Rafferty ready to take on Boshcoff

John Rafferty, acclaimed last week to represent the NDP in Thunder Bay-Rainy River in the next federal election, said he and his team are preparing to take on Liberal MP Ken Boshcoff.
“People at the doors are telling me they’re not voting Liberal,” he said. “People at the doors are telling me that Ken Boshcoff is not an effective leader.”
Rafferty, who came second behind Boshcoff in last June’s election, taking 30 percent of the vote compared to 39 percent for Boshcoff, has been working as a communications and outreach assistant with the provincial NDP here for the last several months.
He spends much of his time going door-to-door talking to people about the current political situation and about the NDP.
“I’ve been at it really since the last election,” Rafferty said. “We are gearing up for an election. I suspect it will be in the fall, and we will be ready.”
While Liberal support has dropped in public opinion polls as details emerged from the Gomery inquiry into the sponsorship scandal, Rafferty said he expects the next campaign to be a demanding one.
“It would be easy to say we should win quite handily . . . but I won’t be lulled into complacency,” he stressed. “I will continue to knock on doors and meet as many people as I can.
“If you want to represent people, you better know who lives there,” he argued.
Rafferty was chosen to carry the NDP banner again by party members in Thunder Bay-Rainy River following three nominations held in Fort Frances, Atikokan, and Thunder Bay last week.
He was the only person to declare his candidacy before the meetings. While the NDP constitution allows for nominations from the floor, no other candidates came forward.
Local Liberals acclaimed Boshcoff as their candidate at a meeting in Thunder Bay last month while the Green Party once again chose Russ Aegard as their candidate back in April.
The Conservative party postponed its nomination meeting after Paul Martin’s minority government survived a confidence vote in the House of Commons last month.
No new date has been scheduled.