Local Alliance members support Harper

Who should lead the Canadian Alliance and positions on hot political issues topped discussions when local party members met Saturday in Dryden.
“A lot of people have made up their minds,” Brian Williams of Emo, president of the Kenora-Rainy River riding association, said about the leadership race.
“Steven Harper had the most support. Then Grant Hill, then Diane Ablonczy. . . . There was no one at the meeting who supported Day,” he noted.
Williams said he wasn’t really surprised Harper had so much backing here.
“I think the main thing is that he was well thought of as a Reform MP and since he was outside of the party [during its recent in-fighting], they think he has a good chance to unite the party.”
At Saturday’s meeting, which only drew a dozen or so members, Hilda Graham (Wabigoon) and Ada Major (Kenora) were named as riding representatives at the upcoming Canadian Alliance convention April 4-6 in Edmonton.
The riding association also decided its general meeting will be held May 1 at the Lakeside Inn in Kenora.
The chief focus of the gathering was to discuss the pages of policy suggestions, which ranged from responses to terrorist activities to banning cloning and stem cell research.
“One of the changes I support, and am sure will pass since it was supported by 14 other ridings, is a change in the requirement of membership,” Williams said.
He would like to see new members wait 30 days before being eligible to vote instead of the seven-day span currently required.
“Some people have not been getting their ballots. I think a seven-day turnaround is not giving much time to do that,” he remarked.
Another policy discussed included creating national drinking water standards instead of the separate ones mandated by each province.
Still, the leadership race was at the forefront of everyone’s minds Saturday.
No matter who is chosen leader, which could be decided as early as tonight with the announcement of first-ballot results, Williams hopes all of the candidates and their supporters will try to move the party forward.
“After the new leader is decided, there’s going to be some unhappy people. I urge them all to get behind the leader and get involved in the party,” he stressed.