Boshcoff,Valley win Liberal nods

Two former mayors won the Liberal nominations in the two new Northwestern Ontario ridings of Thunder Bay-Rainy River and Kenora over the weekend.
Former Thunder Bay mayor Ken Boshcoff beat out Don Paterson for the Liberal nomination in Thunder Bay-Rainy River what the party is calling “a very close race.”^While the party is not giving out final numbers, the Thunder Bay- Rainy River Liberal riding association president said she was told by the returning officer “it was very close.”^“How close it was, I don’t know,” added Philomena Pauluk.
Voter turnout also was high, with 80 percent of the 2,600 eligible voters across the riding casting their ballot here and in Thunder Bay yesterday.
“It blew us away. It was absolutely amazing,” Pauluk said, adding a more typical turnout is 40-50 percent of the membership.
The nomination meeting at the Valhalla Inn in Thunder Bay featured speeches from both candidates.
“They were electrifying.
They did such a wonderful job,” Pauluk said.
A polling station also was set up at the Super 8 motel here in Fort Frances after an appeal by Boshcoff, who said a single polling station in Thunder Bay was unfair to party members in Rainy River District.
The results from the poll here were tallied and called in to Thunder Bay.
After Boshcoff’s win was announced, Paterson gave a concession speech in which he wished Boshcoff well in his new role.
Meanwhile, in the new Kenora riding, former Dryden mayor Roger Valley beat out First Nations leader Charles Fox and Kenora lawyer Beverly Wexler on Saturday for the Liberal nomination.
Out of about 1,900 eligible voters, 1,230 cast ballots over two weekends for a voter turnout of 65 percent.
“With the three candidates, there was lots of interest,” said Kenora Liberal riding association president Marilyn Burns.
The three candidates all represented different areas of the large riding, with Valley from the east, Wexler from the west, and Fox from the north.
“That was rather historical,” Burns noted.
Saturday marked the second day of voting in the new riding.
The first was in Dryden on March 13.
After an appeal from Wexler, the party agreed to hold a second polling station in Kenora on March 20.
It later announced two more polling stations would be set up in the riding—one in Sioux Lookout and the other in Red Lake.