this fall's election.

Yellowknifer asked the Liberal leader if he has a someone in mind to run for the Liberals other than the two declared candidates, Yellowknife Centre MLA Robert Hawkins and former NWT Liberal party president Kieron Testart.

"There are a number of people who have formally announced their interest but there are a number of others who have expressed interest and are thinking about running.

"My belief in open nominations is that we're going to get the best possible person to run for this riding as we are for ridings across the country and that best person will be chosen by the local Liberals," said Trudeau. With that hardly being a ringing endorsement for either of the two declared candidates, Yellowknifer asked both about any possible involvement by Trudeau in the nomination process.

"I didn't need to talk to him about it because it's quite clearly spelled out in the rules that the leader is not participating in any of the nomination contests ... (he will) ensure that they are fair, transparent and decided by the membership, and that they are not decided by someone in Ottawa," said Testart.

"Mr. Trudeau recently said that they are still encouraging (potential) candidates to get involved. I'm not sure technically what that means but as a candidate I'm going full steam ahead and I'm confident I can win this nomination," Hawkins said. No date has yet been set for the

nomination meeting.

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